Project Management Simplified: Learn The Fundamentals of Project Management from "The Banana Rat"

Are you having issues delivering your project on time and on budget?  Do you find you are faced with growing scope creep?  

Are you having problems managing the expectations of project stakeholders and sponsors?

Is your project suffering from:  

‚ě°ÔłŹPoorly Defined Project Goals?¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹUnrealistic Deadlines?¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹLack of Proper Communication?¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹScope Changes?¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹInadequate Risk Management Plan?¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹLack of Project Governance?¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹBudget Variances?¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹResourcing Issues?¬†¬†

Then The Banana Rat’s Project Manager Toolkit Templates may be for you! 

The Project Manager Toolkit

Value Proposition:  

The Banana Rat’s Project Management Toolkit can help you prepare your project for success by giving you and your teams the tools they need to communicate and manage all project activities.

The proper project management tools are important because they help ensure what is being delivered, is right, and will deliver real value against the defined business opportunities.

The first three tools in the Banana Rat’s Project Manager Toolkit are:  

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†The Project Initiation Document or Charter¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†The Project Status Report¬†¬†

ÔłŹ‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†The Project Change Request¬†¬†

Before we get into detail on these three templates from the Project Manager Toolkit, let's first review what Project Management is.  

What is Project Management?  

It may help to review what Project Management is for those that are new to the concept.

Projects are temporary endeavors that have a defined start and end date.  Many projects live on in production and operations, but it takes a different set of skills to plan, deploy, and test a project than it does to maintain it in operations.

Every project has a sponsor group or owner.  The sponsor is responsible for the project's successful completion. Project Managers keep the project team on task and ensure the project meets the needs of all stakeholders & sponsors.

A good Project Manager helps an organization complete projects within the parameters of scope, time, and budget. The Project Manager also supplies the project team and organization with a means to prioritize and escalate risks and issues. The Project Manager runs the project's governance framework and is responsible for successful delivery.

A Project Manager works with team members to utilize project management tools and techniques to complete their various project deliverables.

This is where the Banana Rat’s Project Manager Toolkit can help you manage all of the phases of a project, from planning to lessons learned.

Let's briefly review the five key phases of project delivery before we get into the individual Project Management templates from The Banana Rat.

Project management begins when a project sponsor initiates a project. The five steps of project management include:  

  1. The initiation phase. The project manager will assign or ask for team members to volunteer to complete specific tasks.  
  2. The planning phase. The team agrees on a schedule with the client or amongst themselves for the project. The team may also create a communication schedule with key stakeholders, determine the project’s standards, and set a budget (if applicable)7 during this phase.  
  3. The execution phase. This phase is where the work gets done. Employees may work independently or as a team on tasks that were determined during the previous phases.  
  4. The monitoring phase. The project manager monitors each person or team’s progress along the way to ensure the project is on track to meet the overall deadline and achieve its goals. This phase often happens simultaneously with the execution phase.  
  5. The closing phase. Finally, the project manager ensures the team completed the project to the agreed-upon standards and communicates that the team completed the project. -quoted from Forbes  

 Now let's look at some of the Project Management templates available in the Banana rats Project Manager Toolkit:  


‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Status Report, and;¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Change Request Templates¬†¬†

The Project Initiation Document or Charter  

The Project Manager Toolkit: Project Initiation Template   

 Project Manager Toolkit - Charter - Project Initiation Template

Project Initiation NFT Template

A Project Initiation Document (PID) is issued by the Project Sponsor. The PID formally authorizes the Project and provides a Project Manager with the authority to gain the resources, funding, and approval for the Project. The PID clarifies the project's intent, and clearly defines the project's goals and the sponsors, stakeholders and project team, and governance involved with the project. The PID officially authorizes the Project Manager to commence work and utilize project resources to deliver the project.

The PID lays out the project's goals and outlines how project members, sponsors, and stakeholders will work together to achieve the goals of the project.

The PID allows a Project Manager to commit company resources to the Project; without a PID, the Project can be canceled anytime and can be subject to a health check audit as an unauthorized Project.

Without a Project PID, Projects will have no coherent direction. Project Managers will lack authority. Stakeholders’ expectations will not be managed. The scope of the Project will not be clearly defined.

Benefits of a Project Initiation Document (PID):  

Grants authority to the Project Manager to complete the Project.   

