Before you can plan your project, you have to have the right tools to collect the data you need in order to formulate a strategy—and project management Excel templates are a great place to start.
Using Excel for Project Management
Think of all the things you have to process along the way to a successful project—scheduling, resource planning, defining tasks and milestones, etc. The days of Post-It notes and notebooks filled with scraps of paper are long gone. Thankfully, today project managers can use Microsoft Excel templates for project management.
Microsoft Excel does a lot of things well: mathematics, analysis, organization. But, it’s not intuitive for project management due to its blank spreadsheet format. So, without using pre-built project management spreadsheets or templates, it’s hard to execute project management on Excel.
Best Project Management Templates & Spreadsheets for Excel
Visit our Templates Page and you’ll find Excel and Word templates for creating all the project documents you need to manage your project. But, if you just need free Excel project management templates and spreadsheets, then look no further.
Here are 20 essential project management Excel templates you can download and use right now. Transform your bland Excel spreadsheets into expertly-designed project management templates, and take your project management Excel processes to the next level.
A Gantt chart is a visual tool that helps you see at-a-glance the scheduling of tasks and their dependencies over the project timeline. That makes it a great project planner template.
While it’s true a Gantt chart can be overly complex in Excel spreadsheets, especially when you are in need of more advanced scheduling features like task dependencies and resource allocation, they remain a vital part of any project manager’s toolkit. That’s why we recommend using online Gantt chart software to help plan tasks and projects collaboratively with your team.
Online Gantt chart tools integrate into project management & planning software, so it can update in real time. This allows for easy drag-and-drop changes and can be color-coded to customize as you need. ProjectManager is a project management software that does all that and more. Try it for yourself today!
But to quickly make a Gantt chart from your task lists, download this free Gantt chart Excel template for an easy way to create a project schedule. Just add tasks and deadlines to this Excel spreadsheet and visualize how long your project will take.
The need for a project status report is obvious. If you don’t have good intel on what is happening in the project, then you are managing blind. You have no idea if you’re on track or if resources are being blocked.
With this free Excel project status report template, you have a tool to greatly improve your project communications, both with stakeholders when you’re delivering a presentation, but also with team members.
It’s up to you to decide on the frequency of the reports. But with a project status report template a lot of the busy work that can pull you away from a project is already done, giving you greater access to the information you need.
A project is made up of deliverables and those deliverables are created by tasks. The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a way to visualize the project deliverables, the tasks, and the subtasks, which are necessary to make them.
ProjectManager has a free WBS template that structures the process of breaking down the large project into smaller and smaller tasks, in a hierarchical visual that allows you to see the entire scope of the project work.
This is a key element of project planning, but it is also critical to estimating project costs and setting up a realistic schedule. Better still, because our WBS free template is an Excel spreadsheet, it can then be uploaded into the ProjectManager software to initiate a project, assign tasks to team members and monitor and track progress once the project is executed.
A project is initiated to complete the realization of a goal. But to achieve that objective requires a strategy and then the steps to implement that strategy successfully. In short, an action plan.
Projects are pragmatic and the action plan is a framework to collect your thoughts about executing the project plan in an effective and efficient way. With our free action plan template, you can just fill in the blanks to make sure that you’ve covered all bases and make your project start on the right foot. It’s a great companion template to an overall project plan and project charter.
From prioritizing tasks to assigning and noting the status, timeline and resources, we have you covered. And, again, the action plan can be uploaded seamlessly into ProjectManager, so you can then use all our great features to visualize workflow with kanban boards and monitor progress with our real-time dashboard.
Tracking the project is crucial to ensure that it remains on schedule. That means also keeping tabs on the work at a task-level.
This project tracker & task list template can help as a task to-do list, and it includes columns for the planned and actual duration of the project in order to know what’s working and what needs more attention.
Once you integrate your project and task tracking template into a project management software system, you can then produce Gantt charts to get a clear visual on the project timeline, as well as get that data delivered to your dashboard to note project progress in real time. And, of course, you can import your Excel and Microsoft Project files seamlessly into ProjectManager. Our software can transform your static Excel files into stunning, dynamic project management tools.
Risk is a part of managing a project. The job involves being able to anticipate what risks are likely to occur and then formulating a response to get the project back on track. That’s where this free Excel risk tracking template comes in.
First, it allows you to list all the possible risks you believe may happen over the course of the project. Next you can define how it will impact the project. You determine level of the risk and assign it an owner, so that someone is responsible to keep an eye out for it.
Now you have a plan in place to resolve that risk quickly, and a document that can be shared so risk is never given a chance to blindside a project.
