Project Management Documentation Tips: Forms & Templates

Forms and templates are the foundation for many types of project documents. Rather than putting unnecessary effort into creating new forms for each project, the use of existing forms and templates can streamline your project’s documentation requirements, and allow your team to focus on higher-level objectives. A variety of resources are available to you when looking for ready-made forms, and a few simple tips will help keep your project’s momentum moving forward when truly custom forms are needed.

Save time by leveraging the work that others have done, and use pre-made forms or templates when possible. The supply of ready-to-use forms is vast, and you’re likely to find exactly what you need for the majority of applications. Remember, though, to respect copyright laws. Whether you search the web or peruse one of the many available template books, always look for materials that are copyright-free, or whose copyright allows for unrestricted use.

If your project management consulting team has already created a similar form for use on a previous project, why not re-purpose it for today’s need? Existing templates for checklists, memos and reports can often be applied to new projects with little or no modification. This practice also helps to maintain document continuity from project to project, making future research easier for project team members while also presenting stakeholders and end users with information in a familiar format.

You’ll occasionally encounter the need for new or unique forms. To avoid the possibility that multiple team members will each create their own version – often resulting in several forms circulating through your team and potentially causing conflicts or confusion – it’s wise to designate one person to manage all project-based templates. This helps to ensure your team’s documentation is clear, organized, and in a standardized format, and also facilitates master template storage in one always-available location.

Project Experience

Portfolio Management
Successful portfolio management calls for exceptional data management skills and diligent oversight across multiple efforts.
Demanding, time sensitive, and finely tuned, manufacturing projects require close attention and experienced oversight.
IT Projects
Organizations must be able to successfully execute challenging and highly visible technology projects to maximize revenue.
Power Plants
Power Plants must be able to keep these vital infrastructure assets current, efficient, and economically positive.
High-profile hurdles and expensive risks of failure make these projects critical to manage properly from the very beginning.
Presents complexities at nearly every stage, from allocating resources to controlling schedule variances, or clearing regulatory & safety hurdles.
Ensuring team members are able to move outside the silos of their department or discipline is the key to achieving success.
Product Dev
Design and other early-stage activities must be carefully orchestrated while maintaining visibility on future impacts and resource needs.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Among the riskiest and most strategically important initiatives a company can undertake, and their outcomes can make or break the business.
Finance & Insurance
Technology implementations call for the right level of planning detail and diligent oversight.
An ERP implementation can be among the most disruptive and strategically important initiative an organization can undertake.