Project Work Process Template
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If your role is at the forefront of a team within an organisation, then as the point person it is more than likely there is a frequency in receiving incoming project requests. Received via email, instant message threads, or possibly mentioned during a meeting. Sometimes there might not be any real formal request at all. As information is coming in at all angles, time can be wasted in deciphering what is real and what is just noise.
Avoid situations similar to these scenarios by creating a process that can be replicated over and over. The best approach is to create an intake process template that can be used to streamline work requests and set the team up for success.
The benefits of creating an intake process template
Standardizing the work intake process flow will require some work up front, but the numerous benefits make it well worth it. Below are just a few of the many reasons that project leaders should consider creating a project intake process template.
It improves consistency
Without a defined process in place, it’s far too easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. Project requesters have little understanding of what’s required of them when outlining a project. If there is no established way forward, it can cause confusion and delays.
A well-defined project intake process eliminates that confusion by giving everyone a prescriptive set of steps that must be followed in order to request work from a team.
That streamlined process makes it easy for everyone to know what needs to happen, as well as what will happen next.
Only the needed information is received
It can be a struggle to get ready for a project, ensuring all the required information is received. Then once commenced, there is a vital piece of information missing. Then time is wasted tracking down those important details. The template is used to gather information; the best way to obtain the information needed is via a questionnaire or creative brief that requesters need to fill out. The form should have mandatory fields so the team has all of the information needed from the beginning.
Automation of Information
There is a great possibility that the current project management intake process involves many repetitive tasks, such as project setup, assigning owners and establishing deadlines. Using a template makes it easier to spot repetitive or mundane pieces of the workflow that can easily be automated.
With the centralisation of information and following a template there is a solid grasp of all projects a team is currently working on. A better understanding of workload provides an insight on deadlines and resources and avoids a team being spread thin.
Receiving information via this mechanism is a time saver; this is one of the biggest benefits of using a template to gather information. , Once in place the wheel is not being reinvented each time a new request is received.
The following are the questions a project intake form should include; remember the questions can vary depending on the team setup and the type of project being worked on.
1. Who is the main contact of the project?
Understanding who owns the project is important, so they can be approached for information should clarity or direction be needed.
2. The type of project?
The intake form should ask, what type of project is being requested. It should provide the detail that is needed from the start, so the context of the project is understood. A project management software tool can assist by being used to make it easy to tailor the rest of the questionnaire based on this initial response. Depending on the answer, the subsequent questions will only relate to that type of project, and won’t need to answer any irrelevant questions.
3. The main objective of the project?
The question relating to the overarching objective of the project is important and needs to be understood. That’s something that requesters should be able to clearly articulate when completing the intake form. It should also indicate a key metric for monitoring purposes, so the same information about how success will be defined is understood.
4. The project audience
Every project has a specific audience, and that’s an important perspective to be keeping in mind when working on the requested assignment. Within the intake form, requesters must indicate who the intended audience is, as it could be from an internal team, board of directors, clients or customers or a specific subset of those.
5. The project financials?
The financials or budget is a very important component, it needs to be understood how much can be invested in the project before any commitment of resources is made. The intake form requester should indicate any budgetary constraints, or provide a range that the project needs to fall within.
6. Preferred project completion date
Teams deal with multiple projects at a time, constantly handling these requests from various departments or clients can be challenging. In order to effectively prioritize those, it has to be understood when each project needs to be completed.
Requester should indicate their desired completion date for the project when submitting the initial request. Although not a guarantee, there should be an indication when the project is to be completed. As a project manager best efforts would be made to deliver upon the requested time frame, but it also depends on how much work is being done at the same time. Being able to prioritize is a must here. A note on the form should specify how much notice is needed to complete a typical project.
The following are some other potential questions which an intake form can ask
- Who approved this request?
- Are there any existing files or assets which can be used?
- What call to action should this project include?
- What else should be known about the project?
Remember the process intake form is only the start, as it is best to use templates for the entire project kick off process. So once that form is completed and submitted, then there are other steps to be taken for the request to be placed into the system and it then becomes a project.
By creating and streamlining the intake process by using a template makes the task of deciphering information easier. There are numerous benefits on offer, including improved consistency and plenty of saved time. A process intake form structure should include:
- Receive a completed work request form
- Automatically create tasks and projects
- Automatically assign tasks
- Review the request and relevant tasks
- Confirm request receipt and project timeline
- Host a kick off meeting
By doing this for each and every project request, less time will be spent managing the process and more time focusing on what matters, such as completing the project.