14 Free Project Plan Templates for All Teams

Christina Ballinger
February 9, 2024
min read
February 8, 2024
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Use these 14 customizable project plan templates to enhance communication, save time and achieve your strategic planning goals.
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A project plan isn't just a document; it's your roadmap to project success. Building a project plan is an investment that pays off in terms of efficiency and collaboration.

Project plan templates help you not only save time and resources but also enhance communication and project transparency.

A project planning template is a living document that helps you define the who, what, when, where and why of any project— no matter your team size, function or industry.

Here are 14 different types of project plan templates to kick off your new projects and help you achieve more with less stress and effort.

Jump to a template:

TL;DR: Project plan templates

  • This blog provides 14 different types of project plan templates, plus a gallery of 100+ templates.
  • Learn what to include in your project plan template, including the necessary sections for your project plan and documentation to include for each project phase.
  • How to write a project plan: We'll walk you through the project planning process from defining the project, to project launch and beyond.

Whether you are a seasoned project manager or just starting out, these free project plan templates will help you effectively plan and manage your projects from start to finish. 

‎Project planning template

Project plan template

Create a step-by-step approach to creating a solid project plan with this customizable project planning template.

Use this project plan template to:

  • Outline project goals.
  • Define tasks and deliverables.
  • Allocate resources.
  • Establish timelines.
  • Achieve successful project outcomes!

‍👉 Try this project plan template for free.

Project checklist template

Project checklist template

This project checklist template provides a starting point to outline the essential tasks, activities and milestones that need to be completed throughout the project lifecycle.

This project checklist template includes task lists for each project phase:

  • Project initiation phase.
  • Project planning phase.
  • Project execution phase.
  • Monitoring and controlling phase.
  • Closing phase.
  • Project documentation.

‍👉 Try this ‎project checklist template for free.

‎Project scope template

Pr‎oject scope template: project plan templates
Project scope template

‎A project scope template serves as a roadmap for establishing clear expectations with stakeholders and project team members, outlining:

  • The work that needs to be done.
  • Resource requirements.
  • The timeline for completion.

‍👉 Try this project scope template for free.

‎Action plan template

Business ac‎tion plan template

Use this business action plan template to provide a clear and structured framework to:

  • Identify project goals.
  • Address challenges.
  • Implement actions to achieve desired outcomes.

‍👉 Try this action plan template for free.

‎Project schedule template

‎Project schedule template

A project schedule template helps you break down your project into small, manageable tasks.

Use this project schedule template to streamline the planning process, making it easier to estimate task duration and track progress:

  • Clearly define project deliverables.
  • Organize tasks and milestones with specific timeframes for each task.
  • Set realistic deadlines.
  • Effectively allocate resources.
  • Track deliverables and progress throughout the project lifecycle.

‍👉 Try this project schedule template for free.

‎Project timeline template

‎A project timeline template provides a high-level overview of your project's key milestones, phases, and major events in chronological order.

Project timeline templates present a simplified view of progress and major deadlines to stakeholders who may not need the level of detail found in a project schedule.

Use this project timeline template to outline:

  • Project information.
  • Project milestones.
  • Project task list with duration and start and end dates.
  • Task dependencies.
  • Resource allocation.
  • Progress tracking and task completion status.

‍👉 Try this project timeline template for free.

‎Communication plan template

Communication plan template
Use this communication plan template to develop a comprehensive communication plan to keep stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the project's lifecycle.

This template includes:

  • Purpose.
  • Communication objectives.
  • Communication strategy.
  • Communication processes.
  • Communication channels.
  • Schedule.
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Metrics.

‍👉 Try this communication plan template for free.

‎Change management template

Change management plan template

Change is inevitable, but with a change management plan, you can effectively manage changes, inform stakeholders and monitor risks.

Try this change management plan template to create a structured approach to:

  • Assessing and planning changes.
  • Ensuring approvals are obtained.
  • Implementing changes.
  • Conducting post-implementation reviews.

‍👉 Try this change management plan template for free.

