You never get enough time to plan your project. Besides discovering needs, gathering deliverables, drafting flow charts, and creating schedules and budgets, you have to spend hours putting it all together in a neat package that’s worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Save yourself some time—use the templates and forms in our Project Management Toolkit to create and manage your plan, and spend your time focusing on what’s really important: the project.

The toolkit
The PM Toolkit is a collection of tools from actual working documents created during various software development and integration projects. It includes a standardized project plan template and a few forms to get you started. All you need to do is fill in the blanks. Review the Read Me First document enclosed in the toolkit for specific information on using each form.

Project plan template
A good project plan is crucial to the success of your project. Use the one included to guide development of your plan, and to determine what information needs to be included. I’ve used this document to facilitate development of a wide range of projects, from large, carrier-class deployments to small enterprise programs. It’s designed to help you determine your need and then add and remove sections as necessary. I’ve left a few critical sections up to you, such as budget summaries and case studies, and have focused on the definition of work to be performed. This template is a huge time-saver.

Change order form
I’m a big fan of change orders, and I use them religiously on every project, no matter what the size. It may seem a bit much when you expect that development will be started and finished within a month, but it really helps me stay focused and organized. Use the enclosed form liberally, and track change orders with a standard spreadsheet or other centralized source.

Record of revision
This summary form is useful if you’re working on a small deployment, or if your versioning software doesn’t create acceptable output. It’s also great for highlighting major accomplishments for management and other project drivers, or for keeping track of changes before you log them into your system.

Bug report summary form
This is another summary form that can be helpful when used in conjunction with more sophisticated software. Again, it can help on very small deployments and is ideal for creating presentation materials.

Getting ahead
The PM Toolkit is a great way to facilitate your project and jumpstart your planning. You can customize it for your particular needs and relieve a lot of the strain of creating a working document. When used in tandem with your own processes, our PM Toolkit will help you get organized and focused on the task at hand. Leave the novel writing for the Longfellows, and get ahead of the game today.

What’s in your toolkit?

Let us know what tools you use, or offer suggestions for future versions of the PM Toolkit by dropping us an e-mail or posting in the discussion area below.