Project plan templates help teams be on track to achieve goals with better productivity, collaboration, and efficiency.
When a project runs smoothly without missing a single step, everyone involved in the process, from team members to managers, gets a victory smile on their faces.
There are a lot of processes and tasks when starting a project, from brainstorming and production to monitoring the project and analyzing the reports.
Teams need to take care of every single detail to keep the project on track, such as arranging meetings, assigning work, taking feedback, improving workflow, and so on.
It may get a little tricky and time-consuming if you do everything manually.
But using project plan templates, you can streamline every process and keep records in a single place. This gives you a clear plan showing where to start and which task is on priority.
This way, everyone knows what is necessary to do and within which time they need to complete the whole project.
As a result, you can accelerate the workflow and achieve goals quickly while measuring quality.
Let’s understand a few things about the project plan, its essential constituents, advantages, some do’s and don’ts, and the best project plan templates.
What is a Project Plan?
A project plan defines a document or an excel sheet where you can keep all the key details of your projects, including start and end dates, milestones, owners, tasks, deadlines, etc. It enables your team members to manage their tasks as per the given instructions without missing a single step.
A perfect project plan includes a statement of your work, resource list, project schedule, work breakdown structure, and obviously a risk plan. It helps in preventing heavy efforts and excessive budget.
What do you mean by a Project Plan Template?
A project plan template is a tool that acts as a building block for your high-value projects. Using these templates makes your work easier to get started with your project plan. Project plan templates include example assignments, task tags, sections, a priority tab, and more.
With a project plan as the blueprint of the components, your team can understand the project in-depth to achieve the objectives. And a good project plan template helps outline the project deliverables, schedule, and scope.
What are the most important constituents of a Project Plan?
Project plans may differ from project to project, but all of them contain more or less the same kind of information. A perfect project plan contains:
An executive summary that summarizes the whole project information on a single page
Project goals that outline the end goal of a project
Key responsibilities that outline the roles of each individual in the team
Key deliverables and tasks that highlight the most necessary deliverables as well as tasks throughout the project
Available resources to ensure you have all the resources to complete the project and will add some more if needed
Risk analysis helps identify possible risks before the start of the project to put the plan accordingly
Key milestones identify the metrics you need to measure project progress
A proposed project deadline shows you the estimated time for each task, deliverable, and milestone.
Budget details show you the proposed budget for the project
Communication strategies that need to be maintained throughout the project timeline
Evaluation strategy to evaluate the success and failures of the project
Why is Project Planning crucial?
A person expert at handling projects can say what it takes to manage the whole project. But, things have changed in the world of technology. Now, you will find many tools, like project plan templates, to easily plan your project from the start.
When managers have perfect plans for their projects, they can keep track of each team member based on their tasks and deadlines. It encourages your team to work effectively.
This especially works when you are working on long projects where the team might lack motivation down the road. Using project plan templates, your team can track their progress and learn from their mistakes to perform better. With a clear picture of everything, your performance can increase significantly.
When you work on a project without solid project planning, you will have to think about what steps to take next and how far you have come in the project. But with project planning, you will know your project’s exact status and what to do next. This way, you save time and hard labor, resulting in higher productivity.
Better Team Collaboration
A perfect project planning tool tells everyone in the team exactly what is needed to be done within the timeline to achieve the goal. Hence, all the team members are on the same page, enabling the manager to assign roles easily, evaluate progress and performance, and look for areas of improvement. Teams can also communicate easily with each other with the complete details they possess.
Enhances Project Quality
When there is no confusion or doubt due to a clearly laid out plan, you can work with confidence. Every day you start your task, you know where to begin and what to finish on the same day. You work accordingly and finish up the work in time. In perfect project planning, there is also a buffer time to realize if you need to re-do any task.
Do’s and Don’t of Project Planning
Think of new development
Be a supportive member
Protect your team from unnecessary disturbances
Stay positive throughout the project
Take the time you need to complete your tasks
Set goals and work upon them
Do take responsibility
Set milestones and deadlines
Don’t ignore bad news
Try not to take unnecessary risks while planning
Avoid sharing any plans before the discussion
Prevent your team from engaging in unnecessary things
Never panic about the result; keep on improving
Now, let’s explore some of the best project plan templates.
Get a comprehensive listing of templates with the Smartsheet Project Plan for Microsoft Word. You can use the templates to direct, guide, and manage your project in progress. Using the simple project plan templates will help you track your project details, manage timelines, and visualize project status.
Smartsheet helps you keep all the critical details in document form, like start and end dates, budget details, resources needed, and more, with the easy-to-use and comprehensive template. It is a cloud-based platform that lets your team plan well, manage each project detail, and submit reports.
Set your main goal, identify the actions required to achieve that goal, and assign a person who is responsible for every task with the action plan template. In addition, you can assign priority to the tasks, list dates, and view status to keep the project moving forward.
