Home > Project Planning/Estimating > Templates
Templates are one of the most powerful features of 4c - using templates can make building projects quick, consistent and error-free.
Your templates can be modelled on a standard project management methodology (such as PRINCE2) so that you can be sure that the correct project structure is being used for all projects.
A template can consist simply of a list of standard tasks which happen together to complete a discrete piece of work. The tasks can be linked together (have dependencies defined) and standard resources (skills) allocated. Each task may have a standard duration or effort. You can also model the pattern of cost expenditure over time using cost profiling.
You can refine the template by using Factors which, when entered at project creation, will adjust the resources and/or duration according to the factor entered: this means that variations in size or complexity of projects can be catered for.
Each template can be associated with a standard Phase and Activity (Stage and Product): when the templates are used to build the project schedule, the structure is created automatically.
Templates can be linked to each other, by defining dependencies between tasks in different templates, so a complete network is generated when linked templates are selected to build the project. This is a unique feature of 4c: in the 9th Edition of his standard work "Project Management", Dennis Lock says:
"Most programs capable of merging templates into whole project networks do not possess the capability of 4c and not observe the links between interface activities on the different templates. The planner will then have to enter these links separately after the merging process." (Page 490)
You can attach other elements to a template:
When you create a project, you can choose the template(s) you want to use, enter any relevant factors and process them. All the tasks and other elements belonging to the selected template(s) are copied into the project. Links between templates become task dependencies, thus giving you a complete networked plan immediately, which can be seen on the Gantt Chart (barchart) or a Precedence Network (PERT/CPM or Logic Chart).
If the templates you choose are associated with phases and activities, the breakdown structure is automatically generated. You can then make the necessary adjustments to "tune" the plan to the specific project requirements.
You can download a PDF file of case studies involving the use of 4c Templates (76kb).