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Explain to the business the importance and existence of the Project.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Demonstrates the executive's support for the Project.¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Defines Project outcomes.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Aligns Project with the organization's objectives and organizational¬†portfolios.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Provides a team with a clear concise reporting system. -Protects team members from scope changes.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Manages stakeholders‚Äô expectations.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Authorizes the existence of the Project or establishes the Project governance.¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Used to secure Project funding.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Defines Project governance and the parameters within which the Project manager is authorized to operate.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Gives the Project Manager authority to spend money and secure resources.¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Provides the high-level requirements for the Project.¬†¬†¬†

‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†Links the Project to the ongoing operations of the organization.¬†¬†

The PID is critical to the success of a Project. The PID builds a foundation for the Project and Team. A PID is a great way to communicate with the Stakeholders and provides direction to the Project Team.

The importance of the PID/Charter cannot be overlooked. It helps ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what they're working to achieve.

Note: Larger projects will require a full Project Charter. The full Project Charter template can be found in Maritime Vintage’s Project manager’s Toolkit.   

The Project Status Report  

The Project Manager Toolkit: Project Status Report Template   

 Project Manager Toolkit - Project Status Report Templte (PMI) 

Status Report NFT Template

A Project status report is a concise document that outlines high-level information about a Project. Regular Project status reports help keep all project members and stakeholders updated and outline how the Project is progressing.

The project status report provides a constant information flow within the project team.  The Project status reports help to answer the questions that the Project Team and Sponsors always seem to be asking.

Project sponsors and stakeholders are always eager to know how the project is doing. A well-designed status reporting process helps to keep sponsors and stakeholders in the loop. Regular status reports will increase their confidence in the project manager and the project.

The project status report is both a communication channel and a documented history of the project.

Project Status Reports help a Project Manager to see all the moving parts instead of flying blind and hoping for the best. Allowing for timely informed decisions, and the ability to justify why you made changes to the project plan, scope, and budget. The status report also helps the project manager and project team to identify risks and any delivery challenges that arise.

Project Managers will get considerably fewer questions about Project status because you are regularly updating Project Sponsors and the Project Team.

When off track, your status report will let others know what the delay is, and what you’re doing to resolve any roadblocks and allow the Project governance processes to kick in.

The Status Report is one of a Project Manager's most important tools.  

The Project Change Request  

The Project Manager Toolkit: Project Change Request Template

Project Manager Toolkit - Project Change Request Template - PMI 

Change Request NFT Template

The change request is one of the Project Manager’s most effective tools. It is used for requesting, approving, and documenting changes to the Project and is an important piece of the project change management process.

Change is always happening on Projects. As a Project Manager, you need to stay on top of change to ensure it doesn’t impact your budget, timeline, or scope. You may not be able to keep Project change from happening…but you can manage it.

To be successful, Project Managers must ensure that proper change management process controls are in place. A well-defined change control process helps to ensure that the Project remains within approved constraints, scope, and budget, and continues to deliver expected benefits.

A change request template is a great tool that can be used by a project team  to document and track ongoing Project changes.

Here are a few simple questions to help you and your team determine how to handle the change:  

What is the change?   

  • Why is the change being introduced?¬†¬†
  • Does the change contribute to our Project goals?¬†¬†
  • What challenges does the change present?¬†

Once you’ve discussed these questions with your team and stakeholders, you can focus on how the change will impact your Projects scope, timeline, and budget. It’s a good idea to get your team together to talk about the level of effort required by the impending change.  

The importance of the Change Request Template cannot be overlooked. It helps ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what they're working to achieve.

In Closing:  

The Project Initiation (Charter), Status Report, and Change Request are three of a Project Manager’s most important tools.  They are the air traffic control system for the project allowing the project manager to get a complete picture of all the moving parts of the project.  They allow the project manager access to timely information and to manage expectations with project sponsors. 

The Banana Rat hopes that these tools are helpful to the delivery of your project and enhance the two-way communication within your project team.  Should you have any questions for the Banana rat, please leave them in the comment section below.  

Author:   The Banana Rat  

Twitter: @TheBananaRat  

Twitter: @Blaise_MV  

Twitter: @MaritimeVintage

1 comment


Not only was this informative; but it was enjoyable to read and well laid out. #GangGang

Leave a comment