20 Best Project Plan Templates to Simplify Your Planning Process

Achieving project goals could become a little easier with the help of project plan templates.

A running project with your team that ends well brings smoothness to your work life. A project plan template provides a proper outline of the tasks, timelines, resources, deliverables, and objectives – all that is required to complete a project successfully. Creating a project plan from scratch for each project can be time-consuming and challenging. That’s where project plan templates come in. They provide a framework for creating a project plan quickly and efficiently.

In this article, we have listed the 20 best templates for project management that you can use to facilitate your project planning process. These templates cover a range of project types and industries and can be customized to fit the specific needs of your project.

What is a Project Plan Template

To understand the project plan templates, first, we will see what is precisely in project planning. A project planning template drafts the project’s intents and purposes, detail the tasks and methods for achieving them, and specifies the resources that will be required, as well as the budgets and completion dates with them.

A project plan template is designed with all the required elements to make a project work smoothly and effectively. It can be served as a guide to its members and keep track of every step and updates them accordingly.

A project plan template functions as –

A Structure: A project plan template is structured to help project managers to organize their thoughts and ideas systematically and logically. The whole thing identifies the critical components of a project and provides a roadmap for the project team to follow.

A Time Saver: It is a pre-designed framework that can be customized according to the specific needs of a project; it allows project managers to focus on the unique parts of their projects.

What is a Project Plan Template

Quality Improver: A project plan template improves consistency by ensuring that all projects are planned and executed similarly. This helps in reducing errors and improving the quality of deliverables.

A Great Organizer: A project plan template facilitates communication by providing a common language and structure for discussing project details. It helps in ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page and have a clear understanding of project goals, timelines, and milestones.

A project plan template provides a centralized location for project-related information. It helps ensure that project team members know their roles and responsibilities and can collaborate effectively to achieve project objectives. All of these keep the projects organized and make it easy to understand the project’s needs.

Who Uses it and Why?

From an organization handling thousands of projects to a single-handled small business owner, students with academic projects of them can use a template for project management. Using Project management templates is an intelligent practice in various industries and project types, including construction, software development, marketing campaigns, and event planning. They provide a standardized approach to managing projects and ensure that all key aspects are covered in the planning and execution process.

Here is the key user list that uses Project Plan Templates and the reason why they use it :

Project Managers: Project managers use project plan templates to organize and track project tasks, timelines, and resources. They use it to ensure the project is delivered within budget and on time.

Team Leaders: Team leaders use project plan templates to delegate tasks to team members, monitor progress, and ensure that team members are working towards the project’s goals.

Small Business Owners: Small business owners use project plan templates to plan and manage projects such as marketing campaigns, product launches, and even business-place relocations.

Freelancers: Freelancers use project plan templates to plan and manage their own projects, whether it is designing a website or writing a book.

Students: Students use project plan templates to plan and manage academic projects such as research papers, thesis, or capstone projects.

What is Project management in Project Plan Template?

Project planning is crucial for any project management workflow. Project management is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific project goals and objectives within a specified time frame. In a project plan template, project management refers to the techniques and strategies used to manage a project effectively from start to finish.

Project management for project plan templates typically includes the following elements:

  • Scope Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Resource Management
  • Risk Management
  • Communication Management
  • Quality Management

A project management outline involves all the steps required to complete the project. A project management outline example is supposed to provide a high-level overview of the project’s key stages and activities. Each section of a project management outline can be further detailed, depending on the project’s complexity and scope.

20 Best Project Plan Templates

Now we know what a project plan template is and why it has been used. Let’s check out the twenty best project plan templates which could potentially increase productivity and streamline your planning process.

1.  Gantt Chart

This template helps visualize the project timeline and task dependencies. Project managers can easily see the tasks in a project timeline with a Gantt chart template.

There are stacked bars/colored bars used in this template to illustrate the project schedule, which is typically composed of a spreadsheet for task listing.

With this template, you may add start and end dates, assignees, and a percentage of completion for each phase and task of a project. It can be edited collectively by your team after being shared with them. This is a great time mapping template to keep work organized.

With this template, you may add start and end dates, assignees, and a percentage of completion for each phase and task of a project. It can be edited collectively by your team after being shared with them. This is a great time mapping template to keep work organized. The organizational advantages of Gantt Chart are numerous, it provides a structured, visual representation of project tasks and timelines.

Gantt Chart

2.  Task List

A task list template defines a specific set of tasks needed to finish a project.

This template is useful for tracking tasks and their status, as well as assigning tasks to team members.

The task lists are typically made at the beginning of a project. and are accepted by all team members and stakeholders.

Simple tasks can be managed with the help of an MS Word document template. This allows you to make a task list and monitor its advancement. This is one of the free project plan templates available.

Task List

Image Source : SmartSheet.com

3.  Project Budget

Developing and administrating a precise budget is an essential part of project management. Utilize the project budget template with a clear project plan to create a strong budget that will enable you to accurately anticipate your expenditures and control those costs throughout your project.

