Project scheduling can be hard, but software can make it more manageable. If you’re not quite ready to make the leap to an online project scheduling software, though, then project scheduling templates for Excel can be a decent substitute to get started.
ProjectManager has dozens of free project management templates that you can download to assist managing every phase of your project. Here are a few project scheduling templates to help you get started right away.
But if you’re looking for project scheduling software that can take you to the next level of scheduling, then you want ProjectManager. Our cloud-based software can plan, monitor and report on your project schedule from start to finish. Make sure you’re meeting those milestones with our real-time dashboard, which unlike templates or other software requires no setup. Get started today for free.
Best Project Scheduling Templates for Excel
Microsoft Excel isn’t naturally a good project scheduling tool. However, these free project scheduling templates can help you build a schedule and stick to it. Without them, you’ll have a hard time getting your project off the ground; with them, you’re on your way to a successful project. Transform your spreadsheets with these Excel scheduling templates.
Project schedules are made up of tasks—a lot of tasks. The crucial step in scheduling any project is organizing those tasks. You need to estimate their duration and set a priority for each so your team knows what to do, and when to do it. A task list can start this process, but you’ll quickly find yourself hitting a wall unless you use a Gantt chart.
Gantt charts are visual tools that take every project task and place them on a timeline. You can see each task in relation to the others, since they’re represented as bars. Our Gantt chart template helps you set start and end dates, shows dependencies between tasks and breaks up the phases of your project by color to easily differentiate one from another. It’s an ideal project schedule template.
You can discuss building the Gantt with your team, who’ll help you better estimate durations. Then, once you’ve created the schedule on your Gantt, share the chart with your stakeholders. It will provide a map of the project and help to orient them when you regularly update them throughout execution.
Before you can schedule, you have to know what you’re scheduling. A work breakdown structure is a tool that captures all your deliverables. It’s a tree diagram with the final deliverable on top and then a breakdown of each deliverable or task that got you there. It’s an essential scheduling tool.
Our free work breakdown structure template has everything you’ll need to see all the steps necessary to schedule in order to complete your project. First, you make a detailed task list broken up into the phases of your project. The second part of the template is the tree diagram, with the project on top and smaller and smaller deliverables beneath it. Now you know everything you have to add to your project schedule.
Your project schedule is just a collection of dates if you don’t coordinate it with your resources. Resources are anything you need to get the job done—this includes equipment, materials and, most importantly, your team. Organizing these resources to work with your schedule, and bring the project to a successful conclusion on time, is where a work schedule comes in handy.
Our work schedule template allows you to collect all the people in your team or organization, designate where they’re located (if they’re working remotely), include their working hours and what work they’re responsible for. All of this is laid out over a period of time, usually over a week or month.
The flexibility of this project schedule template stems from its ability to adapt to various work schedules. There is the traditional 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. But some projects or organizations are working all week, around the clock. These shifts can be fixed or set as rotating. Whether your workers are part-time or full-time, this work schedule template will help you keep them organized.
Once you have a project schedule and your resources are organized, the real fun begins. When executing your tasks, it’s important to have the means to monitor progress and make sure the actual progress meets the planned progress. Our task tracking template lets you capture your work and helps you keep on schedule.
This project schedule template serves as more than a to-do list, but less than what task management software can do. However, the template will let you keep track of your task’s status, priority, time and resources. It follows the tasks through its life cycle from ready to assigned, terminated or expired, forwarded to finished or failed.
If you’re looking for a more dynamic tool to track your tasks and keep you on schedule, then you’ll want to upgrade to an online project management software. You’ll get high-level views of progress with a dashboard and more in-depth data from the various reporting features. You’ll also want features to manage your resources and easily edit your schedule as changes occur.
The unexpected happens to even the best-planned projects. Your project schedule is a living document that needs to be able to respond to change requests from stakeholders. Or, other variables such as weather, sick team members or problems in your supply chain can interrupt your progress. You need to have a change log that keeps track of these changes.
Using our change log template helps you identify and follow the change as it moves through your project. This makes sure nothing falls through the cracks, and gives you the tools you need to control and manage that change. The change log provides visibility into the process. You assign someone on your team to resolve it, which lets you establish accountability.
You also get to prioritize the change, as not every change is equal in importance. Then, you can track the change from start to finish. The template has a place for you to number the change, when it was first identified, who owns it and its current status. Each row of the spreadsheet captures one change, so you have an orderly document to manage the process.
A project schedule is part of the larger project plan. It must work in congress with all the other aspects of your project, such as resource allocation, costs and more. The project plan includes a lot of guiding documents that will inform you schedule, too, from the business case to the project charter.