‎‎Wo‎rk plan template

Work plan template

A work plan template outlines the tasks and activities required to complete a project. This work plan template includes:

  • A project timeline with specific deadlines.
  • A list of tasks or milestones.
  • A breakdown of resources required to complete each task.

‍👉 Try this work plan template for free.

Project work instructions template

Pr‎oject work instructions template: project plan templates
Project work instructions template

Work instructions are detailed, step-by-step guides that clearly explain how to perform a specific task.

Use this project work instruction template to outline the steps, procedures, and processes that need to be followed in order to complete project tasks.

A template like this can help you:

‍👉 Try this project work instructions template for free.

‎Project management plan template

Pr‎oject management plan template: project plan templates
‎Project management plan template

‎A project management template provides detailed information on processes and procedures.

Use this project management template to:

  • Provide a structured framework outlining how the project will be executed, monitored, and controlled.
  • Ensure that all necessary processes and procedures are in place to successfully complete the project.

‍👉 Try this project management template for free.

Project documentation template

‎Pr‎oject documentation template: project plan templates
Project documentation template

‎A project documentation template is an essential tool for documenting and tracking the progress of a project.

  • Use project documentation templates for different aspects of the project, like budgets, goal-setting, performance tracking, risk management and more.
  • Ensure all stakeholders are on the same page.
  • Facilitate communication and compliance with regulations and standards.

‍👉 Try this project documentation template for free.

Project handover template

Pr‎oject handover template: project plan templates
Project handover template

‎A project handover template ensures a smooth and efficient transition between team members, departments or organizations. 

  • Create a checklist of handover documents and items including project deliverables, equipment, and access to systems and databases.
  • Communicate all of the vital project details to all relevant parties.

‍👉 Try this project handover template for free.

Bonus: Work breakdown structure maker


‎Use an AI-powered tool like Scribe's work breakdown structure maker to automate the time-consuming process of creating work breakdown structures:

  • Divide your project's moving parts into smaller, manageable jobs.
  • Create a visual, step-by-step outline of each project phase or key deliverable.

‍👉 Try Scribe's work breakdown structure maker for free.

What is a project plan?

A project plan is like a roadmap for your project, outlining the steps needed to take you from start to finish. A well-crafted project plan template provides a clear outline for creating your executive summary, goals, milestones, deliverables, timelines, project management risks and budget details.

Why do you need a project plan? According to a survey conducted by the Project Management Institute, almost half of unsuccessful projects (47 percent) fail to meet their goals due to poor requirements management. Another PMI survey revealed that an average of 11 percent of investment is wasted due to poor project performance. The same survey found that organizations that do not value project management report an average of 67 percent more of their projects failing outright.

Project plans are an important tool for anyone undertaking a project, big or small. They help you stay organized, efficient, and accountable, increasing your chances of success.

What is the purpose of a project plan?

A project plan is more than a static document; it's a dynamic, comprehensive blueprint that sets the stage for the successful completion of your project. Project planning templates ensure everyone works towards the same goals, with the right tools and resources, preventing scope creep and maximizing team productivity strategies.

What to include in a project plan template

Your project plan template should provide a comprehensive outline of all activities required to successfully execute a project.

Here are the sections to include in your project planning templates:

1. Project overview

  • Executive summary: Brief overview of the project, summarizing its purpose, goals, and key components.
  • Project background: Context explaining why the project is necessary.

2. Project objectives and goals

  • Clearly defined project objectives that outline what you aim to achieve.
  • Measurable goals for success.

3. Scope

  • Project scope statement: Detailed description of what is included and excluded from the project.
  • Clear boundaries on in-scope and out-of-scope items.

4. Project deliverables

  • List of tangible outcomes or products that will be produced.

5. Project schedule

  • Work breakdown structure: Hierarchical breakdown of the project into phases, tasks and subtasks.
  • Project timeline: When each task or phase is expected to be completed.

6. Resource planning

  • Resource allocation: Assign human resources, equipment and materials to specific tasks.
  • Budget allocation: Estimate of the costs associated with each project phase.

