How to Build a Project Management System (with Templates)

When you have a problem to solve, do you and your team know where to start and what to do? Do you start every project as if it’s the first project your company has ever done?

Project management is a skill. And it’s vital to your success. Get good at it.

Great project management requires a great process and great people. You want the right problem statement, the process to find the solution, delivery of the solution, learning, iteration on the solution, schedules, milestones, communication, and a leader and team that are charging forward to get it all done efficiently.

This resource provides tips and templates on project management and gives you a basis to create your version to fit your Operating System.

Some questions a project management system should answer:

  • How do you know if the project is worth doing? What problem is the project solving? Why are you solving that problem?
  • Is there a process before you launch a project? Do you need permission to launch a project?
  • How do you form teams? Who’s on the team?
  • Do you have one owner of the project? How does the team work together?
  • Who makes which decisions? How do you make the decisions? What’s the basis for the decisions?
  • Do you need permission to take certain actions? Who can veto? How much of this do you want to be left to teams or individuals to decide?
  • How will you measure success for a project?
  • What are the stages in a project? When do you move to the next stage?
  • How do you use milestones and deadlines?
  • Are there project steps you always want to remember to do?
  • Does your company follow certain practices when managing projects?
  • How does the team get the help they need from other teams?
  • How do you communicate while executing? How do you get the information that you need and give the information that others need? Who needs to receive the communication?
  • What do you need to do before shipping a product or publishing a blog post or launching a marketing campaign? Do you need sign off? What’s ready to show to the public? Do you show things early and iterate or only release more final products?

Those are the questions. This is the answer: project management template.

You and your teams can adapt the template to your needs. This is a heavier process, so you may want to remove parts, but it’s a good place to start. It’s easier to remove steps than to remember to add them.

Giving your team and project managers a template shows them how you manage projects. They’ll run projects the right way. They’ll save time and brain power on every project they start. They won’t need to create a project plan from scratch every time. They won’t worry they’re missing steps. They’ll find comfort in knowing what’s expected of them in managing a project. They’ll feel empowered to charge forward with confidence. You won’t have to give the same guidance repeatedly. Your teams won’t make the same mistakes. And you’ll get better results.

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