How to Write a Project Management Plan (& Free Templates)

Today, we’ll cover the crucial elements and steps you need to take when creating a project management plan. We’ve also included 15 project plan templates you can use right away. The good news is you can download them for free, edit them online, and share them with your team.

Let’s start with some basic information about project management plans, but feel free to jump ahead to the templates using the table of contents below.

 

Contents hide

Table of Contents

What Is a Project Management Plan?

What Is Included in a Project Management Plan?

How to Create a Project Plan in 4 Simple Steps

15 Project Management Plan Templates to Choose From

FAQs

 

What Is a Project Management Plan?

A project management plan is a formalized document that outlines a project from beginning to end. Often, a project management plan includes a methodology for risk management, a cost management section and a way to track your schedule and due dates.

Project management plans are crucial for your change management efforts and to keep your project schedule on track.

Tools like Visme can help you design effective project management plans that communicate metrics to key stakeholders and team members.

 

What Is Included in a Project Management Plan?

A good project management planning template will cover all the necessary information that’s required to successfully get the project off the ground. This includes what needs to be done, when and how it’s going to be done and who is responsible for each task involved.

Here are the major sections to include in your project management plan.

 

Element #1: Executive Summary

The first part of the project to cover is the executive summary. An executive summary is simply a short paragraph outlining the critical contents of the report, which you can use to set the tone for your project plan.

 

Element #2: Project Scope & Deliverables

The next section of the project management plan is the project scope and deliverables. The project scope is a break down of all the work that needs to be done to achieve the project goals.

This section is particularly useful for project managers to track the actual progress of the project and limit unnecessary scope creep.

 

Element #3: Project Schedule

The third aspect of your project is the project schedule. Making a schedule is a critical component in the planning phase because it will help you and the rest of your team stay on track throughout the project.

 

Element #4: Project Resources

The next section of a project management outline is the project resources section. This section outlines everything you need to successfully complete the entire project, from the necessary people and budget to tools and equipment.

 

Element #5: Risk Management Plan

The fifth section of your project management plan includes your protocol regarding risk. You may want to have a list of potential mishaps or obstacles that may get in your way.

Creating a risk management plan will help you prepare for and address project risks as they come up.

 

Element #6: Communication Management Plan

Lastly, you will need to include a communication plan. This section will determine how team members communicate with each other throughout the project life cycle.

Your team members may have different communication styles, so it’s important to acknowledge these differences and decide on how to navigate these differences in the most efficient way.

 

How to Write a Project Plan in 4 Simple Steps

Not sure where to start? Creating a project management plan is a simple and straightforward process if you follow a structure like the one below.

 

Step #1:  Highlight key points with an executive summary.

The executive summary is a brief description of your project management plan that gives a description and a high level overview of the project plan. When it comes to your project documents, stakeholders will usually read the executive summary first.

You might find things like goals, milestones, the overall timeframe and the critical milestones you need to hit to make the project a reality. However, keep in mind the executive summary should be brief — think of your summary as a proof of concept.

 

Step #2:  Add a visual representation of your timeline.

Successful projects are planned meticulously. A key aspect that will help you improve your planning is to add a visual representation of your timeline. This timeline will be a great resource to monitor as your project progresses.

In step two, you may want to add a Gantt chart to make the process of building your timeline easier. You can use the Gantt chart template below for your project planning process.

Using a Gantt chart, you can plot tasks and milestones by date. This will help you assign resources, analyze dependencies and prepare your team for the work ahead.

 

Step #3:  Visualize team structure with an organizational chart.

A challenging aspect of project planning is getting on the same page with your team. You need to know who is responsible for what before you can operate at peak efficiency.

Visualize team structure with the help of an organizational chart so everyone is clear about their role in the project. You can customize the template below for your own project team.

 

Step #4: Use project status reports to stay ahead of deadlines.

The final step we’ll explore together is the creation of project status reports. These status reports will help keep internal team members and external stakeholders updated on the project progress.

You can begin this process in the initial kick off meeting by setting expectations for when you will share status reports. Build the infrastructure and processes for reporting on your progress ahead of time. This is an easy way to make sure your team is staying on track.

 

15 Project Management Plan Templates to Use Right Away

Now that you understand what to include in your project management outline, here are some project management plan examples to give you a head start. Each template is ready to download and fully customizable or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

Template #1: Project Communication Plan

One of the best ways to improve team efficiency and align everyone to the same vision is to improve communication. From communicating stakeholders’ needs to describing the vision behind your most significant decisions — communication is critical.

