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How to design project management plan templates for large projects

Managing several projects with large teams? Find out how many project management templates you should use to best control each, plus read a project definition in this Q/A from a project management expert.

We have 20 projects; 80 team members are engaged and the teams are scattered at various locations. For project management, what will be the bare minimum number of templates required to best control the projects? Can you list the name of the templates required (for complete project management, and covering the whole project lifecycle) with a short description of those essential templates? The hierarchy of the templates is very important to us, too.
It's impossible for me to advise you of any "templates" without knowing more about your specific projects. What's your definition of a project? A project may be one of the following:

  • A small set of tasks handled by two or three folks, such as the upgrading of custom Crystal Reports from version XI to XII.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, a project may be the replacement of your organization's CRM system with a custom-built solution.
  • Something in between.

I have used very different project plans and project management styles for very different types of projects. Make sure that your plan fits your project. In the first example, a 400-line plan with 17 phases is overkill. In the second example, a four line Excel spreadsheet can't begin to serve as a useful tool. Use your judgment and make sure that the squeeze is worth the juice.

This was last published in October 2009

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