Issues are when something is happening right now in your project. So, what do you do when this happens? You track those issues and resolve them with the help of this free issue tracker template.
The first thing, of course, is identifying those issues as they occur. This is the document in which you can collect that information. The issue tracking template serves you by making sure every step of the way, from identifying to resolving the issue, is documented.
Of course you will want to share the issue tracker template, and you can with this free Excel template, but only as a static document. In a project management software program, that information is easy to collect and share, as well as edit in real time.
One thing that’s constant in any project is change. Those changes, however, must be managed. That’s where the change request form comes in.
Our free change request form template gives you the structure to identify, track and resolve those changes when they arise in a project. The free template has space to note what the change is, give a team member ownership to lead the task of resolving it and then get it signed off on.
When used in conjunction with ProjectManager, the change request form is more dynamic. It can act as a collaborative platform in which team members can communicate and attach relevant documents, even hand-offs and sign-offs. Keeping everything under one roof is something you’ll not want to change.
A project can have a great plan, but without the financial backing to pay for it nothing can happen. That’s why a project budget, as tedious as it might be, is one of the most important phases of getting a project on track to a successful completion.
With this free Excel project budget template you can literally see when you’re in the red, because it’s color-coded. And this document, more than just one that is crucial to the start of a project, is also a way to track that budget across the lifecycle of the project.
This template has room to cover all your costs, from easy ones to collect — such as labor and materials — to ones that change or carry over from project to project. Budgets are estimates, but with this free template those numbers will be more accurate.
Team members need to have a way to track their work through the tasks they are assigned, and a simple timesheet can provide an easy way to keep them on schedule as well as give you the needed information to know where they are in their tasks.
The free Excel timesheet can calculate cost per hour and includes vacation and overtime columns, to accurately note the time spent on and off the project. But project timesheets are useful for a number of different purposes, so this is a handy tool.
When you manage timesheets with online project management software, then the rubber hits the road. You’ll be able to filter columns and customize reports, easily share in an email, PDF or Excel and CSV file. Plus your team can submit timesheets based on actual tasks in the system, and you’ll get alerted by email when they do.
The project dashboard is what keeps you in the driver seat as you travel through the lifecycle of the project. It allows for you to monitor the project, tracking the task status, budget and more in one place.
From this free project management dashboard for Excel, you create graphs and charts that give you a visual and easily digestible look at your task and workload management, as well as cost. It’s a sure way to stay on top of a project generally and know where you have to drill down into specifics.
You can add more power to your PM dashboards when you use online project management software. That way, when team members are updating statuses on tasks, the dashboards are populating with real-time data.
A project plan template has everything you need to map out your project once it’s been approved. It has space for you to define your project goals, activities, tasks as well as all the resources you’ll need to execute the work. You can begin to schedule your activities, tasks and the duration of each across a project timeline. There’s even a place to identify task dependencies.
Project plans are tailored around your project and no two are the same. That’s why this project management template has a place to add appendices. Here is where you can attach a scope, cost and schedule management plan or a work breakdown structure (WBS) as well as your business case, feasibility study and project charter.. The more detailed your project plan, the more you position yourself and team for success when the project is executed.
This free project estimate template for Excel will help you forecast a more accurate budget and realistic schedule. Before you can plan a project, you need to identify all the costs that will be associated with it. This free project management spreadsheet allows you to do a more detailed collection of what you’ll need to spend on your labor, materials and project resources.
From a job description to estimate details, this project template is a great way not only to figure out your budget but collect the various vendors and contractors you’ll be employing to help you execute the project. Create as many project phases as you require. Each is subtotaled and those subtotals are then tallied automatically for a final sum. Change is impossible to avoid when managing a project, but the more accurate your estimate, the more likely you’ll deliver on time and within budget.
Using a RACI matrix template is an essential tool for organizing projects. Projects can be confusing, and if people aren’t sure of their roles, problems are going to occur. The RACI template for Excel is a free tool to identify and define the various roles and responsibilities of everyone involved with the project.
This project management Excel template is broken up by project phase on the left and across the top all the various project positions are listed. Then in the corresponding box beneath the title is filled in with R, A, C or I to explain their relation to that specific point in the project. RACI stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, informed. Defining these roles with this Excel spreadsheet leads to smoother operations.
Try our free change log template for Excel and create a successful change management process. Change is going to happen in every project, whether requests from stakeholders or from external forces, such as weather or supply chain issues. Being prepared for change and how to respond to it is going to make or break your project.
This project management Excel spreadsheet allows you to number changes that you identify in the project to track them easier. There’s a place to capture when the change was first discovered, who owns it and is tasked with dealing with that change. There’s even space to note its status and set the priority so you know which changes should be dealt with first. Having a change log means you can manage change and not allow change to negatively impact your project.
