Over time, a project manager will typically have worked on a number of projects, probably for many different organisations. During this time the project manager will have developed and / or gained exposure to many different ways that organisations deliver projects. It is fair to say that there will be some instances that went very well, some that went very badly and the majority in between.
Delivering projects successfully is a challenge. If it was not, there would be no need for project managers. Therefore, it is in the interest of a project manager to take action to help improve the odds of succesful delivery.
This is where standardisation to the project delivery can be a great benefit. The use of standards means that a project should be executed using tools and processes based that are designed to achieve succesful delivery.
By using standard tools and processes, it should mean that all of the project routines like planning, risk & issue management, change control, dependency management, status reporting etc are completed to the appropriate standard. This means that the information can be captured and managed to help avert situations that will impact delivery.
In fact, just having standards greatly reduces the risk that something will be missed. Having a set approach should mean that important project routine tasks are not missed, such as reviewing risks and issues on a regular basis. This is important as when a project team is in the middle of delivery with a lot of activity, without established routines, there is a risk something will be missed.
Many organisations recognise the benefit of having an established approach to delivering a project. It is for this reason that they have invested in building and training their teams on using standard tools and processes. Having standards also helps when it comes to consolidating information from many projects so that consolidated reports can be used across and organisation.
The use of standards, especially in the form of project templates, will greatly help a project manager. Instead of them having to design and build their own approach, they can simply follow the defined standards. This presents a great time saving. It also means that they can focus on the project and not the tools.
If you are a project manager starting at a new organisation or a new project manager, make sure you check to see what standards (tools and processes) are available and seek the help to use them on your project. If there are not any, then look to re-use what has worked for you before. If you do not have any readily available, there is always the option to buy established templates, a great time saver as opposed to developing your own.
In closing, the use of standards will greatly increase the chance of successful delivery of your project.