If you are in a managerial position, you can never ignore the project timeline tool that lets you plan the phases of the project. Whenever you are asked to present a project report or phase-based progress to your heads, it is essential to develop and establish proper timelines that impress the firm and also improve the reliability of your project.
In general, the timeline is not just restricted to rows and columns. It includes graphs and charts that can be easily understood by the rest of the members. You need templates to create an effective timeline that can be easily transformed into other forms. This post contains all essential project timeline templates to apply for your personal and industrial projects.
Simple project timeline templates
If you are new to the concept of the project management timeline, you can directly use these simple excel templates where you can write down the tasks to be accomplished along with the deadlines proposed for each of the tasks.
The schedules in an excel project are usually categorized as weeks or months. The first step is to list down the tasks. The next step is to find out the number of weeks required for each task. Sometimes, there can be multiple tasks overlapping during the same time. In that case, you can differentiate them with multiple color schemes. You can do this easily in the usual spreadsheet software or even Paint tool. However, this is ideal for beginners. When you are a project manager, you need to display professionalism and not rely on these applications.
Some projects tend to extend for years and it can be extremely difficult to track down the progress of activities with a spreadsheet or on a blog. Similarly, it does not look attractive when you present the outcomes at a meeting. You may have to get creative and list benchmarks achieved at different points of time during a year. Some of the excel templates listed here act as examples to categorize results based on year and department and list them as a graph or a chart with a specific color scheme. This is not only simple but also effective that every project manager should get used to.
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Annual project timeline templates chart
Are you on a project that will last for a year? How have you planned to track the progress? The conventional calendar system or a spreadsheet will not do. You need annual project plan timeline templates excel that can tell you the right way to study the progress and plan for the upcoming year. Usually, a year-long project attains its completion when the project plan report is provided by the team to the client.
Before we explain more on such projects, here are a few excel templates that you should use if you are associated with a project plan of similar duration.
Remember that you have to break the year-long project plan into multiple milestones that can be accomplished in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year and then prepare individual timelines that can be circulated to respective departments. Subsequently, those excel templates can be used and the reports or results should be issued to the project plan manager. These annual formats are meant to showcase a crisp overview of what you have achieved in each month of the year.
It has to include the milestone or key task accomplished under each month with appropriate pointers. This can be easy for the project stakeholders to memorize and assess the improvement or outcomes on the whole. It is also possible to identify the areas that require improvement or the months where the project team has not performed to the mark. This is a model for the project plan team to reflect and stakeholders to understand the competency of the members.
How to use project plan timeline effectively for business?
Using a project management timeline as such does not make you a potential manager. You need to maximize the use of the timeline and data for the entire business project. Here are a few steps to make that happen.
- If it is a new project, begin with scope definition for the project and then create a WBS (work breakdown structure) that will let you evaluate duration, data, dependencies, resources, and milestones that can influence the progress. Finally, build the timeline. The other aspect to keep in mind during timeline creation is to allow duration in every milestone to sort out issues and communicate with stakeholders. This reduces the overall risks involved and also does not impact costs and duration negatively.
- If it is a long-term project, make it a habit to create the basic timeline and then milestone-based timeline. This will let you achieve milestones with better precision and utmost satisfaction. Instead of maintaining a lengthy timeline and sharing with stakeholders, it is a better idea to convert a task-based timeline into a pictorial representation.
- Integrate the timeline with the human resource plan and risk management plan. This will ease the task and mitigate the overall risks involved.
Always maintain a chronological order when you create the timeline for a big project. This will make it possible for stakeholders associated with a project to grab the big picture and take effective decisions. As this is usually stored for official reasons, gain a deeper understanding of using this tool before you directly apply to the project.
Project roadmap template
Can you believe that your project plan timeline can also be used as a roadmap? Your performance in a project can essentially let the organization to draft the roadmap for the months to come. It is perhaps difficult to derive a roadmap directly from the timeline but we make it easy with these excel templates.
Sometimes, you may have to enclose the performance of a complete project in one Powerpoint slide which is a cumbersome task. This template tells you that you can either split the accomplishments into different quarters or based on the teams or based on the outcomes so it becomes easier for the management to evaluate and take decisions. All you need to do is fill this template and place the points in appropriate positions and you are done with your slide. Alternatively, you can arrange the tasks chronologically for the audience to understand it better.
Editable free project timeline plan
If you are quite experienced in using a timeline, it is high time that you go for editable template in different formats like PDF, Excel, and Word.
In all of these marketing plan color template, you can notice that you can add legal notes as well as the statuses of tasks. Further, it is possible to estimate the total costs spent to achieve a particular milestone. Ideally, a competent project manager can make use of a timeline to perform multiple purposes and not confuse with too many tools. Irrespective of the total duration proposed, use this template and see your efficiency levels growing!
Gantt chart based project timeline plan
In general, we can create a project timeline plan just in the form of a spreadsheet or a table but using software like Microsoft Project can give an excellent outlook and helps you do the job rightly. If you are not used to such applications, it is just better to limit to these templates that can give you an understanding of how to list the tasks and how tasks get converted to timelines.
This marketing plan/model is advantageous to follow for several reasons such as tracking business performance for the best results.
- It is possible to directly allocate the roles against each task so such members carry out their responsibilities diligently.
- The interrelationships between tasks can easily be identified in this model. In other words, altering one task can affect the rest of the tasks as they are interconnected. This is one way within the scope of the project.
- This model lets you calculate the costs spent towards each activity as accurately as possible. As the tasks are interconnected, we can also share the roles between activities and reduce the chances of running out of budget. The main advantage is that this model alerts the team when the project is going out of scope or is likely to face financial overhead.
- This model does not want the project team to use multiple applications to communicate the schedule and know what to do next. As this is a shared model, everyone can keep track of the activities scheduled and do the task individually or as a team based on the needs.
- Using the Gantt chart model can also remind the project manager of the complexities faced by the team in achieving a milestone and the likelihood of a constraint that can arise in the next phase. This will let the project management plan for risks and contingencies without delays.
- How do you know if you have overallocated tasks to a resource or used too many resources for the same task? This model gives you a warning with other indicators like costs and time spent.
Need more models/plans? Here you go!
All the templates listed in this post can actually groom your managerial skills at no additional costs. It also becomes handy for you to present the report to your stakeholders at the end of each milestone. This is not a painstaking task and is absolutely perfect to lean for anyone who wishes to organize life better and also avoid overheads on a weekly or monthly basis. These improve your competencies as well as teach you secret hacks to maximize your performance without having to invest much on the efforts. If you liked them, do share them with your friends and also check out Excel Inventory Templates