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

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

Brian Nuckols

Written by:
Brian Nuckols

Today, we’ll explore the crucial elements and steps you need to cover while creating a project management plan. I’ve also added 15 project plan templates you can use right now.

Good news, you can edit them online, share them with your team or download them for free. Just get started by picking the template you like from the table of contents below.

 

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What is a Project Management Plan?

A project management plan is a formalized document that outlines a particular 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.

Typically, software tools like Visme are utilized to design project management plans that help communicate metrics to key stakeholders and team members.

 

What is Included in a Project Management Plan?

A good project management plan will cover all the necessary information that's required to successfully get the project off the ground — including what needs to be done and when, 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.

This section is particularly useful for the PMI or manager on your team. Fundamentally, it’s an outline and description of the project.

One thing to keep in mind for your planning process, the scope section will most typically involve a breakdown of all of the measurable deliverables.

The project scope and deliverables section is an important step to building your project management plan.

 

Element #3: Project Schedule

The third aspect of your project is the project schedule. The schedule is a critical component in the planning phase because it will help you allocate your project budget and clarify the project deliverables.

The project schedule is an essential step when it comes to creating your project plan.

 

Element #4: Project Resources

The next section of the project management plan is the project resources section. In this section, you will define the overall scope of the project.

This scope includes the necessary personnel, budget and other resources you require to ensure the project’s success.

 

Element #5: Risk and Issue 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.

When you discover this, you can make a plan to 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.

 

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 encounter 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 is 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 own project plan.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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. It’s critical to get on the same page, so you’re operating 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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Plus, 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.

 

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

The final step we’ll explore together is the creation of status reports.

As we discussed, communication is a key aspect of successful projects. These status reports will help keep internal team members and external stakeholders updated on the project progress.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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 exactly to include in your project management plan, here are some customizable templates to give you a head start for creating your own project plan.

 

Template #1: Project Communication Plan

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

Template #2: Project Schedule Planner

This project planner and schedule template is designed with a professional and clean style. Additionally, it comes with a modern color scheme and easy-to-edit sections that help you make fast progress on your project management plan.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

Template #9: House Engineering Project Plan

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

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Customize this template now by clicking on the button above or browse through our other project plan templates to find your ideal fit.

 

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. However, you might need a little help taking the following steps.

If so, check out a guided tour of Visme in the animated explainer video.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. 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.

Q2. 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.

Q3. 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.

Q4. 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.

Q5. 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.

Q6. 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.

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    About the Author

    Brian Nuckols is a writer working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enjoys communicating visionary ideas in clear, action oriented language. When he’s not working on content for a transformative company you can find him analyzing dreams, creating music, and writing poetry.

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