Resources are anything you need for a project. Our free resource plan template for Excel is the first step to managing your team and resources. You can use it to identify, list and organize all your project resources as well as figure out how much of each you’ll need and what that will cost. You can use this project Excel template to integrate with your schedule and budget to track costs as you execute the project.
While you’ll want to start your resource plan during the planning phase of your project, it should be a living document that is regularly updated as things change over the life cycle of the project. Once the project has been completed, you can save the template and use it when you are planning resources for future projects that are similar. Using this free project management template for Excel keeps everyone informed, which leads to a better running project.
Stakeholders are invested in the project and project managers have to keep them updated and manage their expectations. That’s where this free stakeholder analysis template for Excel comes in. It helps you identify and manage all the stakeholders in your project. This free template is a cornerstone of any thorough stakeholder management plan.
The stakeholder analysis template gets you started with a project overview, which is followed by a list of all the stakeholders involved with the project. There’s a dropdown menu to note if that particular stakeholder is of high, medium or low influence. That means, how much power do they have to impact the project. That information is crucial to how to manage them. Then you identify each stakeholder in the spreadsheet as they relate to the project. Note the frequency you need to communicate with each stakeholder and more to manage them and keep the project moving forward.
If you’re looking to improve your business and stay innovative, then you need this gap analysis template for Excel. It’s one of the tools you can use to get a strategic analysis of where you are now and how to get to where you want to be in the future. This project management spreadsheet will help you devise an action plan to move you from your current state of affairs to wherever you plan to take your organization in the future, whether that’s an increase in marketshare or getting a product to market quickly.
This free Excel template has everything you need to start meeting your goals, from general information and the current state of your business to the future state you’re aiming to achieve, what the gap percentage is and the actions necessary to close that gap. You can identify who in the organization can lead the initiative and even track the status. You have to start somewhere and a gap analysis is where it all comes together.
Crunch the numbers to learn if your project is worth pursuing with our free cost benefit analysis template for Excel. You can see if the project can be delivered within a specific time frame and reasonable cost. This Microsoft Excel template allows you to compare what you expect to spend against the benefits or opportunity the project might provide. Therefore, from a cost perspective, you can see if the project is viable.
Whether a personal or professional project, our free cost benefit analysis template is a powerful and flexible tool. It can be used over and over again, collecting the project information, quantitative costs (indirect, intangible and opportunity) and then the quantitative benefits (direct benefits, indirect benefits, intangible benefits and competitive benefits). Adding up the three cost sections and the four benefits sections of the template provide a total cost to compare against total benefits. It’s an essential analysis to undertake before committing to any project.
If you need help handling your human resources, get our free weekly work schedule spreadsheet for Excel. You can use it to manage your team’s weekly work and the project’s workflow. Note the days your team can work and collect the rate of pay and hours they work on their tasks. This flexible employee work schedule can apply to the regular nine-to-five work week or a more hybrid model.
Use this project management template for Excel to get info on your team members and their work schedule. You can add their name, tasks assigned to them and the project they’re working on. There’s space to list all the days they’ll be working. This Excel template is a great place to capture data but it’s a static document. If you want to update it, you have to do that manually. It can take time and pull you away from managing the project and your team’s work.
Go Beyond Excel Templates & Spreadsheets with ProjectManager
Project management software can take you way further than Excel templates for project management ever could. ProjectManager, an award-winning project management software, is a comprehensive platform that lets you plan, track and report on your projects online. Because it’s an online tool, you get live visibility into your project team and their tasks.
Plan your projects from start to finish with our Gantt chart feature. This feature allows you to map out all of your project tasks in phases, and then assign them to team members. You can even create dependencies and set milestones. Plus, you can import Excel files and Microsoft Project files into the Gantt chart, bringing your static templates to life. In addition, ProjectManager integrates with over 1000 third-party apps such as Google Drive, Slack and Microsoft Office 365 so that you can share your project with everybody on your team.
Team members (and managers) can choose to manage their own tasks in either the task list or kanban view. The kanban view is a favorite for visual workers who have a lot of different projects going on. The customizable columns on a kanban board allow a user to easily see their progress, or sort their tasks by project or department. Of course every view, whether it’s the Gantt, List or Board, allows you to collaborate with other team members and get more work done than you ever thought possible. You’ll wonder why you ever did project management Excel processes.
Get all the features of these Excel project management templates and more when you use ProjectManager. All of these tools are available in our award-winning project management software to help you plan, track and report on your project in real time. See what it can do for you by taking a free 30-day trial run.