In early stages of a project, the culture must be figured out ASAP to determine what PM approach is the best fit for success. In addition, often a company will have their own set of templates.  These will also be highly influenced by the culture.  If coming into the project and you have templates used in past projects or other cultures, be prepared to integrate templates as deemed fit.

Don't be afraid to question a company template.  Ask when it was created and by whom.  One of the signs of a mature organization is a formal review and upgrade of all PM tools, systems and templates on an annual basis.  Typical templates include: Charter, Scope Statement, Future Strategies, Lessons Learned, WBS, RAM, Org Chart, Communication Matrix, Resource Matrix, Risk Log, ODA Log, Procurement Plan, Budget, Schedule, Project Plan, etc.

For example, we recently took on a project where the Sponsor has a Charter template they want utilized.  The template does not have any sections focused on the "why".  No sections asking how the project was selected, how it aligns to the business or asking about the justification and or value and why it is important to be completed.  These are critical points within a charter. Also the template had a very definitive budget section, with a plus or minus budget contingency of 10%. Often in a Charter, the plus or minus can be 50% to 100%.

This does not mean it is a bad template, it means that it is different then practices that I would normally follow or that are defined by other Methodologies such as the PMI.  So one must be sure that the approach is also aligned by all stakeholders.  From my perspective, I would want to be within the Initiation Stage and use a Charter Template ( as per the PMI approach).  But they are wanting to jump to the Planning Stage with a budgetary Project Plan Template.

Again, no project is ever cookie cutter and all projects have their different levels of priorities and constraints. So our immediate next step was to ensure everyone was on the same page and as quick as possible, review the overall PM Approach, tools/templates and expectations around each.  This worked well but identified many areas that we had to document in order to "customize" our PM approach all in the name of increasing project success and decreasing project risk.