Free Project Management Templates
The Certified Project Managers work smartly. They build skills, prepare hard, and use the correct tools. No wonder they often get things done using project management templates. These readymade forms do not only make it easier to monitor tasks and track progress, but they also help accelerate, standardize, and improve the entire project management process.
Because each project has many aspects, project documentation covers a wide range of areas. In fact, there are templates for just about any stage in the project lifecycle, from inception to completion. Project-related documents are created using different authoring tools such as Excel, Microsoft Project, Google Sheets and PowerPoint. Fortunately, one does not have to recreate these documents from scratch. To work and proceed more efficiently, ready-made forms and project management templates can definitely help.
To find the required template easily and quickly, the list has been organized into common categories.
- Project Charters and Project Plans
Project success depends on a clear and complete understanding of goals, priorities, roles, and timelines. To achieve this, all stakeholders must be on the same page at all times. Having a full grasp of their specific functions, stakeholders should also possess a top-level view of the project as a whole. Core documents such as project charters, plans, and overviews will help you get this done. These documents formalize the project’s foundation by defining its objectives, scope, component tasks, stakeholders/teams, schedules, sign-offs, and other relevant information.
- Project Overview (Evernote)
- Strategic Planning (Evernote)
- MDM Project Charter Template (Google Sheets)
- Project Charter (Danilo Cho, Word)
- Project Charter (NYU, Word)
- Project Charter (MyPMLLC.com, Word)
- Project Tracking, Timeline, and Gantt Charts
Projects need to be constantly monitored once they are underway. Tracking forms and report templates give project owners, leaders, and customers the visibility they need to assess the progress of the project as well as the challenges it faces.
Project tracking templates also help determine whether everything is going according to plan, schedule, and budget. Project tracking and reports enable managers to make remedial actions well before major roadblocks occur. Project timelines and schedules may be created using simple tables but complex documents with multiple variables should be built as Gantt charts instead.
Such sophisticated documents provide detail by showing specific milestones and their summaries, component tasks, and deliverables, task owners, start and due dates, dependencies, and other relevant information.
- Management Dashboard (SmartSheet, Excel)
- Project Timeline (SmartSheet, Google Sheets)
- Project Tracking (Vertex42, Excel)
- Project Schedule (Vertex42, Excel)
- Project Timeline (Vertex42, Excel)
- Project Timeline Template (Google Sheets)
- Gantt Chart (SmartSheet, Google Sheets)
- Budget Management
Besides being good practice, staying within budget helps assess a project’s health and success. Of course, it also says a lot about the skill and resourcefulness of the project manager. The following documents help project leader’s track and manage project-related expenses. They also enable managers to create resource allocation and cost strategies that drive both efficiency and productivity without breaking the bank.
- Monthly Budget (Google Sheets)
- Expense Report (Google Sheets)
- Project Budget (Evernote)
- Detailed Project Budget (Vertex42, Excel)
- Task Monitoring and To-Do-List
A project represents the desired outcome when a set of related tasks is completely delivered. This is why project managers diligently monitor the progress of each deliverable, especially those with significant dependencies. And this is why task tracking templates and to-do lists are crucial to a project’s success. Such documents enable managers to set priorities, clarify role ownership, assist struggling stakeholders, and ensure that no major roadblocks will emerge down the line. The following templates will help hold each member of the team accountable and ensure that deliverables are met on time, within budget, and on par with expected quality standards.
- To-Do List (Google Docs)
- To-Do List (Vertex42, Excel)
- Areas of Responsibility (Evernote)
- Timesheet Tracking and Work Schedules
These documents will help to plan schedules, track time, and ensure that a team’s pool of talent never goes to waste.
- Daily Planner (Evernote)
- Weekly TimeSheet (Google Sheets)
- Weekly Planner (Evernote)
- Weekly Timecard (Vertex42, Excel)
- Issue Tracking and Change Requests
These issue tracking template and change request forms are just the right tools to initiate change and recommend a better alternative.
- Issue Tracking (ProjectManager.com, Excel)
- Change Request Form (Google Docs)
- KPI Monitoring
Never let project performance become a guessing game. Stay on top of the situation by having visibility and control over all the facts on the ground. This KPI monitoring template can help you track relevant metrics and keep the project running according to plan.
- Team Management
These templates clarify the structure, accountabilities, and interdependence of all teams in the project. They can also serve as ad-hoc directories to quickly identify and connect with stakeholders.
- Team Roster (Google Sheets)
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) (Vertex42, Excel)
- Communication Plan
The success of a project depends on an effective communication system. Not only should messages be clear, but they should also reach all stakeholders in a timely, efficient, and powerful way. Remember, collaboration and conversation enables project management professionals to take the right action, fix issues, and build better solutions.
These templates help to keep everyone updated. Create informative and actionable meeting notes to establish clarity and move teams forward. And always cap a completed project with a post-mortem “lessons learned” session.
- Management Dashboard (SmartSheet, Excel)
- Meeting Agenda (Evernote)
- Meeting Notes (Google Docs)
- Meeting Notes (Evernote)
- Post Mortem Presentation (Microsoft, PowerPoint)
- Post Mortem Analysis Template (Canadian government, Word)