Episode 210: Project Management Templates Recommendation (Free)
There is one question that I get regularly asked from podcast listeners, and that is “Can you recommend any good project management templates?” Of course I can.
Over the years the following two collection of PM Templates have become my favorite:
PM Templates from Method123 at www.pm-podcast.com/method123
PM Templates from The Template Collective at www.pm-podcast.com/collective
In this video I show you what they have to offer and we open up a couple of examples from both products.
Please note that The PM Podcast is a compensated affiliate of both Method123 and The Template Collective. If you click and then buy their templates we will earn a commission, with which I will buy a pizza and that will keep my enthusiasm up to continue producing great podcast episodes for you.
Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.
Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #210. This is The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I am Cornelius Fichtner. Nice to have you with us.
In this episode, we are going to take a look at some project management templates because the question that I receive again and again from you, my listeners, is this one here:
Can you recommend any good project management templates that I can use on my project to make my life easier?
And the answer is: “Of course, I can!”
I would have like to recommend three companies and their templates to you. But unfortunately, one of my top three favorite set of templates is not available for individual purchase. It’s unfortunate! But the templates from BOT International, that’s Mark Perry from the PMO Podcast by the way, they are only available as part of their PMO content management asset tool. So you have to buy that tool and those templates, they really rock.
But that still leaves us with two excellent set of templates. So I offer to you the template collections from Method 123, as well as the Template Collective. These templates are both equal in quality so I am presenting them to you in alphabetical order here today. So M as in Method 123, comes before T as in Template Collective.
Also, I’d like to mention that The PM Podcast is an affiliate of these products. So if you follow the links that we provide and then you buy the templates, we will earn a commission. It will allow me to buy a pizza for myself and keep my enthusiasm for The Project Management Podcast going.
So let us begin with the templates from Method 123. We are first going to do a quick overview of what it is that Method 123 offers then we are going to take a look at their templates and then we’ll do the same thing for the Template Collective as well.
Method 123 – Templates Introduction
So Method 123 says that their templates empower us project managers by providing quality templates that cover the entire Project Life Cycle and act as a guide from start to finish to help us execute our projects quickly and easily and that is obviously the task of every good template collection that you have out there. The big thing that Method 123 offers is their project management kit which is basically all of their templates in one easy download.
Method 123 – Templates Features
The Method 123 templates are created by Project Management Experts and they are quite detailed and include charts and tables and instructions. You’ll see that in just a moment when we’ll open up a couple of those. These templates, they are also aligned with the PMI and Prince2 framework. They are fit for any type of project and any size of project allowing us project managers to save time and effort since we do not have to reinvent the wheel every time we run a new project.
Method 123 says that their templates are cost effective. You can purchase individual templates for under US $5 or you can get the whole batch with their project management kit and there is also a free project management guide book that comes along with them.
Template Types of Method 123
If you are somewhere in between there and you don’t really need just one template and you also don’t want to buy the whole kit with all of the templates in there and let’s say you only need the ones for Project Execution, well Method 123 has an answer for you because they do group their templates into the various project management knowledge areas that we know from the PMBOK Guide so you can buy Risk Management templates or Quality Management templates focusing exactly on what you need right there.
What I also like is at the very bottom, you see the Project Lifecycle. That’s just a way of grouping the templates so you know you are in initiation or you’re at the end of a project or somewhere in between there then you can take a look at what template fits into that particular lifecycle span and you can focus only on those and get only those right there.
Okay! So that was an overview of the templates that Method 123 has to offer. Now, let’s open up the website. Quickly take a brief look there and then we’ll jump into a couple of their templates so you see what you get before you buy.
Method 123 Website
Here we are on the Method 123 website which you can get to by going to www.pm-podcast.com/method123 and just quickly, three things I’d like to show to you here.
First of all, the templates if you would like to find out more about them, they grouped them by various categories here under the templates. And remember I mentioned a moment ago about this lifecycle how they’re grouped in there? Well, they have them for Initiation, Planning, Execution and Closure. So if you are just interested in getting the templates for the Planning Phase, you can go in here. And then you get the Project Planning Template Suite right there. So that’s an easy way if you know exactly what you want and you have a particular focus where you want to go in.
But the one thing that everybody’s probably interested in is the Free Tools. So hold the mouse on the Free Tools. Click on the Free Templates here. And then you will be able to download their Project Management Risk Template Kit. Put in your first name, email address, tick here about the License Agreement, click on Download and then you will get all of those free templates including the Free Project Management Guidebook.
So let me show you what you get when you download these free templates and then we’ll open up a couple:
So this is what you see after you have downloaded and unzipped all of the Method 123 free templates. You’ll get these Free Special Offer here and Project Management Guidebook. That’s very nice. But we’re not going to open those up. Because the things you really want to look at are the actual templates that you get. You’re going to get three free templates here, all risk management related. Three are in Microsoft Word format and one is the Risk Register here, a template in Microsoft Excel format. So let me open that up and as you would expect, this is just a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet but nicely formatted and of course, and that is the beauty of templates. It already contains everything that you will need in a Risk Register. Does it contain everything that your company needs? Probably not because templates cannot just cover everything that you personally need. A template will cover what most people need most of the time. So this is what you have in here, a way of keeping track of your risks in the register. As soon as you hold your mouse over one of the headers, you get a little popup here that’s telling you what exactly is it that we have to put into these fields here. So let’s now go back and let’s open up one of those Word templates that we have.
Let us open up the Risk Plan that we have here. Okay. So we’re talking about a Word template here. So of course, this is a regular Word document with usual document control. You will find this in most template collections that you have. There is very extensive document control in all the templates on the first few pages including the document approvals that you see down here.
Alright! In the Table of Contents, you will get sort of an understanding of what it is that we have here in the Risk Plan also known as the Risk Management Plan and if you look at this, this pretty much follows, if you are a PMP, what you have learned from the PMBOK Guide the way a risk approach should be handled --- Identify, Quantification, there’s a Plan. There is a Process. So this pretty much follows this with the likelihood and impact matrix that we have there.
So let’s scroll a little bit down. How would you fill this in? First of all, let’s see. We got to find some place here. Okay! Here we have the actual risks that are listed found by our brainstorming, you would put them into a category and put a description in and also add an identification number right here. Of course, these are only samples. Method 123 doesn’t know what the risks on your project are. The good thing about templates is that they will allow you to just fill in the form and go from field to field and identify the information that is in each of these fields for your project. That’s the beauty of the template itself.