Templates Archive


TPS Report

After my little diatribe titled “Project Management Theater” I had a few days to think about the less than stellar status report provided by the vendor to my customer.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized the vendor did nothing to meet the unique customer needs.  The attitude was Well, you asked for a status report. This shows status. I’m a firm believer that you need to understand who your customer is and then provide status reporting to meet their needs.  Even when using a burndown chart for a team, I usually don’t show that to a C-Level. I understand that C-Levels (CEOs, COOs, CTOs…) are looking at the business more strategically.  For that reason, I offer my 50,000 foot view of the project or program.  TPS Report Two years ago, when I arrived at this PMO, I looked at their Metrics Plan.  One of the things that was missing was a summary graph or chart for the Federal Senior Executives (SES). What you see above is one graphical indicator I provided to them.  What you do not see in the screen-grab is the associated data, which I made available on subsequent pages.

I’d like to thank Sam Palani over at Around the CHAOS for inspiring me to write this post. His post How Worthy are Your Status Reports nailed it.

Feel free to download a copy of my original (TPS Report) template Total_Project_Status_Template


Free Project Team Organization Worksheet

Project Team OrganizationToday I’m going to write about (and provide) a free Project Team Organization worksheet to complement the Project Charter Template so many have downloaded. Both files are free for download, modification, and distribution. [Team Organization Worksheet] [Project Charter Template]

When using the Project Team Organization worksheet, note that there are 4 sections:  Structure, Roles and Responsibilities, and a Responsibility Matrix, Project Facilities and Resources.  I’m going to focus on the first three.

Step 1: Describe the organizational structure of the project team and stakeholders, preferably providing a graphical depiction (organization chart).

Step 2: Summarize roles and responsibilities for the project team and stakeholders identified in the project structure above.

Step 3: Complete the responsibility matrix for each of the project roles. As a graphical depiction of a more detailed perspective of responsibilities, the matrix should reflect by functional role the assigned responsibility for key milestones and activities.

Step 4: Describe the project’s requirements for facilities and resources, such as office space, special facilities, computer equipment, office equipment, and support tools. Identify responsibilities for provisioning the specific items needed to support the project development environment.  Hey, you’re people need places to sit and equipment to get their work done.

With preliminary approval, copy these values into Section 3 of our free Project Charter Template. Upon Project Charter approval, apply the identified team members to activities in Microsoft Project or your selected Project Management application.

Another thing I would recommend is leverage the data from this worksheet in your Communications Management Plan.  You’ve already identified people and their roles or responsibilities.  The most important thing to remember is do what makes sense.  This planning worksheet isn’t required to do a Charter.  It’s supposed to make things easier for you and lower the risk of not knowing who is on your team and what they are responsible for.

[Team Organization Worksheet] [Project Charter Template]


Free Work Breakdown Structure Worksheet

WBS WorksheetAs I look at the logs of the Critical Path website, I notice a trend for what people are searching.  Most visitors coming to this site are searching for project management related templates and worksheets.  If there is one thing I try to instill in other project managers, it is listen to your customers!  That being said, here is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) worksheet to complement the Project Charter Template so many have downloaded.  Both files are free for download, modification, and distribution. [WBS Worksheet] [Project Charter Template]

When using the WBS worksheet, list the project’s major milestones and deliverables, the corresponding unique identifying numbers, and the target dates for delivery. This list should reflect products and/or services delivered to the end user as well as the delivery of key project management or other project-related work products.

With preliminary approval, copy these values into Section 3.2 of our free Project Charter Template.  Upon Project Charter approval, copy the values from the major milestones column into Microsoft Project or your selected Project Management application and begin creating the activity list (decomposing).


Free Project Initiation Worksheet

Project Initiation WorksheetWhen you are about to initiate a new project, you should capture the basics of project information.  If you don’t, you’re walking into a minefield.  Even before you write up a charter, you should be able to answer the following:

Problem (or Opportunity) Statement – Describe the business reason(s) for initiating the project, specifically stating the key business problem or opportunity

Project Description – Describe the approach the project will use to address the business problem

Project Goals and Objectives – Describe the business goals and objectives of the project. Refine the goals and objectives stated in the Business Case (which you should also have)

Project Scope (Requirements) – Describe the project scope. The scope defines project limits and identifies the products and/or services delivered by the project. The scope establishes the boundaries of the project and should describe products and/or services that are outside of the project scope.

Critical Success Factors – Describe the factors or characteristics that are deemed critical to the success of a project, such that, in their absence the project will fail.

Assumptions – Describe any project assumptions related to business, technology, resources, scope, expectations, or schedules.

Constraints – Describe any project constraints being imposed in areas such as schedule, budget, resources, products to be reused, technology to be employed, products to be acquired, and interfaces to other products. List the project constraints based on the current knowledge today.

If you can articulate these seven areas, you’ve proven you have at least a basic understanding of what you’re up against.  If you can not, you better go back and find the answers.  It is a lot cheaper to answer a question when the project is still initiating, compared to deep in executing.

MS Word [Click here to download a free Project Initiation Worksheet]


Free COTS Package Evaluation Template

COTS Product Evaluation TemplateAt my last assignment, I was asked to compare 3 vendors and make a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product recommendation to the client.  The client knew their budget and products they wanted evaluated.  They didn’t know if the product capabilities were all marketing hype or if the products would indeed meet their needs.

When doing a product evaluation, I tell the customer they must help me do the following  [1] List the specific business requirement(s) that must be satisfied by the COTS package.[2] List the specific business data or information requirement(s) that the COTS package will need to support. [3] List the strategic and performance plans that must be met by the COTS package.  [4] List the practices and processes the COTS package will compliment.

By detailing the information above, it demonstrates the requester thoroughly understands their needs.

The customer must then answer 2 critical questions that will impact the total cost of the implementation:

[1] Does the COTS package need to be modified to work with current practices and processes?

[2] Do practices and processes have to be modified to work with the COTS package?

Some companies believe if you throw enough money at something, you can fix a problem.  Spending a lot of money on a product to “fix” a bad business process just means you spent a lot of money and still have a bad business process.

The last thing you do is create a capability matrix to do a side-by-side comparison of products.  Don’t paint yourself into a corner!  Make sure you complete the Package Evaluation first so the details are available for others to review later.  Give your stakeholders the facts.
Enjoy this free copy of my COTS Package Evaluation Template.