This project communication plan template is ideal for digital marketers and agencies ready to work on their next campaign. But, you can easily edit it for use in any other industry or field.

Visme’s editor allows you to easily customize the template in ways that help your brand stand out. You swap the font styles, colors and typography with a few clicks.

 

Template #2: Project Schedule Planner

This project planner and schedule template is designed with a professional and clean style. It comes with a modern color scheme and easy-to-edit sections that help you make fast, efficient progress in your project.

You can use it to track a wide variety of projects across many industries.

Visme makes it easy to unlock the power of personalization. Start by adding your brand fonts and colors. Also, add some icons and images to enhance your design.

 

Template #3: Cancer Fundraiser Project Plan

The next template we’ll explore is the cancer fundraiser template. This template is excellent for non-profits or advocates who are putting together a multistage project.

The template is pre-designed to help you create an efficient and professional design. It comes loaded with beautiful color schemes and design elements that you can tweak or delete.

When you’re ready to make the template your own, you can start to swap in your brand colors. Also, Visme makes it easy to import your fonts or to explore our massive library.

We also have a library full of design elements, including charts and graphs, which you can explore for your project plan.

 

Template #4: Retail Development Project Plan

This retail development project management plan template is pre-designed with a modern style. The use of white space, a clean layout and contrasting colors make this project plan template ideal for corporate and professional use.

You can use this template to track and manage a large variety of projects across several industries.

Visme makes it easy to unlock the power of personalization. Start by adding your brand fonts and colors. Also, add some icons and images to up-level your design.

 

Template #5: Agile Project Plan

Let’s move on to our fifth template. The agile project plan template is an excellent choice if you’re looking to create a project plan with a clean and modern design.

The template comes designed with a professional color scheme. Also, the design elements are easy to tweak to make rapid progress on your plan.

The agile project plan template is excellent for project management professionals looking to speed up their workflow. You can use it to track all kinds of projects.

Plus, you are not limited to colors and design elements included in the template. You can easily use the Visme editor to add your brand colors and fonts. If you’d prefer to experiment, we have libraries full of design elements that you can utilize on your next project.

 

Template #6: Construction Project Plan

This construction project plan template is a good choice for corporate or real estate teams who want to protect their reputation for professionalism and set their customer’s minds at ease.

The design achieves this in two ways.

First, the template uses modern and clean design elements. Second, Visme is built with non-designers in mind. This ease of use means that you can efficiently complete the project plan and meet all your deadlines.

While the template already has a beautiful set of design elements, it’s easy to make it your own. When you’re ready, just add in your colors or fonts. If you don’t quite have a creative vision for your plan yet, you can browse our massive library of design elements.

 

Template #7: Healthcare Project Plan

This healthcare project plan template is most suitable for project managers in the healthcare industry, but anyone in the larger health and wellness field may benefit from using it.

This template is designed with a clean style. With modern colors and design elements that you can utilize right way, it offers an excellent foundation for a professional project plan.

One of the best features of Visme is the ability to personalize your project plan to make it your own. You have complete control over design elements like icons, fonts and the color scheme.

 

Template #8: Rebranding Project Plan

Let’s move on to our eighth template. The rebranding project plan template is an excellent choice if you’re looking to make a project plan with a beautiful design.

The template is made with a clean and modern color scheme. Plus, the design elements are easy to edit to complete the project plan on your own.

The rebranding project plan template is a fantastic choice for brands looking to shift their online presence with a new campaign or website. However, the template can also be used for other types of projects, such as corporate projects, real estate projects and construction projects.

While the template does come preloaded with design elements, you are not limited by these choices. The Visme editor makes it easy to edit the template until it matches your vision.

 

Template #9: House Engineering Project Plan

This house building project plan template is suitable for multistage projects that have a lot of moving parts.

The design is perfect for these types of projects for a couple of reasons. First, the modern design creates a good user experience that improves team communication.

Second, Visme is built with efficiency in mind. This ease of use means that you can rapidly move from stage to stage during the design process. This helps you stay organized and on track.

The template comes preloaded with stunning design elements. However, if you have your vision, that’s great as well. It’s simple to add in your colors or fonts, pictures, icons and colors.

 

Template #10: Video Creation Project Plan

The next template we’ll explore is the beautiful video creation project plan template. Something that jumps out about this template is the professional approach it takes with color.

Notably, it’s also built with editing speed in mind, which means you can make fast progress on your project plan. While marketing professionals and content creators will get a massive benefit from this template, it’s also great for a wide variety of projects.

