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30 free project plan templates: Download these PDF, Excel, Word Doc, Google Docs examples

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It’s never a good idea to rush head-first into a new project if you haven’t completed the necessary preparation first. You may miss something, forget your overarching goal, or simply find it difficult to work as efficiently. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – as the saying goes. 

A project plan is a great way of ensuring that your projects stay on track. It’s essentially a document that provides a detailed to-do list for each project. Timelines and budgetary guidelines may be included too. It may not be a particularly complicated document, but using the right one can make a huge difference to your project management strategy. 

It’s worth noting that many project plan templates are available for download free of charge, which means that free project management support may be just a click away. Some important questions that project plan templates may help you answer include what the purpose of a project is, what the main deliverables are, and what resources will be required. 

The only thing left then before you start working on your projectis finding the right project plan template for your needs. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a handy guide of 30 of the best free ones available for download. Whatever the goal of your next project, these templates will help you achieve it. 


30 free project plan templates to download

1. HubSpot Weekly Schedule

(Image credit: HubSpot)

HubSpot is well regarded as one of the best CRM software solutions on the market today – and it boasts a number of project plan templates to prove it. One of the best is its Weekly Schedule Template, which is great for tracking team activities within its user-friendly design. Plus it’s available as either a PDF and Excel file. 

HubSpot’s Weekly Schedule Template is available to download here.

2. Agile Project Plan

A template built for rapid iteration, this Google Doc’s file breaks down large tasks into a series of sprint that can be assigned to various individuals within your team. You can also give each task a status, such as “on hold” or “in progress” to provide more clarity regarding whether your project is close to completion. If you’re a fan of agile methodologies, this may be the project plan  template for you. 

3. HubSpot Project Plan Outline

What really stands out for HubSpot’s Project Plan Outline is its flexibility. Available for Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and PDF, this project plan template is suitable for a range of tasks and formats. It’s also extremely broad in its scope, providing sections titled overview, objectives, roles and responsibilities, schedule, budget, and more. This will suit a wide range of project managers and teams, so it’s a good choice if you regularly take on a variety of different projects.

4. Conference Planning Checklist

(Image credit: Future)

Project plan templates are not always broad one-size-fits-all documents. Sometimes they are targeted at particular kinds of projects – which is the case with this free conference planning checklist. Available as a PDF, this document is split into 10 sections based on the time when each task should take place. Items listed for completion include opening registration, preparing the conference program, purchasing supplies, preparing registration packets, and organizing a rehearsal.

Download the Conference Planning Checklist for PDF here.

5. Project Budget

Of course, it not usually easy to gain a concrete handle on project budgets. They are frequently overrun, even when considering some of the biggest and best-funded projedfts in the world. Even so, having a clear project budget template can make it easier to stay on track, which is why this template is so helpful. Containing costs like labor, consultant fees, raw materials, software licences, and more, this will help ensure costs don’t spiral out of control. 

Download this free Project Budget Template for Google Sheets here.

6. Weekly Project Plan

Depending on your industry (or individual project), it might make sense for you to break down your tasks by day, week, quarter or year. For some businesses, this Weekly Project Plan will be just right, with its easy day-by-day management, automated time tracking financial tracking functionality. A great tool is you generally work week to week.

7. Risk Management

Identifying risks before they cause disruption may not be easy but having the right risk management template in place will certainly help. Risks can come in various forms, including malware, natural disaster, human error and more. Through identification, assessment, mitigation, and monitoring, this template makes it much less likely that your project will be de-railed by something unexpected.

Download a free Risk Management template here.

8. Simple Gantt Chart

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Photo Veterok)

Anyone with experience of project management is likely to be familiar with Gannt charts. These provide a graphic depiction of a project’s schedule and hence simplify the start and end, as well as demonstrating how each task relates to the other. This template from Microsoft is ideal for everything from business plans to student assignments due to its easy customization. It also supports a variety of fonts, images, graphics, videos and animations. 

Download Microsoft’s Simple Gantt Chart for Excel here.

9. Concept map

Brainstorming

(Image credit: Startup Stock Photos / Pexels)

Available for PDF, PowerPoint, and Google Slides, this concept map works a little differently from many of the other project plan templates listed here. This is great for top-level strategic design and provides a framework for brainstorming, information sharing, and problem-solving.

10. Action Plan

An action plan differentiates itself from other project plans by focusing on the concrete next steps needed to achieve a specific goal. It usually lists things like the actions individuals need to complete, due dates, priority, and status. These documents shouldn’t contain nebulous overarching goals, like “increase revenue” but should instead focus on tangible task completion.

Download monday.com’s Action Plan Template here

11. Product Roadmap

Products rarely just appear on the shelves. They are the result of lengthy processes where companies conduct consumer research and competitor analysis before creating a minimum viable product and then tentatively carrying out a launch. Even at that stage, businesses should take a data-driven approach to see how the launch is performing and what can be improved at the next stage. This template will help at every stage. 

