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Better Results and Happier Teams with Great Project Templates

Why a full kit of Project and Lean Six Sigma templates will improve your work and your life!

A common headache for anyone working on a project is pulling together all the work of the team in a cohesive, clear, accurate and thorough way. Most teams rely on a combination of their own documentation, tons of overlapping and outdated files on the shared drive and meetings full of messy white boards that made sense at the time but that usually lose a LOT in translation.

For a team of any kind working to achieve a goal (uhhh…that’s every team!), having a set structure to work within, creates a clear path of what needs to be done. And importantly, allows visibility into what is yet to be done, in progress and what is done. This is much more than just a To Do list or a Project Plan.

Running a successful and efficient project requires that the team is using the right tools for the job. Running a Root Cause Analysis project or a Lean Six Sigma project requires that the project leader and team understand how and when to use the many possible tools. In most cases, the teams are left to either search the web, look through their old files or create their own version of the tool or method. This is extremely time consuming and results in a haphazard approach for each step of the project and also makes it really difficult to pull together effective communications about the project. A simple search of any Project or Lean Six Sigma tool will result in thousands of options for mis-matched tools in all types of formats from very specialized software to the most basic (and least useful!) .pdf form. While this is great for a one-time tool need, it makes for a greatly disjointed and sloppy overall effort.

Saving time, reducing costs, and having multiple members of a team with different levels of expertise working together are other common challenges that affect improvement efforts every day. One method that has proven success for all these is the use of a common set of templates.

This post is about the importance of using templates, the advantages and some other considerations.

What do we mean by templates? Templates are a set of standard worksheets that you can utilize to guide the work of the team, and to provide visual and cognitive continuity. By using a template, all work within the project and across projects of all kinds will follow a similar roadmap, and will have the same look and feel. They are a framework for the content and communications of the project.

The Cannsult Lean Six Sigma certification online courses include hundreds of templates to guide the team to success and to provide excellent and consistent graphical documentation of the project.

Here are the top 6 reasons for using consistent templates for any improvement effort

1. Flexibility

When you use a well-designed template, the team can focus clearly on what needs to be done without the distraction of creating their own version of a tool or method. They will have the flexibility to choose which tools will work best for their current scenario.

2. Ease of Use

All of Cannsult templates are designed in Excel – no special software is needed. Hints and Notes are there to remind the user of definitions and purpose of fields. Color coding and automated calculations take a lot of the administrative work away from the team allowing more time for the meaningful tasks of improvement and innovation.

3. Reduce Time

Anyone who has led or participated in a project knows how much time is spent faffing around on a whiteboard trying to brainstorm, organize ideas, develop options or make decisions. Not to mention creating, storing and searching for documents. Using a complete set of templates takes this hassle away and streamlines the work of the team. Our estimates are that using templates will save at least 50% of project time.

4. Consistency

A project goes through multiple phases. And for any organization there are usually multiple projects going on at any given time. Having different ways of working, different paths, and all different types of formats to present key information quickly becomes a schlamozzle to manage!

5. Focus

As a leader (of the project or of the entire organization), you have to try to gather a sense of what is progressing, what requires your attention and what decisions must be made. With a consistent approach using a set of templates, this hassle goes away. And again, the real work can be done so much more efficiently and so much better as the teams are able to focus.

6. Complete & Accurate

Without a template or a guide for elements that need to be completed, how do we know when something’s missing? Using well-designed templates allow us visibility into what needs to be done as well as providing a structure to guide us for greater accuracy.

For Root Cause Analysis (or Green Belt DMAIC projects), our Green Belt Certification course includes the following interactive, instructional and easy Excel templates

* FREE the link to download!

For Leaders or Project Sponsors, our Blue Belt Certification course includes the following interactive, instructional and easy Excel templates

* FREE the link to download!

For Kaizen (or Rapid Improvement Event) Facilitators, our certification course includes the following interactive, instructional and easy Excel templates

  • Kaizen/RIE Project Criteria

  • Team Selection

  • Project Charter

  • Root Cause Evidence

  • Participant Training Plan

  • Kaizen/RIE Event Agenda

  • Logistics and Supplies

  • Stakeholder Communication

  • Event Leadership Welcome

  • Interim Briefing

  • Pilot Plan Checklist

  • Implementation Checklist

  • Action Items & Parking Lot

  • Validate Results

For more info on our globally accredited, 100% online, self-paced certification courses, click the links below:

White Belt Certification

Yellow Belt Certification

Green Belt Certification

Project Sponsor Certification (Blue Belt)

Black Belt Certification