Useful File Naming Conventions

I use a set of standard file naming conventions to make it easy to organizing quickly find the files I need, and to quickly know what a file concerns without opening the file.
I start all file names of a group of related files with a project name. I keep the name short and to the point, and will use abbreviations if they make sense.
Example project names

LP_ for loss prevention
Q2B_ for 2nd quarter budgets
BR_ business review

I end files with several different tags.

_wc for working copy
_rc for release candidate
_final for final copy

Working copy is used to identify files I’m working on but are not complete – works in progress. Release candidate identifies documents that are complete, but need final approval or proof-reading. Final identifies files that are finished, approved, and ready to be distributed.
Example project names

BR_cover sheet_final.docx - business review cover sheet, final version
NL_may 2017_rc.docx - newsletter for May 2017, release candidate

Folder Organization
File Naming Conventions

Advertisements

Useful Email Subjects

I use the following in my email subjects to improve the clarity of my emails. 

  1. [ACTION] An action or series of actions must be completed. This email should be considered a ‘to do’ item.
  2. [COORD] Coordination by or with the recipient is required. 
  3. [DECISION] Requires a decision by recipient. 
  4. [INFO] For informational purposes only, requires no action or response by recipient. 
  5. [REQUEST] Seeks permission or approval. 
  6. [SIGN] Requires signature. 

For example the subject of an email might be “[DECISION] 4Q bonus targets”. The subject lines now give an indicator to the reader of your expectation, and allows them to quickly process your email. Additionally, the quality of the responses you receive when using these will greatly improve.

I will also use EOM in the subject line if the entire message is contained in the subject. “The flight now lands at 4pm gate 32 EOM” lets the reader know that the entire message is contained in the subject, and there is no need to open the email. 

If the email is lengthy or involved I will often begin an email with “Bottom Line:” followed by specific item, information, or decision I need.  For example I may put “Bottom Line: We need to decrease 4Q budgets to 5% of YOY sales.”, and then follow that with all of my supporting information. This makes sure that I am upfront with what I need when it’s possible my message is long or involved and fear the primary message may be missed.

Simple Project Postmortem

This simple, plain text Project Postmortem can easily be copied into a Word document or the body of an email. It is designed to quickly provide a clear, concise analysis of your project so you better plan future projects.

Use this to analyze your Simple Project Plan Template’s success or failure.

Project Name:
Start date: mm/dd/yyyy
Due date: mm/dd/yyyy
Description: 
-
Project success was determined by the following conditions:
1. Condition
2. Condition
3. Condition
The following success conditions were met with the following results:
1. Condition, result
2. Condition, result
The following success conditions were NOT met:
1. Condition
2. Condition
---
Overall project assessment:
Score the project according to the measures provided below. [4 Outstanding, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Unsatisfactory]
[4/3/2/1] Was the overall project successful?
[4/3/2/1] Was the project completed within by the project due date?
[4/3/2/1] Were all of the success conditions met?
[4/3/2/1] How good was the project planning?
[4/3/2/1] How was the communication between team members?
[4/3/2/1] How was the communication between the project team and the supervisor?
[4/3/2/1] How was the cooperation between team members?
Copy and paste scoring to add any additional questions.
---
Key Accomplishments
1. What went right?
2. What worked well?
3. What was found to be particularly useful?
4. Project highlights
Key Problem Areas
1. What went wrong?
2. What project processes didn’t work well?
3. What specific processes caused problems?
4. What were the effects of key problems areas (i.e. on budget, schedule, etc.)?
5. Technical challenges
---
Lessons learned:
1. Item
2. Item
3. Item
---
Post project tasks/Future considerations:
1. Ongoing maintenance requirements?
2. What tasks or activities still need to be completed.
---

Copyright 2017 Deran Durant (djdurant@me.com PGP fingerprint: 2FDF 77D2 34D4 F621 EDD0 571F B065 8544 331B C43A). License: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/]

 

Simple Project Plan Template

This Simple Project Plan Template is a useful plain text template that you can copy and paste into a Word document or body of an email. This template is concise, and designed on getting the project done.

Use the Simple Project Postmortem to analyze your project’s success or failure.

Project Name:
Start date: mm/dd/yyyy
Due date: mm/dd/yyyy
Description: 
-
(Optional)Roles and responsibilities:
1. Stakeholder / Role / Responsibility
2. Stakeholder / Role / Responsibility
3. Stakeholder / Role / Responsibility
-
Project success will be determined by the following conditions:
1. Condition
2. Condition
3. Condition
-
(Optional)Project constraints, risks, or roadblocks. 
1. Constraint, risk , or roadblock.
2. Constraint, risk , or roadblock.
3. Constraint, risk , or roadblock.
---
Resources required to complete this project:
1. (Person, information, or item needed.)
2. (Person, information, or item needed.)
3. (Person, information, or item needed.)
---
Milestone 1 [Complete by: mm/dd/yyyy]
Description: 
Tasks
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
-
Milestone 2 [Complete by: mm/dd/yyyy]
Description: 
Tasks
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
-
Milestone 3 [Complete by: mm/dd/yyyy]
Description: 
Tasks
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
[ ] Task description. [Delegated to: name, Due mm/dd/yyyy]
-
Copy and paste additional milestone blocks as needed.
---

Copyright 2017 Deran Durant (djdurant@me.com PGP fingerprint: 2FDF 77D2 34D4 F621 EDD0 571F B065 8544 331B C43A). License: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/]