At the start of any project, users develop a budget. To prepare the assigned funds, the estimation of the costs helps to be as exact as planned.

This template helps manage project costs and ensure that the project stays within budget.

Project Budget

Image Source : PlanYard.com

4.  Risk Management Template

Another great project planner template is the Risk Management template. Any project must find out its risks. This template is useful for identifying and managing potential risks that could impact the project.

As soon as a project starts, you must closely monitor it to identify problems as they materialize. The quicker you identify problems, the less of an impact they will have and the quicker you can fix them. With the free project dashboard template for Excel, you can make graphs that measure your workload, expenses, and other things.

Risk Management Template

Image Source : Asset.asana.biz

5.  Communication Plan

This template outlines how you’ll communicate with your project members and stakeholders so that it is understood correctly and directed toward the right person. It also specifies when exactly you will do it. Also, using this communication plan template will allow you to record the objectives, target audiences, communication tactics, and actions.

This template defines communication channels and protocols between team members and stakeholders.

 

Communication Plan

Image Source : Assets-global.website

6.  Resource Allocation

The template helps figure out the skill sets needed to finish the assigned tasks for multiple works. It also helps estimate the time needed to complete those tasks.

It arranges your resource capacity or chooses who will work on what tasks based on anticipated availability and your project schedule.

This template is useful for managing project resources, including personnel, equipment, and materials.

Resource Allocation

Image Source :  SmartSheet.com

7.  Project Schedule

With no need for the elaborate Gantt chart features, you may construct a straightforward timeline for your project using this project schedule template. The task descriptions are entered within the schedule rather than to the left, as in other Gantt charts, which were meant to create a visually pleasing project overview. You may use this for a school project or include it in a presentation.

This template helps create a detailed schedule of all project activities and milestones.

Project Schedule

Image Source : SmartSheet.com

8.  Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

For planning a project, a crucial step is breaking down the work into manageable tasks and deliverables; which is called work breakdown structure in project management.

The work breakdown structure template lets you break your big projects into tiny tasks. Using the work breakdown structure template, you can see your deliverables and the activities and subtasks required to complete.

This template lets you complete your project by making the tasks more manageable.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Image : Projectmanager.com

9.  Project Proposal

Writing a winning proposal is made simpler with the help of a project proposal template. Using the template’s outline as a guide, add and change material as you tailor your paper to include all your customer needs to know. It defines fields for adding project goals, scope, and objectives.

This template is useful for outlining project goals, scope, and objectives and presenting them to stakeholders for approval.

Project Proposal

Image Source : SmartSheet.com

10.  Project Charter

The Project Charter templates are easy to list general project details. It makes the  project management outline process easy. The template has dedicated fields to describe everything about the project’s goals, parameters, and roles. This template helps establish project authority, define scope, and outline roles and responsibilities. A project charter template outlines a project’s goals, parameters, and necessary resources. To get buy-in and permission from stakeholders, project managers might use an action plan template to lay out the project.

Project Charter

Image Source : Projectmanager.com

11.  Change Management Plan

The Change Management Plan outlines and keeps track of all the data required to manage project change successfully from planning to completion. The project’s planning phase is when the change management plan template is used the most. This template is useful for managing project scope or plan changes. The goal of the template is to manage the entire change lifecycle, allowing for the implementation of good changes with the least possible impact.

Change Management Plan

Image Source : Res.cloudinary.com

12.  Quality Management Plan

The template clearly defines how the quality of the project has been ensured.

This template is useful for ensuring that project deliverables meet quality standards.  It includes the goals, benchmarks, assignments of roles and tasks, and control mechanisms. It is a great component of the project management strategy.

Using the template, any quality-related issue raised in the project can be identified easily.  It ensures the application of pertinent standards.

Quality Management Plan

Image Source : SmartSheet.com

13.  Stakeholder Management

A stakeholder management plan provides a systematic and proactive approach to managing stakeholders’ expectations, needs, and concerns. Having a well-defined stakeholder management plan template allows project managers and organizations to avoid stakeholder-related issues that could negatively impact project success, such as delays, increased costs, or reputation damage. Additionally, a stakeholder management plan can help organizations build positive relationships with stakeholders, increase stakeholder engagement and support, and improve the overall project or organizational outcomes.

Stakeholder Management

Image Source : SmartSheet.com

14.  Project Status Report

It captures a project’s present state in regard to its progress and health. It serves as a reporting and auditing tool for communicating important information to project participants, including clients, funders, and/or team members.

This template is useful for providing regular updates on project progress to stakeholders.

It is a template that helps to routinely communicate and track how a project is developing compared to the official project plan. It is often discussed with project stakeholders, clients, and/or team members at weekly or biweekly status meetings.

