First you have an idea, then you need a way to turn a concept into reality. How do you move that idea to a strategy, process and finally action? That is done with an implementation plan.
Using our free implementation plan template helps you create the steps that end with the delivery of your idea. Download the free implementation template in Excel from ProjectManager and start your project on the right foot.
Or you can open the implementation plan template directly into ProjectManager, where you can manage it with a Gantt chart, spreadsheet, task list, kanban board or calendar—all in an online collaborative space. Update your plan and invite your team, so you can work together in real time and track progress along the way. Get started for free and make a better implementation plan.
Why Use an Implementation Plan Template?
The implementation plan is a document that defines three things: the strategy, process and actions required. In other words, the implementation plan is a process that takes your strategy and makes it happen. Using ProjectManager’s implementation plan template gets you started faster.
It’s not hard to see why implementation planning would lead to project success. Project management is all about planning, so having a plan to implement your strategy is only going to reduce the risk of having any surprises negatively impact your project.
Who Uses and Updates the Implementation Plan Template?
While C-level executives might be instrumental in defining the overall strategy of the organization, the creation of an implementation plan and the use of the implementation plan template is the purview of the project manager. A project manager is the one who organizes all aspects of the project and supervises its execution.
Naturally, the project manager is likely to bring in others from their project team to offer their perspective and expertise. They might also seek other professionals and research historical data to learn how others have dealt with similar situations. But the buck stops with the project manager, who acts like a proxy for upper management.
Once your project team has figured out the process and actions, however, you might find that this implementation plan template only takes you so far. Project management software connects all elements of your plan to create efficiencies and boost productivity.
ProjectManager does this by having multiple project views so you can work how you want, while all the data is shared across every view. Our tool delivers real-time data for better decision making and connects teams to get more done by working better together. Try ProjectManager today for free.
How to Use ProjectManager’s Implementation Plan Template for Excel
Now that you understand what an implementation plan is, and why it’s important to the success of your project, it’s time to start working with the implementation plan template. Here’s how:
- Project Information: The first couple of rows on the implementation plan template for Excel are dedicated to the name of the project, the project manager, a list of stakeholders and the date when the implementation template was last updated.
- The Spreadsheet: Following that is the main section of the spreadsheet, which is broken up into three parts. The first is the strategy, then the process and finally the actions you’ll take. Each section has the same column headings, broken up into tasks, who’s assigned and what percentage complete the task is.
- Timeline: There’s a timeline section that takes each task and gives it a planned start and planned finish date, which is the duration you estimate the task to take to be completed. There follows an actual start and an actual finish, as things don’t always go as planned.
- Planned Hours: Finally, in the timeline section is a column to note the planned hours you have estimated each task to take and another column that allows you to mark if it’s ahead of schedule, behind schedule or on schedule.
- Resources: The last third of this template is dedicated to resources. Here you can note what department handles each task, the materials required to execute the task and how much each task will cost. The last column is reserved for notes in which to capture any data that fall outside of the previous columns.
- Terms Used: There’s a second sheet in the Excel file that defines the terms used. But mostly, the template is a straight forward tool to help you organize your implementation plan and better achieve success in your project.
Executing an Implementation Plan with ProjectManager
If you want to give your implementation plan template a greater chance to succeed, open the template in ProjectManager instead of Excel. Our award-winning software organizes your work, whether you’re managing one or many projects, with features that plan, track and report back to stakeholders.
Schedule Deliverables, Resources and Costs
If you choose to start with the Excel download, fortunately, it’s easy to upload the implementation plan template for Excel into our tool. Once you add the duration to your tasks, they’re displayed on a visual timeline in our interactive Gantt chart. Now you can do things that a static template just doesn’t have the bandwidth to do.
For example, you can link dependencies and set milestones, but unlike other Gantt charts, we filter the critical path for you to see which tasks are essential and which can be put aside if time and money become an issue. Once you have a schedule, set a baseline to capture that data and compare it to your actual process. ProjectManager does this in real time.
Work in Multiple Views
There are multiple views that let managers and teams work how they want. Managers tend to use Gantt charts. They can also use our sheet view, which is the Gantt without the timeline, giving you more screen space for columns. You can then decide which columns you want to see on the Gantt timeline.
Teams tend to use the kanban board. It provides transparency for managers to see what their teams are working on and identify roadblocks to reallocate resources before it slows down productivity. Teams can manage their backlog, make to-do lists and plan their sprints.
Track Resources and Report
When things change and your plan needs to update, our resource management tools make reallocation quick and easy. A workload chart is color-coded to see at a glance who has too many or too few tasks. You can balance the workload right from that page and keep everyone working at capacity.
Stakeholders are going to want to know how the project is progressing. To manage their expectations, use monitoring and tracking features, such as a real-time dashboard and one-click reporting. Unlike lightweight tools, our dashboard doesn’t have to be configured. It’s set up and ready to give you a high-level view of progress and performance. Reporting features can be filtered to show just what stakeholders want to see and then shared with a keystroke.
What Other Templates Can Help With Planning
If you’re not ready to upgrade, there are plenty of other templates you can use to help with your project planning. We have scores of free project management templates on the site. Visit our template page, but in the meantime here are a few to get you started.
Your implementation plan requires resources to execute the action items. You can organize those resources by using our free resource plan template. It lists the resource, what team they’re on, the total effort, rate and overall cost. Then you can schedule them across the time chart to make sure you’re not overspending during the project.
The implementation plan is partially made up of actionable items. It’s important that your implementation plan is thorough in collecting all these actions. The best way to do this is with our free work breakdown structure template. This tree diagram puts your final deliverable on top and allows you to chart all the steps that get you there.
The implementation plan costs money and it’s part of any plan estimating how much those costs will be. The free project budget template is a great tool to detail the financial part of your implementation plan and your entire project. The template is color-coded to show you when you’re in the red as you monitor how much you’re spending over the course of the project’s life cycle.
The ProjectManager tool is great, and the ProjectManager site is a hub for all things project management. As you know, there are many free templates. Beyond that, though, there are blogs published each week, tutorial videos and guidebooks to help the journeyman and the apprentice alike. Here are a few planning-related content published on our site. Explore if fully for answers to all your project needs.
- Strategic Planning Models: An Introduction to 5 Popular Models
- How to Run a Planning Meeting (Checklist Included)
- Strategic Planning in Business
Take your time exploring the site. Download as many templates as you want. When you’re ready to take your project management to the next level, the next time you’re working on an implementation plan, try ProjectManager. See why tens of thousands of teams are using the tool to succeed at organizations from NASA to Ralph Lauren and the United Nations. Try ProjectManager today for free.