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.
On this page you can find a variety of project management 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 nine 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.
A project proposal must be supported by an executive summary, which is a brief overview that hits the major marks of the project. The strength of your executive summary can make or break a project: after all, a project can’t be executed until it’s been approved.
An executive summary needs to be sharp and precise. There’s no room for fluff here. You’re selling the project and every word counts. Too much and you’ll lose your audience, but too few and you risk not promoting what’s unique about the work.
Our free executive summary template lays it all out for you clearly, so you can feel confident that you’ve done the best job you can to show why the project deserves funding.
Prior to the project is the statement of work (SOW). It’s a detailed breakdown of the project process. Everything important about the project process is collected in this document, from activities to deliverables to the time it will take to get everything done.
You start with the SOW and outline the coming phases and tasks that will make the project a success. It’s a document that will speak to everyone in the project, from the team to the stakeholders. The project manager needs the SOW, as well, for it provides a framework for the entire project.
It’s all here in our free SOW template: background, purpose, scope of work and milestones. There’s a place to add your reporting and communications plan, any standards you’ll have to adhere to and testing measures, even what will constitute a successful end to your project.
The first questions that any project manager must ask before initiating a project are collected in a requirements gathering template. It’s just as the name suggests, a document that gathers requirements for the project, so there is a bridge that connects the user and the developer.
What requirements are we talking about? All of them: business requirements, user requirements and system requirements. As you can tell, this is a key document, especially to have before the start of the project.
With our free requirements gathering template, you can rest assured that we have you covered, from cover page to project plan and project description. In fact, our template is divided into seven crucial sections, including software interfaces, user interface, workflow, change and risk management.
No matter how thorough your plan, or expert your team and project manager, projects inevitably face risk and change often from the start to the finish. To make sure you complete the project on time, within budget and meet quality expectations, you must use a change request form to address issues that will arise.
The point of a change request form is to give you the means to manage the change process. This doesn’t prevent change, of course, but it does provide a way to control it, so it doesn’t derail your project. It’s a critical link in the chain of change management that makes sure your project stays on track.
The free change request form template we provide covers both types of change requests, from inside or outside the scope. The form details who requested the change, its priority, impact, the tasks needed to respond to the change and much more. It’s all here, so you have a road to follow and can focus on the work.
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.