 

Template #11: Technology Project Plan

Let’s move on to our next template — the technology project plan template. This template is a terrific choice if you’re looking to create a project plan with a modern design.

The template comes designed with a color scheme that gives you a professional look. Plus, it’s easy to swap in new design elements so your project plan has a unique look and feel.

The tech project plan template helps tech startups and software teams who need to speed up their workflow. However, you can use it to track all kinds of projects.

Also, Visme never limits you to the design elements found in the template. You have a ton of flexibility to help make your next project plan your own.

 

Template #12: Software Project Plan

The software project plan template is a good choice for tech startups who want to ship their product improvements consistently. The template is packed with modern design elements.

Also, Visme is built with speed in mind. This ability to work quickly means that you can efficiently complete the planning portions of your projects.

While the template already has a robust set of design elements, you can easily swap in your ideas to make the plan your own. Or, easily add your own colors or fonts to the template.

 

Template #13: Travel and Lodging Website Project Plan

The next template we’ll explore is an excellent choice for your next project plan — the travel and lodging website project plan template. The modern color design and easy to edit design elements come together to create a helpful template for project management professionals.

While it’s specifically built for the travel industry, you can use it to track and manage a wide variety of projects across several industries and fields.

With Visme, you can make any template highly unique. Get started by adding in your brand fonts and colors. Moreover, browse through built-in libraries of free design assets.

 

Template #14: Book Writing Project Plan

The book writing project template is a good choice if you’re looking to create a project plan for your book or any other type of publication.

The template comes designed with a color scheme you won’t get bored of looking at every day. Also, the design elements are easy to tweak so you can make rapid progress on your goals.

The book writing project plan is perfect for authors and future authors who want to take their book plans to the next level. In the template, you can easily use the Visme editor to add your brand colors and fonts.

If you’d prefer to experiment, we have tons of options in our library to help, such as free images, icons, shapes, illustrations, charts, graphs and pre-designed content blocks.

 

Template #15: Website Redesign Project Plan

The last template we’ll explore is the website redesign project plan. This template is a good choice for design agencies and brands looking to create a new website.

The template uses modern and clean design elements. Also, because Visme is built with non-designers in mind, it’s an easy template to customize and use.

With this template, you can efficiently complete the project plan and meet all your deadlines. While the template already has a beautiful set of design elements, it’s also easy to edit and adapt it to your own needs.

When you’re ready to get started, just add in your colors or fonts. If you’re not sure what to add, you can browse our massive library of design elements.

 

FAQs

What is a simple project plan?

A simple project plan is a formal document that helps with project execution and planning. The primary purpose of a simple project plan is to help with planning and communication.

Also, project plans help facilitate excellent team communication between stakeholders.

Who approves a project management plan?

Usually, a project manager or PMP is in charge of approving the plans and releasing the needed resources for the project. This role is sometimes called the project sponsor.

Typically, the person who approves the plan is also in charge of monitoring the baseline project metrics to ensure everything is running according to schedule.

What is the main purpose of a project management plan?

The main purpose of the project management plan, sometimes called a project charter,  is to provide a document that acts as a reference for everyone in the project. This document provides all the essential details, lists the project stakeholders and describes the processes you need to implement.

What is a good project plan?

Excellent project planning happens when you can define your project objectives, describe your goals and list all the milestones you need to complete to finish the project.

Also, a good plan needs to be accessible. If you’re not sharing your project with everyone on your team, it cannot facilitate communication.

If you’re simply creating a plan and not sharing it, you’re wasting time and effort.

What is a detailed project plan?

If you’d like to create a detailed project plan, you need to add a few components.

First, you need to justify your plan. What solutions is your project designed to implement?

Next, it’s essential to talk about the outcomes. A detailed project plan must list the direct outcomes it hopes to achieve.

Lastly, it’s essential to talk about outcomes or deliverables. It’s crucial to spend time talking about what exactly the final product will look like.

What’s the best project plan maker online?

Visme has the best project management plan on the market today. Our templates help you display your projects in an engaging way. As we discussed in this article, we have templates to help your project team stay on track.

You can use these templates to mockup your project plans fast.

Visme will help you achieve your goals and stay on schedule with your next project.

 

Ready to Design Your Own Project Management Plan?

If you made it to this section of the article, you know it’s time to create a project management plan with Visme. For some extra help, check out a guided tour of Visme in this animated explainer video.

When you’re ready, sign up for a free Visme account and start designing your next project management plan right away.

Samandishe (samandishe.com)

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