The free project plan template for word helps you to organize all the important papers necessary to plan and schedule a project. You can attach all the pertinent files, such as your feasibility study, and then outline the scope of the project. Once you completed your project plan, you can finalize your project schedule.
The project status is a report that captures where the project is at a specific time. You can see it’s health and progress. This can be used to update stakeholders but is also a valuable asset for project managers. They can use the status plan to see if they’re on schedule.
Using the free project status report template for Excel captures all the metrics you need to keep your project on track. There’s general information, a summary of the project status, the project health, a risk management overview and recommendations and concerns. This free template is vital to deliver your project on time.
Resources are a major part of any project schedule. They are the people and things that you’ll need to complete the tasks in your project. Allocating them works hand-in-glove with your project schedule. You need to know what and when you require the resource.
Using our free resource plan template for Excel helps you organize all your resources for the project. You can list all the team members on one side and then define them by which department they’re working in. Next you can add their rate, cost and availability. It’s the free proejct scheduling template you need to track the availability of your resources.
To make sure your schedule is on track once your team starts to execute it, you need to monitor its progress and performance. The status report is one such tool. Another is a project dashboard, which measures several project metrics and displays them in graphs and charts.
The free project dashboard template for Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to track the status of your tasks, the workload of your team, task lengths and costs. However, all that data has to be manually put into the template and updated, whereas software does that work for you.
Another part of creating a project schedule is estimating. The more accurately you can forecast your project costs, the more accurate your project schedule will be. Estimating requires gathering data and then calculating that data to come up with what your project budget will be, which informs your project schedule.
To make better forecasts on project costs that will impact your project schedule, we have a free estimate template. The this scheduling template is broken up into project phases. Under each of these is a list of tasks that has space to add the vendor or contractor, the labor and material costs and then a total. When you add up all the costs of your tasks you’ll have a clear idea of what the project will require financially.
Nothing can take you off schedule faster than when issues arise in your project. When planning a schedule you need to be aware of what risks might show up, so you can quickly identify them and resolve them before they negatively impact the project. For that, you need a risk register.
A free risk register template allows you to collect all the potential issues that might impact your project. You can describe the risk in the far left column, then in the next column write how it would impact the project. Following that there is a column to note your response, the level of the risk and who is responsible for identifying and resolving it.
The budget is one of the most impactful elements of the project plan on your scheduling. You can’t keep working if you’re not funded. Therefore, a project manager must know what the costs of the project are before they can schedule the work to be completed by the deadline.
With the project budget template for Excel you have space to list all the labor and material costs, which tasks they are being used for and who is assigned to do that work. There are other line items, too, such as travel expenses, equipment rentals and fixed items, where the amount is set and doesn’t change. Capture the cost of your project with our free template.
ProjectManager Helps with Project Scheduling
You can schedule a project using these free templates, however, you’ll find yourself overburdened and always behind. What you need is project management software that has real-time data to plan the project but also monitor it as it’s being executed to help you stay on track. ProjectManager is cloud-based that helps you plan your project schedule, monitor its progress and keep track of your team’s performance so you can meet your deadlines.
Plan Your Schedule on Interactive Gantt Charts
Getting all your project tasks, resources and costs to come in on time is complicated. Gantt charts are a great tool to organize all those activities and see them on a timeline that shows you the entire project in one place. You can link dependencies to avoid delays and even filter for the critical path. Then set a baseline and you’ll be able to track project variance to make sure you’re staying on schedule.
Use Multiple Project Views
Managers love Gantt charts but teams don’t need to view the project schedule with that level of detail. They want to know which tasks are assigned to them and when they’re due. All the data scheduled on the Gantt simultaneously shows up on our other project views, such as the sheet, task list, kanban and calendar views. There’s one source of truth keeping everyone working on the same page but teams can track their tasks on calendars for important upcoming dates, robust task lists or the visual workflow of a kanban.
Track Your Team’s Progress on Tasks
As mentioned above, you can get a high-level view of the project with our real-time dashboard. To see how each team member is progressing on their assigned tasks, though, you can view the timesheets or generate a timesheet report. See how far your team has progressed in completing their tasks and know if you’re meeting the schedule or if you need to re-allocate resources to get back on track. Timesheets are secure and also streamline the payroll process.
Timesheets are just one of the many reports you can create with a keystroke. Get reports on time, cost and more to help you keep to your schedule. All reports can be filtered to show only the data you want to see and then easily shared with stakeholders to keep them updated. Our software not only helps you stay on schedule but has task and resource management, workflow automation and much more. It’s the only software you’ll need to manage your projects.
ProjectManager is award-winning software that plans, schedules and controls every aspect of your project. Our collaborative platform connects hybrid teams and helps them work better together regardless of where, when or how they work. Join the successful teams at NASA, Siemens and Nestles who use our tool to deliver projects on time. Get started today for free.