Starting a project without a clearly outlined project approval form is like walking onto a soccer pitch without knowing the game’s rules.
The match begins, and you find yourself second-guessing every move you make – all while getting screamed at by your team.
That’s pretty much what happens when you start working on a project without clearly defining project requirements. You’ll face contradictory reviews, and frustrating feedback sessions, with no end in sight.
By the end of the game, the scoreboard will not be in your favor.
To avoid this, you need to put all project planning details on paper from the start: the project schedule, milestones, deliverables, responsibilities, goals, project requests, etc.
A project approval form can help you streamline this process. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Table of contents
- What’s a project approval form?
- Benefits of working with a project approval form
- Key components of a project approval form
- Free project approval form template
What is a project approval form?
If you’ve ever worked on a project where the goalposts keep moving, you understand how frustrating it can be to stay on track.
Maybe the stakeholder changed his mind about what he wants halfway through, and now you have to start over. Maybe the project manager forgot about required assets, causing your team to pull an all-nighter the day before the deadline.
Whatever the problem, these problems arise because of a lack of documentation and clarity about the project from the start.
A project approval form helps teams avoid these types of issues. It’s a document used to formally approve a proposed project. It includes project details such as project title, objectives, any associated risks, approval dates, etc. The form also contains project information about who will be responsible for completing the project and how it will be funded.
Using a project approval form helps ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding the scope of a project and its associated risks. It also raises the odds that the project is completed on time and within budget.
And the benefits don’t stop here!
Benefits of working with a project approval form
The best project managers understand the importance of working with project approval forms. They know these forms can have a huge impact on a project’s development, as well as on communication among stakeholders.
Let’s follow in their footsteps and get familiar with some key benefits of working with project approval forms.
Benefit #1: Increased transparency
Transparency helps people make informed decisions about their involvement and determine which parts of the project will affect them most.
Following this, you can develop a communication plan sharing important updates and milestones. When everyone knows what is expected of them and what their teammates are working on, it’s easier to identify potential issues.
Transparency also allows for better communication and collaboration because everyone is on the same page – or knows what page they’re on! Ultimately, this leads to a more successful project where everyone is happy with the final product.
Benefit #2: Clear roles and responsibilities
The success or failure of a project often relies on good management.
It’s the soccer match all over again: enter the pitch with a solid strategy and understanding of the game, and your chances of winning grow exponentially.
One of the competitive advantages that a project approval form provides is setting clear roles and responsibilities from the get-go. This way, everyone is aware of their individual tasks and is held accountable for completing them.
Clear responsibilities also help ensure clarity between stakeholders, as everyone knows exactly what is expected of them.
Benefit #3: Time savings
Having an approval form on hand will help establish a standardized project approval process for each task that comes your way.
You’ll save time and resources by streamlining the process since you won’t have to reinvent the wheel each time a new project comes up. 🙌
With a template in place, you can quickly fill out the form and submit it for approval, thus speeding up the completion of the project.
Benefit #4: Better productivity
Besides improving time management, project approval forms also boost productivity – and save you a lot of time and headaches down the road.
One of your most important responsibilities is ensuring your team is always on the same page. This can be difficult when multiple stakeholders are involved. Misunderstandings can easily lead to project delays and cost overruns.
One way to minimize miscommunication is to use project approval forms. By having everyone involved sign off on key decisions, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start.
On the soccer field, if you know your responsibilities and your role in the overall strategy of the game, you can better focus on meeting expectations. It’s the same way when working on a project.
A standardized form helps everyone know the interdependencies between tasks and understand how their work and decisions affect others.
Benefit #5: Greater end-product quality
All of these benefits lead to one outcome: the creation of higher-quality projects (or three points for winning a match if we return to the soccer analogy).
Either way, you deliver and maybe even exceed expectations.
Using a project approval form can lead to more focus on specific tasks, better time management, and greater visibility into the workflow – and ultimately, higher quality end products.
Requiring all stakeholders to sign off on project requirements ensures that everyone is on the same page and takes the guesswork out of the process.
This helps avoid misunderstandings that can easily lead to costly mistakes instead of delivering the desired product.
Having everyone sign off on the project also creates a sense of ownership and commitment, which motivates people to do their best work!
“How should a project approval form look to deliver such results?” you might ask.
Key components of a project approval form
You already know what project approval forms can do for your business. But to fully reap their benefits, you need a good structure.
Here are the most important elements of a project approval form:
- Company Name
- Start & End Dates
- Project Benefits – what key benefits will this project deliver?
- Project Scope
- Project Name
- Project Leader
- Roles and Responsibilities – assigning clearly defined duties to each person working on the project is essential.
- Budget – a project approval form clearly stating the budget will allow for little or no room for cost changes across the project. If not clearly defined from the start, this may cause roadblocks later on.
- Schedule – to maximize productivity, having a schedule in place from the get-go is imperative. Make sure you put it on the project approval form.
- Resources – here, you should outline any resources like software or other tools needed to complete the project.
- Deliverables – what deliverables should you provide during any of the project phases?
- Milestones – just like the schedule, setting milestones (key due dates) across the project improves productivity and provides a clear understanding of the project’s development.
This may look like a lot of work, but it will save you time in the long run.
The good news: you can always take the shortcut and download our free project approval form template below. 👇
Free project approval form template
If you’re looking for an easy, quick way to create your project approval form, look no further.
The following project approval form template is fully customizable and ready to use for your next successful project.
Our project approval form template contains all the elements we’ve talked about so you can start planning any type of project like a pro and lead your team to victory.
Download our project approval form template!
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When the game is over, and the referee blows the whistle, you wanna be on the winning side.
With project approval forms, you’re halfway to successfully completing your projects.
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