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Work Plan Template

Whether you’re planning to launch a new feature in your product or are managing a long-term project, you will need structure, clarity and momentum to ensure the project stays on track and is completed successfully. This is where a solid work plan template will come in handy.

A well-built work timeline will enable you to keep an eye on the big picture while also managing the smaller details of the project. In addition, it will provide visibility to the team and stakeholders, keep key tasks and deliverables organized in one place, and improve project communication and collaboration.

To help you get started with planning the activities involved in your project, we’ve put together a short guide and a work plan template that can be downloaded for free and edited easily in PowerPoint.

What is a project work plan?

A work plan is a guiding document that articulates the key steps required to move you and your team towards the project’s goals. An effective work plan example sets clear objectives and measurable deliverables that can be turned into concrete actions, and these actions (or tasks) are placed on a timeline so that everyone knows exactly what needs to be done and when.

What are the components of a work plan template?

What your work plan consists of always depends on the particularities of your project. For instance, when you’re applying for a big grant, you’ll probably need to provide quite a lot of details, including budget, while, for a less formal purpose or for communication within the team, you can keep it simpler to ensure clarity. But, in general, a typical work plan sample includes:

  • Project objectives
  • Work timeline with key tasks and milestones
  • Resources

Additionally, depending on your needs, you can also include an estimated budget or a set of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will be used as the project progresses to track the success of important milestones along the way.

How do you write a work plan?

Once you know the components of a good work plan template, it feels much easier to create your own. So, here are the steps you should follow to create a work plan:

  1. Write down the project goals. There’s no point in trying to figure out “how” you will complete a project if you don’t know the “why”.
  2. Set the strategy and objectives. Map out the general route to achieving the project goals and establish measurable objectives.
  3. Define resources. Think about who you’ll need from your team or from other departments, assess what equipment or tools are required, and estimate the overall budget too.
  4. Break it down. Now that you’ve set the objectives and resources needed to achieve your goals, break the project down into small, clear tasks and deliverables that can be handled by a single person or a small team.
  5. Assign roles. Establish who will be responsible for each of the tasks defined in the previous step and include it in your work plan template.
  6. Estimate timeframes and create a timeline. Each task should have a timeframe and a deadline attached to it, so that everyone knows when they’re supposed to complete their activities. You can either start from estimating task length to build your work timeline and figure out the project’s completion day from there, or, if you already have a set deadline for the project, you will need to work backwards from it to figure out how much time you have for each task (the latter is called a workback plan).
  7. Establish check-ins. Remember to include in your work plan timeline key check-in dates for the whole team to get together and discuss project progress and obstacles, as well times to update other stakeholders along the way. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and help prevent communication breakdowns.

How do you make a timeline for a work plan?

There are multiple ways you can make a work plan graphic. For instance, you can do it manually in a tool you’re familiar with, like PowerPoint or Excel. Or, if you’re used to working in Microsoft Project, the software can automatically make a timeline for your work plan, but you might already know its layout is not quite ideal. The simplest solution would be to use a visual work plan maker or a timeline template like the work plan example above, which will help you save time while also creating a beautiful graphic that everyone will easily understand.

Why use our free work plan template?

Having the ability to see the plan on a timeline like our free work plan template brings a valuable perspective that is not possible when reading complex project documents or listening to the description of a strategy. This work plan sample was created to help you with the planning of your project and to showcase it to colleagues, customers, suppliers, and executives.

The project work plan template for PowerPoint can be used by anyone who needs to illustrate major milestones and key tasks in chronological order on a timeline. You can use the template to make a high-level model of your plan, or you can add more tasks and milestones and create a more detailed visual. The sample work plan is easy to present and will help any of your stakeholders understand how your strategy will be executed, including what the important deliverables will be along the way and under what time schedule.

How to update the work plan template

The free work plan template was created as a native PowerPoint slide, so colleagues who have Microsoft Office can work together on planning projects or programs. Users can manually add their data to the template’s placeholders, or they can use Office Timeline’s work plan creator for PowerPoint to do it automatically.

Office Timeline is a simple, easy-to-use PowerPoint add-in for project planning. It automates the task of creating project work plans and workback plans by laying out milestones and tasks on a timeline slide in way that is easy to understand. It works seamlessly with PowerPoint, so you have planning functionality right inside the familiar application.

You can use the free version of the tool to make a simple work timeline fast, or you can get a free trial of the Pro+ Edition to update this work plan template automatically and create other beautiful project visuals in minutes. Office Timeline Pro+ integrates with applications like Microsoft Project and Excel, so you can easily import plans from existing tools into PowerPoint and instantly transform them into stunning slides.

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.

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