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Project Chart Template

A project chart that clearly sets down the main road to the effective implementation of a project is any planner or manager’s guiding light. Delineating a timeline that includes the phases of a project from start to finish, project charts can be a great tool for reporting any occurring changes, tracking progress and communicating status to clients, teams and executives.

Given their fundamental role in illustrating the framework on which successful projects rely, project charts make the topic of this page. Here is where you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about project charts, as well as a professional, easy-to-customize project chart template that you can use for free.

What is a project chart?

A project management chart, also called a project chart, is a graphical representation of data related to a project(such as tasks, milestones, due dates, dependencies and deliverables).

Making difficult project management concepts more digestible to the audience through visualization, a project chart supports project managers in:

  • eliminating bottlenecks;
  • keeping project participants up-to-date about the development of the project;
  • making better decisions while executing their project;
  • streamlining and tracking project activities;
  • managing resources efficiently;
  • promoting collaboration among team members;
  • sharing and communicating information with stakeholders and teams more easily;
  • improving time management.

What is a project chart layout?

A valuable tool for planning and managing various types of projects, a project chart may take several shapes. Its layout depends on the nature of the project for which it is used and ranges from flowcharts and timelines to network diagrams and bar charts.

To see different samples of project charts, browse through our gallery of timeline templates.

How do you create a project chart?

Creating a clear, simple project chart requires that you follow the steps below:

  1. List all the activities (tasks) and events (milestones) that make up the work breakdown structure of your project.
  2. Determine the start and end dates for your tasks, and due dates for your milestones.
  3. Sequence the identified tasks in chronological order and use milestones to demarcate major phases in your project.

You can then turn all this information into a neat visual by using our project chart template provided here. Alternatively, you can make a timeline to illustrate your project data with the help of various office tools such as Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint.

Using and updating the Project Chart Template

The free project timeline template was created to serve all types of professionals who need to make important presentations to clients and execs in a visual, impressive and easy-to-understand manner. It was also designed natively in PowerPoint so any team member or resource who has PowerPoint can contribute, edit and share the template.

Successful project planning and management heavily rely on visual project timelines that clearly communicate the main milestones and tasks of a project in a chronological order. This helps all project resources and stakeholders see what deliverables need to be accomplished next and by what date.

To this end, our free project chart template for PowerPoint was designed to help project managers and planners visualize all the critical project actions, deadlines and events from start to finish. The timeline sample can be used to create a project summary illustration that can be easily communicated on team websites, scorecards or in documents. This makes the project chart template ideal for project reviews and status reports.

The template was also built to work natively with the Office Timeline project chart creator. Office Timeline is a free add-in for PowerPoint that creates timelines and Gantt charts and updates them as things change. You can use it to automatically customize this template with your own data, and even add important details such as durations for completing tasks and Today’s Date marker for showing progress.

Project timeline data can also be imported directly into PowerPoint from Excel or from project management tools such as Microsoft Project with Office Timeline Pro+ Edition. Whether you are manually editing the free project chart template or automatically updating it with Office Timeline, your audiences will receive an impressive visual that is easy for them to understand.

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Example Timeline


Updating your template is simple and fast.

Use the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in to quickly update any of these timeline templates or create your own project visuals. Easily change the texts, dates, colors, shapes and styles of your timeline, right from inside PowerPoint.

Free PowerPoint Timeline and Swimlane Maker