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Project Plan Project Management Template

April 16 2007

Project Management Template for a Project Plan

As a Project Manager, you’ll know that the most important item in your tool-box is your Project Plan. It tells you what the current status of your project is, whether you’re on track and what your forecast delivery date is. So to help you to keep your plan up-to-date, we’ve described the steps you need to take to complete this project activity more efficiently.

How to keep your Project Plan Up-To-Date…

Whether you’re managing small, medium or large scale projects, you need to keep your project management plan up-to-date on a regular basis. Most Project Managers update their Project Plan on a weekly basis using a project management template to ensure that they will produce the required deliverables, within the agreed schedule.

However the process of entering all of the required information into the project plan and having it ready for review on a weekly basis, is not an easy one! But if you take these simple steps listed below, then you will be able to update your Project Plan quickly and accurately, giving you all of the information you need to make decisions about the project.

Step 1: Enter Timesheet Information

The first step taken when updating your Project Plan is to identify how much time your staff have spent on the project. You need to calculate:

  • The total time spent by full-time and part-time staff
  • All time spent by contractors and suppliers
  • Any time spent by internal staff

To capture this information quickly and accurately, you should make sure that all staff who have been accounted for in the Business Case submit to you a Timesheet on a weekly basis. By collating the time captured within each timesheet and allocating it against the respective project activities in the Project Plan, you will be able to determine whether the budgeted time allocated to each project activity has been exceed or not.

Step 2: Enter Deliverable Information

You now have an idea of the time spent completing each activity and project deliverable. But what is the status of the deliverable? How complete is it? Your team now need to update the project plan with the current percentage completion of each deliverable to give you an idea of how much has been achieved vs. the time spent achieving it.

For instance, your team might have already used all of the time budgeted to complete a deliverable, but the deliverable might only be 50% complete!

By comparing the percentage completion of each deliverable  vs. the  percentage of budgeted time used, you will have a good idea of whether the team are currently on track. Any delivery issues can then be identified and you can immediately take action to rectify them.

Step 3: Enter Financial Information

The last step taken to update your Project Plan is to enter the total expense information for the project to date. You will need to gather all of the project invoices for the current reporting period (e.g. the prior week) and calculate the total cost of completing each activity and deliverable within the project. Then enter this information into the project plan.

You can then use this information to check the percentage completion of the deliverable against the percentage consumption of the available budget. You’ll easily be able to identify any instances of over or under spending, and take action to rectify any issues.

Step 4: Perform Project Planning Maintenance

Having now updated your Project Plan and determined whether your project is on track, there are several other tasks to perform, including:

  • Re-baselining the Project Plan if needed
  • Updating the Resource Plan
  • Updating the Financial Plan
  • Updating the Quality Plan
  • Updating the Risk Plan
  • Updating the Acceptance Plan
  • Updating the Communications Plan
  • Updating the Procurement Plan

By keeping your Project Plan up-to-date, you can keep an eye on the overall status of the project at all times. You’ll be able to identify any delivery issues early and the take action when needed, to keep the project on track. As a Project Manager this is your single most important project task.

Select any of the above links to download a project managment template, all project management templates or this project management software which help you to keep your project on track.