Session 07: Drafting the Templates

Session 07: Drafting the Templates

Session 06: Drafting the Terms
Session 08: Internal Review

Hi. Welcome to this session of the PM Standards project where I am making a repository of project management standards for Cryptiquest. In the previous session I verified that the first draft of the instructions met the needs defined in previous session and identified and defined the terms. In this session I’m going to create the templates of the different phases.

To do this I’m going to go through each step of each phase and contemplate how best to provide a template (if one is needed). The assumption is that for those steps where a template would be appropriate, the template would consist of the headers and paragraphs typical of the step for some quick copy/paste action but it should be left open for analysis.

From here on out I’ll just copy/paste the phase/steps and brainstorm inline.


Phase 1: Plan

  • Step 1: What needs are you looking to solve?
  • Step 2: If money and the laws of physics were no option what would the ideal solution look like?
  • Step 3: In what ways are either the scope of the project limited or the pathway to clarity blocked by unknowns? What are the limitations and unknowns of the project?
  • Step 4: Based on the needs and research conducted so far, how would you define the goal of the project in one clause?
  • Step 5: Based on the limitations and the Cryptiquest vision, what are the objectives for this project?
  • Step 6: With the research and scope complete, what are the steps to complete this project? What are the deliverables?

I typically perform all these steps in the same session so I’ll create a template for the whole darn phase:

Initial Research

History

This project was sparked during the {link to project that sparked this} because {explain what sparked this project.}

Need

Generate a paragraph or two to present why this is a need for Cryptiquest.

Need: To solve a problem

Ideal Situation

In an ideal situation, the result would…

Limitations and Unknowns

  1. List out the limitations
  2. Don’t forget the target audience
  3. List out unknowns – those will indicate what research is required to help you

Project Scope


Goal

Generate a paragraph to explore the goal.

Goal: To create an output that solves a problem

Objectives

  • These statements are neutral and define the success of the project
  • There may be one or more objectives
  • Be sure to refer to the company policy for more objectives

Deliverables

  1. Production
    1. Action Items
    2. Internal Review
  2. Review
    1. Need-analysis
    2. Prepare materials for external review
    3. Confidant review
    4. Second draft review
  3. Implementation
    1. Finalize drafts
    2. Publish
  4. Launch
    1. Market needs
    2. Marketing materials
    3. Launch
  5. Retrospective
    1. Review
    2. Issues
    3. Action Items

Action Items

  1. Put action items here.
  2. These include the creation of new items in the All Project Deliverables table

Phase 2: Production

  • Step 1: Create the first drafts of the product described in the goal.
  • Step 2: Conduct an internal review and make any edits.

Because every project is different, I don’t see a way to templatize this.


Phase 3: Review

  • Step 1: Based on your draft, who is the target audience and how does the draft meet their need? What is the need-analysis?
  • Step 2: Prepare the drafts for external review.
  • Step 3: Send the materials out for confidant review.
  • Step 4: Make edits then send out for second-tier review.

While this should be the same each time, I don’t see a way to templatize this.


Phase 4: Implementation

  • Step 1: After gathering all feedback, perform edits to finalize the drafts.
  • Step 2: With a final version of the copy at hand, insert into the final medium and do a final review before you publish.

Because every project is different, I don’t see a way to templatize this.


Phase 5: Launch

  • Step 1: Revisit your need-analysis and compare it to the implemented product. Answer the question: what market need does this product fulfill?
  • Step 2: With the market need in hand, create marketing materials to present your solution to the target audience.
  • Step 3: Once the materials are prepared, launch to market.

While this should be the same each time, I don’t see a way to templatize this.


Phase 6: Retrospective

  • Step 1: Once the project has been announced, it is time to review the life of the project.
  • Step 2: Group all the items about what went wrong as a list of issues.
  • Step 3: For each item in the list of issues, spend some to to analyze why the issue happened. Write down these analyses in a list of issues addressed.
  • Step 4: With the issues addressed, record action items to take to mitigate these issues from happening again in the future.

This one actually can have a template:

The {name of project} project was successful due to….

Goal: Put the goal here.

Objectives

ObjectiveTest
1. Put objective here*Changed | Pass | Fail
2. Put objective here *Changed | Pass | Fail
3. Etc. *Changed | Pass | Fail

*Changed: Only put this here if any of the objectives were changed and if you do, this is where you explain what changed.

Origin

Basically reuse the “History” from the Kick-off session.

Need: Put the need here.

Proposed Ideal Situation Vs. Actuality

The proposed ideal situation was…

In actuality, the outcome produced…

Production Plan vs. Actuality

StepThe PlanActuality
1The first step of production planThe first step of what actually happened
2 The second step of production plan The second step of what actually happened
3Etc. Etc.
4Etc. or N/A (if there aren’t any more)Etc.

Session Rundown

Session 1: Kick-off {Link this to the session}
Summarize what happened.

Session 02: Name of session {Link this to the session}
Summarize what happened.

Session 03: Etc. {Link this to the session}
Etc.

Issues

  1. List every issue discovered from the session summaries.
  2. Sometimes no issues arise but that’s rare.

Issues Addressed

  1. Here is where you figure out why the issue happened and come up with a plan to mitigate the issue from happening again.
  2. Again, issues might not arise, but that’s totally rare.

Action Items

If needed, you can add a qualifying sentence here to serve as an umbrella category (e.g. “The following are updates for the project management guide.”).

  • Add tasks here from the Issues Addressed section.
  • Also add tasks here that were listed in Action Items sections of session notes that were to be tackled after the project.
  • Once this list is complete and the Retrospective is launched, then do the action items!

I don’t see a way to make the Research or Analysis sections templatized.

Okay. Having done all that, it looks like two phases are getting templates: Kick-off and Retrospective. Guess that makes sense as those are the bookends and are typically more consistent than the other phases.

Those templates are pretty big so I think they will have to be on their own pages when published. I can link to them from the instructions.

In the next session I will conduct an Internal Review of all three sections. That will probably take some time but it might go smooth. Who knows? We’ll see in the next session, I suppose. See you there.

Action Items

For the Instruction draft:

  • Might want to change how I use the term “Deliverable” as it is better used to solely define a product of the project; Consider “milestone” or “step” instead
  • I need to rework the Need-Analysis definition in the instructions; the Need-Analysis is the process for discovering the Market Needs
  • Rename the “Second-tier Review” to “Second-draft Review” or something similar as it sounds like the people are “second tier” but the intention is that it’s just a review of the second draft
  • Get rid of any mention of “sub-phases”
Session 06: Drafting the Terms
Session 08: Internal Review