Project Status Report

Image Source : Binaries.templates.cdn

15.  Action Plan

This is a project manager’s planning guide template for visualizing the processes needed to complete a project successfully. These action stages are further divided into action items, which are smaller tasks.

The personnel, time, and resources required to effectively finish the project are all described in a project action plan template, making it a crucial tool for project planning. It comprises a timeline that groups tasks according to their importance and the team members in charge of each one.

This template is useful for outlining specific actions that need to be taken to achieve project goals.

Action Plan

Image Source : SmartSheet.com

16.  Issue Log

This template is useful for tracking project issues and identifying solutions.

According to priority, the template arranges the problems. Sorting options include low, medium, high, and crucial. The template lets you find out all of them. The issues can be set with the opening date. The template made it easy to view issues, making it simpler to track and fix them. Managers and teams will have more control over problems with this template. Some of the templates feature filtering issues with tags, it also supports the capability of letting teams identify issues and allowing users to view only those tasks that have the tag issues.

Issue Log

Image Source : Prince2.wiki

17.  Lessons Learned

A tool that aids project teams in recording the knowledge acquired while carrying out a project is a lessons-learned template. This template expertise is made up of both successful and unsuccessful project-related experiences. These experiences are divided into victories and issues using a free Excel lesson plan template. This template is useful for reflecting on the project and identifying areas for improvement in future projects.

 

Lessons Learned

Image Source : SmartSheet.com 

18.  Scope Statement

This template is useful for defining the project scope and ensuring all stakeholders understand the project objectives clearly. An overview for drafting a thorough scope of work for a building project is provided by this template. A project summary, scope breakdown, timeline (with start and completion dates), and a list of the company’s deliverables and reporting are all included in this part.

Scope Statement

Image Source : Projectmanager.com

19.  Requirements Traceability Matrix

A requirement traceability matrix template documents the connection between standards and other artifacts. It is employed to demonstrate that all the conditions have been met. Also, it frequently records needs, tests, test results, and problems. It associates test cases with user requirements and maps them. Notwithstanding the fact that the needs traceability matrix is a reusable template, there are other benefits to adopting it. It aids in goal achievement, to start. A need is recorded at its inception, and you use the free tool to adhere to it throughout the program. This guarantees that you are meeting the demands of that demand and providing the supporting evidence.

This template is useful for tracking project requirements and ensuring they are met.

Requirements Traceability Matrix

Image Source : Projectmanager.com

20.  Procurement Plan

The template Makes roles and duties crystal clear. Establish a plan of action.

Determines the danger and takes steps to reduce it. Identify the associated costs.

The planning template creates standards and a process. Manages the vendors.

Processes for review and additional approval. Overall this template is useful for managing project procurement activities, including identifying vendors and managing contracts.

Procurement Plan

Image Source : Stakeholdermap.com

Conclusion

A solid project plan is essential for achieving success in any project. Utilizing a project plan template saves time and ensures that your project plan covers all the necessary elements. The 20 project plan templates highlighted in this report provide various options for different project types and industries. Whether you are managing a construction project, software development project, or marketing campaign, there is a template that can help you get started. So, choose the template that best fits your needs and make a project plan today. Also, check out the industries we serve at Workalistic.

FAQ

1. What is a Project Management Template?

A project management template is a structured tool that provides a design for planning, executing, and controlling a project. It is a standard format or framework that project managers use to ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the desired quality.

2. Why Do You Need a Project Management Template?

Project management templates are needed for the sake of planning, executing, and monitoring projects. Here are some reasons why you might need a project management template:

  • To bring consistency and reduce the risk of errors and missed out tasks.
  • To save time by providing a structure that is already established and can be adapted and adjusted following the needs of the specific project.
  • Templates can help you better plan a project by providing a framework for identifying project goals, defining project scope, and creating a project schedule.
  • Templates can serve as a communication tool between team members, stakeholders, and sponsors by providing a common language and understanding of the project.
  • Templates can help keep team members responsible by providing clear expectations for deliverables, timelines, and responsibilities.

3. What are the Most Popular Project Plan Methodologies?

While there are many project plan methodologies available and are used in project management, here are some of the most popularly used ones:

  • The Waterfall method
  • Agile methodology
  • Scrum methodology
  • Kanban methodology
  • Lean methodology
  • PRINCE2 methodology
  • Six Sigma methodology

4. What are the Benefits of Using a Project Plan Template?

  • Make standardizing and simplifying business simple.
  • Project managers and users can save time in their daily tasks.
  • Regardless of the project they are working on, everyone in the firm can recognize procedures and checklists.
  • Simple to make changes and customize to an existing project template.
  • It makes it easy to upgrade the currently running project.

5. How Should a Project Plan Be Formatted?

A general guideline says the project format should include the following –

  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • An introduction and an end note
  • The Project Scopes
  • Project’s Timeframe
  • The Costing
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Risk Management Plan
  • Communication Plan
  • Appendices
  • A list of achievements.

 

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