7. Risk management

  • Identify potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the project.
  • Risk assessment: Evaluate the likelihood and impact of risks.
  • Risk mitigation strategies to minimize or address potential risks.

8. Stakeholder management

  • Identify project stakeholders and their roles.
  • Communication plan for keeping stakeholders informed and engaged.

9. Quality assurance

  • Quality standards: Clearly defined criteria for the quality of project deliverables.
  • Quality control measures: Processes for ensuring that project outputs meet specified standards.

10. Project team roles and responsibilities

  • Detailed roles and responsibilities of each team member.
  • Reporting structure and lines of communication.

11. Communication plan

  • Modes and frequency of communication among team members and stakeholders.
  • Procedures for handling project-related communication.

12. Change management

  • Procedures for handling changes to project scope, schedule or budget.
  • Approval processes for implementing changes.

💡 Scribe tip: Learn more about the 5 key components of a change management toolkit plus free templates to get you started.

13. Monitoring and evaluation

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics used to measure project performance.
  • Criteria for evaluating project success.

14. Closure and post-implementation plan

  • Procedures for closing out the project.
  • Post-implementation review to assess the overall success and identify areas for improvement.

15. Appendix

  • Additional supporting documentation, charts, or graphs that provide more detail on specific aspects of the project plan.

🎓 ‎Learn more: 8 Project Documentation Challenges You Need to Know (+ Solutions to Solve Them)

The project planning process

Project planning involves creating a comprehensive document outlining goals, deliverables, timelines, resources, and internal and external communication strategies.

Here are the steps you can follow during the project planning process.

Step 1. Define your project's core

Start by determining your new project's overall concept, goals, and completion strategy.

  • Goals and objectives: Clearly define what you want to achieve and the specific goals your project aims to accomplish. These will serve as the north star for your project plan.
  • Scope and boundaries: Establish project boundaries, clearly identifying what's included and what's not. This ensures everyone understands the focus and avoids scope creep.
  • Stakeholders: Identify all individuals or groups impacted by the project, like team members, clients, sponsors, and decision-makers.
  • Create a project budget to allocate resources and help to prevent overspending.
  • Define roles and responsibilities to ensure smooth planning, eliminate confusion, and promote accountability.

Step 2. Break down the work

Divide your project into smaller, manageable tasks. This visualization helps you understand the workflow and dependencies between tasks.

  • Identify the team members who will be involved.
  • Make sure that the right people are assigned to the right tasks and that your project has the necessary expertise.
  • Estimate the time needed for each task, considering the complexity and resources required.
  • Assign tasks to team members based on their expertise and availability. Use your resources efficiently to avoid overallocation and bottlenecks.

Step 3. Set the timeline and milestones

Create a roadmap outlining tasks and estimate timelines to establish a clear plan of action.

  • Identify your project milestones as key progress points, including tasks, budget targets, or team assembly.
  • Create a project schedule outlining the timeframe for completing tasks and achieving milestones. Gantt charts, kanban boards or calendar tools can be helpful for visualization.
  • Define milestones, key checkpoints and deliverables marking significant progress points in the project.
  • Specify deliverables during the project planning phase, setting expectations for the project team.

Step 4. Identify risks and plan for contingencies

Risk assessment is an important part of project planning. Identify potential risks or threats to your project and develop strategies and contingency plans to mitigate them.

  • Brainstorm potential risks that could delay your project, like resource delays, technical issues or market changes.
  • Develop strategies and a contingency plan to address risks, minimizing their impact on project timeline and budget.
  • Define your change management model and processes for handling change management activities.

🎓 ‎Read more: 7 Risks of Project Management: How to Avoid Disaster

Step 5. Optimize communication & collaboration

Use a communication plan template to outline effective communication with the team and external stakeholders during project planning.

  • Develop a communication plan for sharing project updates, decisions and project management challenges with stakeholders. 
  • Define communication channels, frequency and responsible parties.
  • Use project management tools, collaboration tools or shared documents to facilitate teamwork, information sharing, and task management.
  • Schedule regular project meetings to discuss progress, address issues, and keep everyone informed.