12. Decision tree

A decision tree aims to ensure you make the right choice when more than one possible route can be taken. It’s a graphical representation that starts with a central idea (root node) and branches out to show what will happen if you make a certain choice. It can provide real clarity whenever you have a dilemma on your hands. HubSpot’s template is available for PowerPoint, Google Slides, and PDF. You can download it here

13. Eisenhower matrix

An Eisenhower matrix is a two-axis graph that aims to support the prioritization of your tasks. Tasks can be categorized as urgent, not urgent, important, or not important. It helps teams to visualize which tasks they should focus on first and which can be left to a later date. This template can also be easily shared with other team members to assist with collaboration

14. Implementation Plan Word

An implementation plan outlines exactly how your task will get done. Stakeholders are asked to describe the purpose of their plan and identify the system that will need to be implemented. They’ll then need to list any assumptions and constraints before listing major tasks and creating an implementation schedule. There’s also an opportunity to list security and privacy requirements, as well as support options. 

Download an Implementation Plan Word Template here.

15. Change Order

You may have every intention of sticking to your original plan, but as new developments come to light, changes will invariably have to be made. If that’s the case, a change order template could prove very useful. This will detail any revisions to the scope of work in a project, highlighting the exact change being proposed, how much it will cost and what effect it is likely to have on your original schedule.

Download a free Change Order Template here.

16. Heat map

HubSpot Heat map

(Image credit: HubSpot)

Many project plan templates don’t provide new information, as such, they simply present it in a new way. That’s certainly the case with a heat map, which provides a color-coded visual representation so you can more clearly see which tasks to prioritize. Heat maps can be used to show a variety of metrics, including website traffic, customer demographics and more.  

17. Scope management

Projects can quickly spiral out of control if managers don’t keep close tabs on things. A scope management plan outlines a project’s goals, deliverables, costs, and deadlines. In fact, it outlines parameters for all aspects of the project. These are the kinds of restraints that managers need to enforce, if they want projects to run smoothly.

18. HR Project Planning

Two people shaking hands across a corporate desk

(Image credit: Image Credit: Pexels)

As mentioned previosuily, not all project plan templates are applicable to all industries or tasks. This one is specifically designed to help human resources teams, who often have multiple projects on the go at once. For example, they may need to update the employee onboarding process, create surveys, or schedule training. Dispites can also arise at any time. 

19. Content calendar

Google Calendar

(Image credit: Google)

For individuals or teams that publish content, a calendar-style project planning may make the most sense as they msy have print deadlines that cannot be moved. A calendar view may look simple, but it can still be color-coded and shared to provide more detailed guidance for a particular project.

20. Kanban Planning

Kanban

(Image credit: Chanty)

Alongside Gannt charts, a Kanban board may be the best known feature among project management fans. A Kanban board is a tool for workflow visualization that works by organizing tasks into cards and columns. Tasks are separated into different categories so managers can clearly see what needs to be done and when.

21. Project Monitoring and Control

Once a projects has been started, no matter how meticulously it is planned, that doesn’t mean its guaranteed to be a success. To ensure that’s the case, managers need to carefully monitor how projects are progressing against their initial expectations or goals. This template provides a handy bird’s eye view of all a project’s tasks, deadlines, and progress.

Download a free Project Monitoring and Control Template here.

22. Simple Profit and Loss Statement

Coins on a £20 note

(Image credit: Pixabay)

Don’t let “simple” fool you, there’s nothing more important than keeping track of how much a project is costing you and how much it is bringing in. A straightforward breakdown of the profit and loss stemming from a particular project can also lead to further analysis. 

23. Product launch

A product launch is a big deal, so it’s essential that you have a clear plan before rushing in. This template lets you list the names of your products, write out your positioning statement, and provide an overview of your market analysis. It provides clear guidelines that will help your new product have the best chance of success.

24. Stakeholders map

Most projects are not individual undertakings but even if a greater number of stakeholders can help unlock new ideas, it can also make things more complicated. This stakeholder map let’s you quickly identify all the stakeholders involved in your upcoming project, differentiating between internal and external stakeholders and streamlining communication. 

Download this free stakeholders map here

25. Employee Timecard

Photographer on laptop at home

(Image credit: Unsplash / Dylan Gillis)

Gaining an overview of how your employees are allocating their time can be extremely useful for managers – especially if their team is made up of external freelancers. In the age of hybrid working, its importance has only grown too.

26. Issue Tracker

Issues are unavoidable during projects – whether they are related to software being used, personnel or anything else. This template for tracking issues lets you assign individual to resolve them so problems aren’t ignored and left to fester. 

Download this free Issue Tracker Template here

27. Quality Control

What’s the definition of “quality”? Well, I guess that depend on who’s being asked and their particular criteria. This template makes all that clear by allowing managers to list who decides on quality (customers, developers, etc) and how defects are detected (testing, review, etc). It means quality is always front of mind. 

28. Project performance

This template uses tables and conditional formatting to provide high-level feedback on project performance for stakeholders – both internal and external. It delivers a succinct update in a customizable, clear table.

Download this free project performance report template here.

29. Social Media Management

A group of cubes all displaying social media logos

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Bloomicon)

Social networks are hugely important for many industries and this importance is reflected in how businesses manage their social media output. A social media management business proposal template can bring clarity to your content promotion strategy by outlining the engagement you’re looking to achieve and, crucially, how much it is going to cost.

30. IT Project Management

IT is core to most businesses today – and the pace of digital transformation being experienced means this is increasingly true. However, modem technology stacks can be complicated. There are usually multiple vendors involved and integrations aren’t always straightforward. However, IT project management templates can help make it clearer what an IT solution is able to deliver, what audience it is targeting, and what features it provides. IT is fundamental to the modern business environment. This template can make sure you get the most from it. 

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