At least one hundred times the last few years, while introducing collegues and clients to our processes, the infamous "Where are the templates?"-question popped up.
For some reason lots of people think using a process is mostly filling in the templates. And who is to blame them, as the templates that are offered nowadays contain a lot of process knowledge inside the template. I suppose you all have seen the blue printed guidance (InfoBlue) in RUP templates.
At my former company, we extended the RUP process website to include the companies best practices and to tweak the processes to the companies preferred toolset (not being the Rational toolset). We proudly presented the result to the company and asked their opinion. The (by far) number one remark was that they missed a way to quickly get to the templates.
In my opinion, as all future users of the process would be given extensive training, the need for this quick access to the templates would quickly be gone. After the course everybody would be able to find the artifacts and accompanying templates themselves and would know when and how to use them.
In my opinion, adding the quick access to the templates would do more harm than be helpful, as it would encourage people to jump to the templates and use them without thinking.
I considered easy access to templates to be harmful, but was alone in my opinion. At least I thought I was.
I also found out that the catchy title of my blogpost was not as original as I thought. "Templates considered harmful" is good for 155 hits on Google.