Using Excel for Project Management
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.
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.
Visit our Templates Page and you’ll find Excel and Word templates for creating all the project documents you need to manage your project, such as a project plan template and project charter template. But, you’re here because you’re probably looking for free Excel project management templates. Here are eleven essential project management Excel templates you can download and use right now, including two new templates we’ve recently added!
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.
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.com 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.com 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.
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.com, 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. You can import your Excel and Microsoft Project files seamlessly into ProjectManager.com.
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.com, 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. That makes it even more like the dashboard on your car, and just as efficient at getting you from Point A to Point B. This way, you always know where you stand.
Go Beyond Excel Templates with ProjectManager.com
Project management software can take you way further than Excel templates for project management ever could. ProjectManager.com, 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.com 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.
Get Even More Free Excel Templates for Project Management
But, if you’re not ready to try online project management software, our free project management templates for Excel help you work through every phase of your project more efficiently.
If you think the Excel templates we already listed are great, well, they are. But there are scores more to help you better manage your project. Here’s a list of the free Excel templates for project management you can download now.
- Action Items Template: List tasks that must be completed.
- RACI Matrix Template: Organize teams and stakeholders.
- Project Timeline Template: Visual tool lays out your whole project.
- Work Schedule Template: Manage your employee resources.
- To-Do List Template: Get your work under control.
- Change Order Form Template: Capture and define project change.
- Change Log Template: Track change as it moves through a project.
- Estimate Template: Get more accurate estimates.
- Stakeholder Map Template: Define stakeholder relevance.
- Work Order Template: Contract work with vendors.
- Event Plan Template: Make a plan to produce an event.
- Production Schedule Template: Get your logistics working right.
- Stakeholder Analysis Template: Know your stakeholders.
- Change Request Template: Control the change management process.
- Construction Daily Report Template: Log what happened on the site.
- IT Risk Assessment Template: Know what might go wrong.
- Lessons Learned Template: Experience is the best teacher.
- Punch List Template: Find out what still needs to get done.
- Purchase Order Template: Create buyer-seller contracts.
Get all the features of these Excel project management templates and more when you use ProjectManager.com. All of these tools are available in our award-winning software to help you plan, track and report on your project in real time. ProjectManager.com has repeatedly been ranked #1 in project management by Gartner’s GetApp. See what it can do for you by taking a free 30-day trial run.