Which project management template is the most important?

I was asked this question late last year on one of our project management training courses. I had introduced the group to a range of templates over the two days and one person asked this question towards the end of the day.

I responded by saying that this was the first time I had been asked this question. I threw the question back at the group asking them to go through the book of templates. Their answers included:

  • business case
  • Project Initiation Document (PID) or Charter
  • risk log
  • stakeholder analysis
  • change control template

There was no general agreement which is the most important. I suggested as there was no consensus maybe the answer was project specific. For example, one person who suggested the change control template was struggling to deal with the many changes in his project. Another person said their department did not treat risks seriously enough, another said the same about stakeholder management. Hence their answers.

Which one is most important?

Which one is most important?

Maybe, I added, the key is using the right templates at the right time in the right way!

However…I was pressed by the person who asked the question for my answer! I told them the story about a company I worked for some years ago. I was asked to deliver a project management course as part of a management development programme. (The course was one module among many for aspiring managers.) The training department carried out a survey of the first two groups to go through the whole programme. One question asked was along the lines of; which one element has been the most useful? The main answer from the group was the PID!

But, I added this was possibly company specific as they had rarely put on paper what projects were trying to deliver.

So for me, there is no real answer. Or maybe there is! What do you think?

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5 Responses to Which project management template is the most important?

  1. Pingback: Which project management template is the most important? | #PMChat

  2. Emmanuel Onuigbo says:

    Irrespective of your organization’s methodology and the specific project size, it is not an acceptable choice to proceed with other PM activities without a PID/Chatter. Every other template could be tailored or even omitted according to the specific business need or your company methodology.
    If there is concensus on above statements, it follows therefore that the most important template is PID/Chatter.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Hi Emmanuel. Thanks for the comments.

      I do tend to agree with your sentiments in the above. I do think the business case is the foundation and I often come across projects where one does not exist. Does this make this the most important. Thoughts!

      Ron Rosenhead

  3. Mark Swan says:

    All of the above, plus Communications Strategy & Plan.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks Mark. I know others think likewise and others differently. Interesting observation from Emmanuel as well.

      Thanks again

      Ron Rosenhead

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