These folders which you are about to create will store all your project management plans and associated e-files. I am not talking about your back yard projects here!
You will be organizing computer files associated with each project into the project’s specific folder. Elsewhere on this site I will be making available a free project management template but for now we will be creating folders.
You may be a building contractor with lengthy projects or you may be a manufacturer of equipment that requires installation at your client’s site.
Your project starts at the time when a specification is advertised for tendering or when you are approached by a client for a detailed quotation. You will want all documentation relating to a particular project to be filed together from the first notification until the final hand over certificate.
You will be creating a folder for each of your projects. I call these folders project management plans.
Start with your first folder called “Office PROJECTS” which is a branch of your main folder tree which I have called “YOU”.
Creating a Project Template
To facilitate with the creation of new project folders let us first create a template with all the necessary folders which you can later copy, paste and rename with the name of each of your projects.
Start your e book store by creating a folder as a sub-branch of “Office PROJECTS” and call it “X Project Template”.Next we will create new folders within this template. In other words, sub-branches of “X Project Template”.
The first folder we will call “Correspondence”.
This is where you will save all correspondence which has anything to do with this project.
If you have not already done so, please refer to my section on Correctly Naming e-Files in my page entitled How to Create Clients Folders. You will find the link in my Site Content page.
The next folder in your project management plans will be called “Documents”, also as a sub-branch of “X Project Template”. This is where you save all e-documentation relating to this project such as tender documents, tender product specifications and the like.
Now create a folder and name it “Notes” as a branch of “X Project Template”.
♥ Tip ♥
When I phone a client, I make written notes on a notepad. At the end of the conversation I note the date and time. Very often there will be a follow up call. I tear off the page and keep it in my “Follow Up” tray. When I make that follow up call, I enter it in the same piece of paper. Again I make notes of what was discussed and at the end of this current section, date it and note the time. Once all phone conversations relating to this one subject and project are complete, I scan the notes to a PDF file and save it as, for example: “20091123 - 11h30 Phone Note” into the “Notes” folder for this project.
The same applies to notes taken at meetings or at face to face discussions with the client during discussions for this project. Once scanned to PDF files save them as, for example: “20100417 - 14h00 Meeting at Our Office”, into the “Notes” folder.
Remember that only notes which have a direct relation to this project are to be saved here.
Now back to your project management plans folders.
The next folder that you will create is called “Orders”. It is also a sub-branch of “X Project Template”. You will be saving your purchase orders in this folder.
Did you take any photographs of the site?
Create a folder and name it “Photographs” as a sub-branch of “X Project Template” and save them here. Again only photographs relating to this specific project will be saved here.
The last folder in my example is called “Quotes” and it is also a sub-branch of “X Project Template”. As the name suggests you will be saving all quotes relating to this specific project here.Now we will create three new folders as sub-branches of “Office PROJECTS”.
These folders are fundamental to your project management plans.
The first is called “Current”;
The second is named “Lost”,
And the third is “Won”.
From Template to Individual Projects
We will now copy, paste and name the template into document storage box folders for each of your projects. We will assume that all are current projects and thus we will be copying them into the folder named “Current”.
I will create three folders and will name them “0001 Project A, 0002 Project B and 0003 Project C”. You will naturally be naming your folders with your real project numbers and names.
Go ahead and copy, paste the folder “X Project Template” into “Current”. Then rename it with the name of your first project. Mine is “0001 Project A”.
♥ Tip ♥
If you are not sure how to copy and name folders click on the link to open up Computer File Systems – Files and Folders.
Next copy, paste and rename your “X Project Template” to create two additional product folders. Mine are called “0002 Project B and 0003 Project C” respectively and your folder tree should look similar to the one below.
Let us imagine that on the 15th of June 2010 you were awarded the tender for “0001 Project A”.
All you do is this.
Drag and Drop folder “0001 Project A” from “Current” to “Won”.
Then rename it “W2010-06 0001 Project A” where W2010-06 indicates that you won this order in June 2010.
You now continue to insert all the relevant documents into this folder until the final handover to the client and/or the end of the warranty period if applicable. You now have the full history of this project since its inception.
Now because life is as it is, you were unsuccessful with your submission for “0003 Project C”.
The order was given to your opposition in July 2011.
All you do is:
Drag and Drop folder “0003 Project C” from “Current” to “Lost”.
Then rename it “L2011-07 0003 Project C” where L2011-07 indicates that you lost this project in July 2011.
Your folder tree now looks like the one below.
Now that you have the idea, go ahead and create folders for all your current project management plans.
Click on the link below to continue organizing computer files into folders for your office.