As organizations work to improve their project management maturity level, they often develop methodologies that include standard processes and best practices. However, ensuring project managers consistently initiate new projects according to these standards and processes often proves challenging.

In this mini-article I provide quick tips for enabling easy and consistent project initiation across an organization.

Project Widgets CEO Ira Brown will dive deeper into this topic in his MPUG webinar, “Best Practices for Initiating a New Project Schedule with Microsoft Project,” available on-demand.

Initiating a Project from a Template

When initiating a new project from a project template, there are several ways you can refine the template to appropriately reflect the new project:

  • Adjust the values in the template’s Duration and Work fields for certain tasks, to make it more project-specific
  • When creating a template to be used as the foundation for new projects, you can include all possible tasks that may be performed in the execution of your organizational projects. You can then eliminate unnecessary tasks by filtering on specific task attributes that pertain to the unneeded tasks, and then deleting these tasks from your project.
  • Blocks of tasks or activities can be replicated within a project using Copy and Paste, and also via the Insert: Subproject button.


Two additional techniques I suggest for cranking up projects that align with organizational methodologies is to use Excel to adjust task duration and macros to refine a template.

The Project Initiation Widget application, a Microsoft Project add-on developed by Project Widgets, takes this process to a new level, allowing organizations to easily and consistently adhere to established organizational standards as they initiate new projects. This software automates the new project creation process, leveraging existing project templates and metadata, and providing project initiation flexibility through a dynamic user interface.

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