With Smartsheet, never miss any steps throughout the project. The professionally designed templates can keep your internal and external stakeholders, upper management, and clients in the loop on every phase of the project.
Smartsheet offers templates you would love to work with, such as project execution plan, one-page project plan, printable project plan, agile project plan, construction project plan, program management plan, milestone chart, project checklist, project task list, tracking, status report, and more.
Try Smartsheet for free and delight your team with the comprehensive templates.
Remove barriers, achieve your goals, and find better clarity in your project with Wrike. This robust tool can transform the way you used to plan your project and help you do everything at your fingertips.
Get 360-degree visibility, powerful automation, and cross-departmental collaboration with ease. Wrike offers various templates that further help you set your goal, milestones, and deadlines for the project by assigning tasks to each member.
A communication plan template helps you structure critical information throughout the project by defining who is responsible for what, what they contain, and what the frequency is. With this template, you can keep stakeholders up-to-date.
Wrike templates offer an effective approach to managing your project by breaking complex projects into manageable ones. You can assign due dates, track progress visually, and deliver your project within budget and time. Also, with the help of project planning templates, you can manage incoming requests through a form and track overall performance with actionable reports.
Start Wrike for free.
TemplateLab offers 48 professional templates for Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF to plan and execute your project. Whether it’s event project planning, home renovation planning, kitchen remodels planning, or IT project planning, you will get everything in the template to manage projects efficiently.
With the help of these templates, you can definitely see what is there and what is coming next. You can set objectives, identify deliverables, schedule plans, make supportive plans during an emergency, manage communication, human resources, etc. TemplateLab also helps you complete things easily within the given timeframe and budget.
Using project planning templates, you can define every major task, provide a management review and control framework, and estimate the required resources and time. While visualizing the templates of your preference, you will understand what to include in which row or column to get the perfect reports.
You can download the sample project plan templates in PDF format to see what everything will look like while starting the project. TemplateLab also offers free plan templates in Word, Excel, or PDF format to help you plan your projects.
Get started with ready-made templates offered by Monday.com for better project planning in your organization. Its template center offers various templates for various businesses, industries, and teams.
Bring milestones, deadlines, budget, stakeholders, tasks, and more in one place to perfectly plan and manage each aspect of the project. Track the progress and ensure no tasks can slip by. It also helps you understand the flow of the phases with various views so that you can keep an eye on incoming deadlines.
You can build groups according to the stage or category of the project and then refine them to show team and individual ownership. Categorize every task based on the priority and status so that your team has a clear view of everything they need to know.
Integrate with your existing business tools to sync due dates, files, and much more, making your work easy and quick. You can also integrate it with Gmail, Dropbox, Excel, Jira, Google Calendar, Outlook, and Drive.
Whether you are planning for a simple or complex project, ClickUp offers you the most useful templates for perfect project planning so that you will never miss a thing in your flow. It also provides a pre-made Doc that helps you organize different project elements into a single document.
The Roadmap template lets you inform your team members about the project’s timeline in a complete visual form. Outline the expectations and link to the designated tasks for a better experience. Also, the budget template helps you visualize the spending easily and plan out the future budget.
ClickUp templates give you confidence in prioritizing project planning, organizing status, and more. Organize your workflows, deadlines, and files so that you can focus on creating work. It also offers a Gantt chart template that gives a clear project picture.
Start using the templates for free.
Next, let’s dig into some project management software that allows you to manage your complete project easily.
Collaborate, manage, and plan on any project with Monday, from basic projects to complex ones. Allow your team members to give their best, connect each moving part of your project into a single platform, and drive greater impact to reach your goals.
You can even manage multiple projects with this project management software. Monday.com lets you create dashboards, understand bottlenecks, know the risks, assign tasks to your teams, and more so that you can keep moving faster.
Automate project approvals and prioritize the tasks to save valuable time and effort. You will also get customizable forms to create items instantly on the boards and easily track the things on the way. You can also monitor performance and make effective decisions easily.
Try individual projects for free and understand their use.
Welcome to a new world of work management with Smartsheet, which allows you to manage your projects, automate the processes, and scale-up enterprise programs in a single platform. It provides a set of workflows, dashboards, reports, and views to track and capture your plans, schedules, and resources.
Companies of all sizes can easily scale with confidence to deliver the highest value possible with the required templates and tools. Smartsheet also integrates with the software you are already using in your organization. It’s helpful for IT professionals, designers, and others who depend on projects.
Find the resources you need and start managing your project from the beginning.
Run your important project with Teamwork project management software. It allows you to view everything from the start to the end in a single place so that you can easily manage projects.
Get the advanced features you want for managing your project, from time tracking to resource allocation and budgeting. Add Desk, Chat, Spaces, or CRM to the project management set up seamlessly to have an even better experience.
Start your free trial today and enhance your productivity and profitability.
Managing projects from start to end is challenging for organizations. Use the best project planning templates and software to plan and execute your projects with greater flexibility, ease, and confidence. It helps you save time and reduce effort and mental stress.