For a couple of years now, you’ve heard me talk about setting yourself up to repeat successes and how you need to create processes so you can stop reinventing the wheel. You might have also heard me mention that using templates to start projects is an effective way to start to manage like you mean it. But, where do you start? How do you get set up with a project management template?
I usually don’t “sell” things on my blog posts. The main goal is to provide free value to you so that you can manage your projects better on your own. But, after 30 years of project management across several industries, including 8 years of managing projects in the FileMaker space, I have created a standard project management template and some supporting processes that can be used by any FileMaker developer to add structure to his business. And you need to know about it!
While it is not free, it will put some structure around your projects, to help you run them – instead of them running you. The template gives you a starting place for all new projects. It contains pretty much everything you can think of happening in a FileMaker project, and allows you to the remove the tasks that aren’t necessary for a smaller undertaking. (It’s a lot easier to delete than it is to remember to add!)
The Project Management Template
- the tasks surrounding the project
- a kickoff call
- FileMaker licensing
- alpha, beta and reporting testing
- closing a project
Note that the steps for the actual project will come from your proposal. These tasks are not “templatable” and will need to be individually managed for each individual project. But the template gives you the structure to do it.
In addition, we will create a new operations project for your internal team to house the written processes on how to start projects, how to manage change and how to communicate with clients. Other tips and useful information are included, along with best practices. We will also include repeatable to-dos/tasks that can be used across projects as needed.
Lastly, you will get verbiage for communications to go out at specific intervals throughout the project to help educate clients on next steps and how to use your software properly. The goal is to avoid overwhelming them all at once with details that they will forget, and instead spread the communication out at the appropriate times in the timelines. These communications are invaluable and positioned at exactly the right places in the template.
We don’t just install and leave you to it. In an optional one-on-one virtual meeting, we will walk you through the process and template, explaining how to use it. Coaching sessions provide the opportunity for one-on-one Q&A after you have started using the template and process. Plus, you can also have access to a Slack channel, which will include other clients who have also purchased a Project Management Template. You can contact Beyond the Chaos through direct messages or gain insight from other users – on the fly, as you need help.
It’s important to note that if you lay the hammer beside the nail and wait, you won’t get a hammered-in nail. The template is no different and is not magic. You still have to use the tool! The support options can take you beyond just having the tools to using them well.
Training to Customize Your Template
In some cases, you might want to add your own personal flair or modify the base structure of the template to accommodate your business. If you want assistance on how to customize your template to make it your own, we will explain some basics of how to do that in a one-on-one virtual meeting. You will learn to evolve your processes and template as you grow and change to keep them current to your current situation.
If you are seeking a customized project management template, designed especially for your business, please contact us. This product is a standardized template that will apply to the majority of FileMaker developers.
Teamwork vs. Basecamp 2
If you aren’t using either of these solutions or one similar, how do you know what to choose? And why Basecamp 2 vs. Basecamp 3?
First, I usually recommend you start with Basecamp 2 if you aren’t using anything. Its interface and tools are a clean, simple way to start managing like you mean it. You can always upgrade to Basecamp 3 if you wish – and bring your template and process over with you, but the product is quite different. It provides some new features but also eliminates the ability to seamlessly interact with your client. And, that’s the biggest reason I recommend Basecamp 2.
If you are already using Basecamp 2 but want MOAR, Teamwork is a great tool that brings Gantt charts, KanBan boards, subtasks and time tracking into play. I recommend that you move to this product after you are comfortable with project management, but it can be very overwhelming at first. The great news? Teamwork allows you to import Basecamp 2 or 3 projects, as well as those from Asana, Trello, and Wrike.
Learn more by visiting the product pages and let us help you get beyond the chaos.