💡 ‎Learn more about popular project management tools:

Step 6. Project launch

Once all the necessary steps have been completed, your project is ready to launch!

Step 7. Monitor and adapt

Monitor your progress and ensure that your project stays on track.

  • Track progress against the project plan, identifying any deviations from the timeline or budget. 
  • Adapt and adjust your project plan as needed to maintain efficiency.
  • Share progress reports with stakeholders to maintain transparency and address any concerns.
  • Capture valuable lessons learned throughout the project to improve future projects.

Step 8. Keep your project documentation up-to-date

Use Scribe to document projects: project plan templates

‎Project documentation is an ongoing process. As the project progresses, you'll be creating new documents, updating existing ones, and referencing or linking them within the project plan to maintain a central point of information.

With Scribe, it’s easy to create, update and share project documentation. Simply capture your screen, and Scribe auto-generate a guide in seconds, complete with text, links and annotated screenshots.

You can quickly customize these step-by-step processes, and add titles, headings, tips, and additional information. Tailor with images, videos, GIFs, and links to build comprehensive project documentation.

Want to save even more time? Combine multiple Scribes in a single document with Scribe Pages and ask the AI to create your project documentation for you!

Use Scribe

‎When you're finished, you can easily share your project documents with one click:

  • Invite your teammates to your Scribe workspace.
  • Send documents with a link.
  • Use Smart Embed to showcase your Scribes within other platforms and tools like knowledge bases, company wikis, help centers and more.
  • Export to PDF, HTML, or Markdown.

You can easily edit and update your documentation in seconds — and with universal updates, the changes will be made wherever your documentation is stored.

Scribe user Chris Orsinger shares how easy it is to create step-by-step instructions in minutes:

"I love it! Easy learning curve - you get the hang of it in minutes. Scribe auto-generates all key steps and supporting visuals. Teammates love receiving these — it helps them adopt new streamlined processes, work more efficiently, and clearly understand directions - right away!"

What documents do I need for my project plan?

Since project planning is so comprehensive, we've listed the key project documentation you'll need — and when you'll need it.

1. Initiation phase

  • Project charter: Formally authorizes the project, and defines its scope, objectives, stakeholders, and high-level approach.
  • Business case: Justify the project by outlining its value, benefits, and costs.
  • Project summary: Provide a concise overview of the project, including its objectives, risks, timeline, and budget.

2. Planning phase

  • Project management plan: This is the central document of your plan, outlining the overall approach, resources, timelines, budgets, communication strategy, and risk management plan.
  • Work breakdown structure (WBS): Break down the project into smaller, manageable tasks and subtasks, helping you visualize the project's scope and dependencies.
  • Project budget: Detail estimated costs for each task and the overall project, including personnel, materials and equipment.
  • Project schedule: Define the timeline for completing tasks and achieving milestones. This is often represented in a Gantt chart.
  • Communication plan: Outline how project information will be shared with stakeholders, including frequency, channels, and responsible parties.
  • Risk management plan: Identify potential risks, assess their likelihood and impact, and outline mitigation strategies.

3. Execution and monitoring phase

  • Change management plan: Define how changes to the project scope, schedule, or project budget will be approved and implemented.
  • Meeting minutes: Document key decisions, action items, and next steps discussed during project meetings.
  • Status reports: Regularly update stakeholders on project progress, highlighting achievements, challenges, and upcoming milestones.

💡 ‎Check out our list of the best change management extensions to enhance your change management practices!

4. Closure phase

  • Project closure report: Summarize project achievements, lessons learned and final costs.
  • Post-project review: Analyze the project's success against its objectives and identify areas for improvement in future projects.

Wrapping up: Project plan templates

No matter the type of project — product launches, IT implementations, or any other project — project plan templates offer a structured framework tailored to your specific needs.

Build a project plan and boost your project success through clear direction, efficient execution and improved communication — sign up today!

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