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Master project documentation template
Big project? Keep everybody in the loop with a single source of truth
Your team cranks so many projects that sometimes the details of get lost or forgotten. That’s why it’s helpful to have a single source of truth the team can refer back to whenever they need to. The team at MURAL uses this template in Confluence to keep a detailed record of their big projects, including objectives, user personas, constraints, and more. Put MURAL’s template to work on your own team, and you’ll have a resource that shares what project was completed, why it matters, who it affects, and how it works. Use this template to establish your goals and metrics, outline competitor research, and identify your major marketing programs and budget needs. Trust us – you’ll be glad to have this resource in your corner.
How to use the master project documentation template
Step 1. Identify the “why” behind your project
In the first two sections of this template, dig into the purpose behind your project. In the Unmet needs section, explain why this project exists in the first place. What do your customers expect to accomplish that they can’t right now and how will this project fix it? In the Objectives section, zero in on what you hope to accomplish. Whether it’s increasing paid signups or improving your user reviews, identify your end game so your team knows what it’s driving toward.
Step 2. Pinpoint your audience
With the “why” out of the way, it’s time to focus on the “who.” In the User personas section of the template, list the customer personas that are the main targets for this change. It’s tough to understand a project as a whole without knowing who it was intended for. So, having this context documented here helps all of your team members better grasp the ins and outs of that project.
Step 3. Outline your job stories
Job stories are a helpful way to frame the problems your users are facing and address how you’ll solve them. In the jobs section of the template, follow the prompts to piece together your own job story using this formula:
When I describe the specific context
I want to describe user need
So I can describe the reason for the need
For example, here’s what a finished job story from MURAL looks like:
When I am doing a design workshop in MURAL and we come up with action items
I want to easily send them to the issue tracker my team uses
So I can keep working without changing my workflow
Step 4. Dig into your history, constraints, and decisions
Your project doesn’t exist in isolation, and it’s important to have a record of past considerations and decisions. In the History section of the template, describe other strategies you tried to address the issue and what you learned. The Constraints section gives you space to note whether this issue is affected by or affects another project, as those are important dependencies to keep in mind. Finally, the Explorations and decisions section is the spot to record other approaches that were considered, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. You don’t want to lose track of what your team brainstorms (even if you don't take action on it for now) – you might just use those nuggets of inspiration later!
Step 5. Map out your releases and next steps
If your project has releases, outline them in the Releases table of the template. The template gives you space to jot down the release name, the value that it adds, and the scope. You can also set a status for each release to track how it’s progressing.
Feel like your project just leads to, well, more projects? That’s normal, and it’s also why jotting down follow-up action items is so important. Whatever needs to be done next, add it as a checklist item in this Next steps space. You can also set a status for each item to help you make sure those things actually get done and don’t fall off your team’s radar.
Step 6. Measure your impact
As much as we’d love to tell you that every single project will be a raging success, you know that isn’t reality. That’s why it’s important to set a benchmark, so you’ll know if your project accomplished what you were expecting. Jot down your benchmark in the Impact section of the template. Whether you hit that mark or not, you’ll be glad to have that metric documented – for both motivation and historical context.
MURAL is the leading digital workspace for visual collaboration. The company enables innovative teams to solve important problems by easily creating diagrams and other visual tools.
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