There are many ways you can gather all the data required to start, run and complete a project. But as involved as any project is, whether it’s big or small, there are fundamentals that remain the same.
Instead of reinventing the wheel each time you start a new project, wouldn’t it be great to have a resource that collected a bunch of documents that have been already outlined to serve the purpose of managing a project?
Yes, of course it would. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before. Well, we have. It’s all there on our Template Page, your one-stop shop for all your documentation needs.
One this page you can find a variety of templates that have already been structured to ask the questions you need to ask and show you how to answer them so you can get that information all in one place to use for managing your project.
Here are five free project management Word templates that will help you shepherd your project to a successful end.
The end of the project is just as important to document as every other phase it its lifecycle. Yet, it’s common enough to forget this last crucial step after doing the heavy lifting of planning, monitoring and reporting.
However, there is paperwork, likely lots of it, which needs signing and approval to official put the project to rest. This document helps you keep track of these myriad documents so nothing is neglected.
Also, there are procedural responsibilities, such as a postmortem to learn what did or didn’t work in the project, so you can learn from the experience. Not to forget the all-important financial duties that come with the end of work, making sure you’ve meet the budget and paid your team, contractors, vendors, et al.
Then there’s the other end of the project, before the project has even been initiated, which is the proposal. If you can’t sell the idea, then the project is dead in the water. This is the document where you explain the reason for the project.
Here is where you note what you need and why in order to plan and execute the project. But this is no elevator pitch. It’s a detailed roadmap of how you’re going to get the project though each of its cycles, on time and within budget.
Once this has been approved, then you can start on the business case with the financial needs of the project. You’ll also have to create a project charter. But none of that can happen until your proposal is written and approved, and that process is streamlined with this free template.
You know the importance of being a good communicator, but that’s all talk if you don’t have a process to structure your communications. That’s where this document comes in, as a means to make your communication effective and impactful.
How are you going to communicate your message? Who will receive it? And when? What’s the timeframe? All this and more is addressed in the communications plan.
But there’s more, because this plan notes the goals, stakeholders and strategies associated with your project, at least as these relate to communications. You can use this plan to not only communicate and target your message, but as a metric to track how successful you are at doing these things.
After your project proposal template has listed the reasons to initiate the project, the project charter template will more fully outline those reasons. Here is the place to detail the structure of the project.
Among the things you’ll write in your project charter is the vision, objective, scope and deliverables of the project. You also have to define the responsibilities of all people involved in the project, from the stakeholder to each individual team member.
There’s also a place to explain what resources and financial expectations you have for the project. This will all then be delivered to a senior management person, usually the business sponsor, after you’ve also completed a business case and feasibility study.
We’ve talked about the end of the project and what paperwork you need to have completed before you execute it, but don’t forget the project plan. Everything depends on this. Once you’ve sold the project, now you have to manage it. That’s why the project plan is paramount.
Now you get to collect the activities, tasks and resources you’ll need as outlined in the business case. You will describe each major phase of the project, schedule the activities, tasks and note their duration, dependencies, etc.
This template gives you space to note project scope, identify milestones and tasks, quantify the effort required, allocate the resources and much more. It’s a living document that will follow you through the lifecycle of the project.
Now that you have access to all these free templates, the next step is to get them integrated into a robust project management software tool. ProjectManager.com is online, so these documents can be easily shared and updated, giving you real-time data to run the project more efficiently. Get a look for yourself by taking our free 30-day trial, and see why Gartner’s GetApp has ranked ProjectManager.com #1 in project management.