Free Project Plan Template & How to Create One in 6 Steps

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July 2021
Free Project Plan Template & How to Create One in 6 Steps

Regardless of how big or small, each project requires a thorough plan in order to be successful.

  • What will the scope of your work be?
  • How many resources are necessary to finish tasks well?
  • How fast can your team deliver the project?
  • And which outcomes do you expect to get in the end?

The answers to these and similar questions are the stuff every good project plan is made of. For a clearer idea of what it should contain, read the guidelines below. And don’t hesitate to download our free project plan template to save some time and create a perfect project plan for yourself.

What Is a Project Plan?

A project plan is a document (or a series of documents) that describes how a project should be executed, controlled, and analyzed. It indicates what your business needs at different stages in the project management cycle, outlines major performance conditions, and sets key milestones.

By doing all that, a project plan helps managers to organize tasks and allocate resources in an optimal way. Besides, it assists in progress tracking and allows you to communicate budgets and other work requirements to project stakeholders with ease.

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Primary Project Plan Elements

  • Project goals – the overall impact of a project, desired final outcomes.
  • Work scope – everything that must be done to deliver the project, including a comprehensive list of tasks, performance objectives, and deliverables.
  • Realistic budget – the sum of costs the project will incur at different stages throughout its life cycle.
  • Workable timeline – a detailed work schedule with major milestones, task dependencies, start days, and deadlines.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) – quantifiable, specific, and outcome-based values used to assess ongoing performance success.

How to Build an Awesome Project Plan Template?

  1. Start by defining the work scope | After you get a clear idea of which goals you want to achieve by initiating a project, think of what’s required to deliver it successfully. Which problems should your team resolve? Which milestones do you expect to pass through? Which activities must be performed and which deliverables they have to produce? You may even create a work breakdown structure to visualize the planned scope of work in a structured way and make certain no important task is missing.
  2. Estimate the project | Once you know what you need to do, it’s time to evaluate how much money and other resources are necessary to ensure a smooth work process. Note that different estimation techniques are characterized by varying accuracy levels. Getting precise forecasts is only possible when your project plan is mature enough.
  3. Develop a budget | Sum up cost estimates for different tasks to comprehend how many expenses your project will incur overall. The calculated budget will help you control spending and make sure you have enough resources throughout the project management cycle.
  4. Create a detailed timeline | At this step, you need to schedule all your tasks considering their dependencies, deadlines, and estimates. The timeline should also include the info about the milestones you want to attain at different stages of project management. Think of when you want to start or complete a particular process or a series of tasks. Then mark that milestone in the timeline and use it to assess your progress later on.
  5. Identify your KPIs | What are some intermediary performance results you want your team to show? Set specific objectives, such as “Write 15 articles by September 1” or “Develop an app prototype by October 15.” Then, utilize these statements to gauge your project performance over time.
  6. Keep your project planning results in one place | It’s always more convenient to have your project plan as a single document. Thus, be sure to download our free template and write down all your ideas and calculations there. It will help you avoid confusion, never lose a piece of vital information and be able to share your plans and research findings with colleagues without a trouble.

Track Your Project Progress with actiTIME

Monitoring performance progress and complying with project plans is effortless with actiTIME. Using this intelligent hour tracker, you will always know how much time your employees spend on work and if they adhere to the set task estimates and budgets.

Visit this page to learn more about actiTIME’s plentiful project management features. Besides, be sure to sign up for a free trial and use it to realize all your project plans with greater ease.

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