is technique is based on the notion that many organizations use
templates to facilitate planning and to minimize risk. Templates are
essentially nothing more than fully developed plans, forms, or out-
lines that provide structure for an organization’s project managers.
ese templates often manifest themselves as elements of a much
larger project methodology (discussed in Chapter 6). By properly
applying these templates (or merely recognizing their existence), it
becomes possible to mitigate additional risk and apply best practices
to existing risks.
e technique consists of examining a series of templates covering
specic areas that may present technical risk to a project. Each tem-
plate examines an area that frequently spawns risks and then describes
methods (or provides examples) to avoid or control that risk. Many
risk descriptions and solutions are rooted in lessons learned from
other projects. Some examples of areas that such templates may cover
are illustrated in Figure 18.1.
Project templates should be used for most projects, either indepen-
dently or in conjunction with another technique. Templates are gen-
erally built in response to past incidents as a means to preclude a risk
that has already befallen an organization. Organizational templates
specically contain extremely valuable information because they are
based on actual experience. e information can be pertinent for any
size project at any phase of development. Because the technique views
project management as a complete process, the solutions presented
reect the interdependency of each part of the cycle. In other words, a
conscious eort is made to present a solution that lowers the total risk
for the entire project and not merely for short-term problems.
Inputs and Outputs
Each template will require inputs specic to that template. In a per-
fect world, all templates necessary to succeed would already exist in an
organization, complete with guidance on how to apply them to every
Sta ng plan
and test plan
Figure 18.1 Common project management templates, arranged by phase.
type of project. is eort is normally under the purview of senior
project managers or a project oce.
e application of templates requires discipline. Time must be
committed to reading the templates, as well as the organizational
methodologies driving them, and then to using that information to
examine risk within a given project. Practical outputs of the technique
are basic lists of risks built from past experience.
Major Steps in Applying the Technique
Because methodologies and templates cover areas common to nearly
every project, each template should be reviewed for applicability. e
project manager determines whether the template is appropriate to the
project and its specic risks. After reviewing the template, the project
manager or the team members responsible should evaluate the proj-
ect in terms of solutions or risk mitigating actions that the template
would prescribe. A periodic review of all templates is recommended
with updates as the project progresses. In some cases, simply applying
the template or reviewing its contents will be sucient to identify (or
in some cases, even mitigate) risks.
Use of Results
Results from templates can be used in a variety of ways:
In presentations to higher levels of authority
To inuence the team members’ current level of activity in an
For continued monitoring of progress in each project area
In many instances, templates are used to modify team member
behavior by reinforcing what data must be gathered or by encouraging
certain documentation practices.
Because the inputs are template specic, most of the inputs are
also specic to the individuals responsible for the given template.
For example, if procurement templates (such as Supplier Payment