It’s difficult to convey how vital project management is in the workplace and everyday life. Excellent project management can remove unnecessary friction, enhance productivity, and improve your bottom line. Without it, projects can lack the focus and direction needed to be fully effective.
This article will provide the guidance and resources required to get back on the right path. It will cover the importance of project management, answer some frequently asked questions, and provide a rock-solid monday.com-fueled project management template you can use immediately … today.
What exactly is a project management template?
The Project Management Institute defines project management as “the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people.”
Think of project management as a guiding force that helps your team deliver on its promises promptly. It’s the answer to “how” your team does things and often “when” they do things, too.
A great project manager will reduce friction across their entire field of vision so that everything feels smooth and controlled. Ideally, orders arrive just in time for workers or contractors to show up and do their part. Then, there are just enough materials to get the job done with little to no waste. And there’s regular communication to project stakeholders like financiers, board members, company employees, or whoever has skin in the game.
Project management templates support project managers by recording important information in ways that are easily accessible to all team members. They can be many and varied, including project planning templates, reporting templates, meeting agendas, and many more.
Need a more completed (detailed) definition? Check out our complete guide to project management article that’s chock-full of helpful information.
Why should you use a project management template?
Project management skills are in high demand.
78% of companies believe people will need even more project management skills in the future.
The world isn’t becoming more transparent; it’s turning more opaque. This is not because we don’t have incredible tools that provide insights. Nope. The lack of transparency is due mainly to an overabundance of tools — information overload … way much data to use effectively.
All that noise needs a consistent filter, a process that’s repeatable and structured in a way that empowers everyone to do their best work.
That’s the essence of project management.
A robust project management plan or process (and a system like monday.com) will provide a heap of benefits, including:
- Standardization across projects: leads to more predictable outcomes, 21% more than those without it.
- Improved team collaboration: keeps everyone on the same page and mitigates communication issues.
- Small, agile, and focused teams: optimizes teams for discovery and invention.
- Greater project oversight: a consistent hierarchy for roles and predictable procedures and escalation paths to keep things moving forward. Plus, software delivers better reporting functionality enabling data-driven decision-making.
Imagine a world without checklists, procedures, dashboards, and reports. Sounds lovely, right?
The only problem? This world is full of chaos.
Project management templates allow for information to be captured and shared across teams, bringing visibility and opportunities for collaboration.Project management templates also allow processes to be documented and continually optimized. In addition, using a template means you’re not starting from scratch, further reducing the time spent in project initiation.
Project management is essential to our modern dilemmas. Software like monday.com exists to make what many find difficult and tedious to be colorful, simple, and rewarding.
What are some examples of a project management template in action?
People in skyrises — dressed professionally — discussing PowerPoint slides.
Someone in a hard hat rattling off commands to her workers.
Those are two possible images you may envision when someone says “project management.”
While project management can be those things, it’s often more encompassing. Project management is for developing software, cleaning up after a natural disaster, building a skyscraper, expanding your marketing into a new country, and much more.
Even non-profit companies use project management. For example, here’s a monday.com template Sage Akouri and his team at Minus 18 use daily to champion their non-profit’s cause.
They use it to plan parties and fundraisers and to keep track of different swag and tickets they’re giving out to donors. Volunteer matching goes in here and tons more.
Interior design is another typical use case for project management. Interior designers are essentially managing an extensive renovation project to change a home’s minor and significant styling elements. Project management for interior designers helps provide:
- Guidance to both internal staff and contractors, so the job gets done to client specifications.
- A canvas for professional designers to research products and maintain a sample library for their various decor items, color palettes, and material boards.
- The ability to keep up with site visits, client meetings, and plan walkthroughs.
- The platform to procure materials and maintain documentation.
- A central resource for your entire design team to collaborate, communicate, and share feedback on design ideas.
Use cases are all-encompassing, and the possibilities are endless.
Project management templates can be used for projects for work, hobbies, school, and anything else you can dream up. But, most importantly, the right software solution, like monday.com, can provide structure and automation around many of the processes you use today.
monday.com’s project management template
Have you ever sat down to work on something important, and for some strange reason, you just can’t get motivated? It’s like everything in your body is pulling against the idea of starting something new.
We’ve all been there to some degree. And honestly, the main culprit is that we don’t see the path clearly enough. So we don’t know where to start because we’re trying to piece the whole thing together in one go.
Enter: a project management template.
A project management template means setting up and managing projects that can happen quickly without doing it from scratch every time. It reduces friction and often eliminates that “hard to start” feeling because the format is laid out — begin filling in the blanks you know versus trying to reinvent the wheel.
The other great thing about having a handy project management template at your fingertips is that it saves you time. If you’ve ever managed any project, large or small, you’ve seen that the scope changes all the time. Clients change their minds, and contractors tell you they can’t do it the way the plan lays out, and so on.
A great solution like monday.com will remain flexible so you and your team can quickly adapt to whatever changes get thrown your way. monday.com has status fields to let people know when you’re stuck, built-in communication tools so you can chat with your team in real-time, and hundreds of templates that’ll cover just about anything your stakeholders can dream up.
Plus, it’s fully customizable so it can work whether you’re planning a small interior design project or scoping a complex commercial build. And our visually-appealing, simple dashboards give you just the right information at the right time so data-driven decision-making is easy.
Managing projects doesn’t have to feel like drudgery. With our smart “if this, then that” automations, you can streamline your workflow and focus your time on work that adds value rather than manual administrative tasks. And our 40+ integrations mean all your work gets done in one place, supporting greater efficiency and less likelihood of error.
Related project management templates
monday.com offers many templates to help get projects completed on time and within project scope & budget.
Here are a few project management related ones you’ll find helpful:
1. Gantt project management templates
Gantt charts are synonymous with project timelines in a way. A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart that lays out a project’s planned schedule and tasks between a start and end date. Every bar represents a project task, and the dates are on a horizontal chart.
Gantt charts (and Gantt chart software) are helpful because they give you a holistic view of the whole project and project task dependencies to see how everything connects and what project milestones and deadlines exist.
2. Project roadmap
A project roadmap is a planning tool that helps visualize project activities, project goals, and assignments. They typically align perfectly with the stages in the project management lifecycle — such as initiation, planning, and so on — and exist primarily to communicate project milestones and objectives to your project team.
Wait. Isn’t that the same as a Gantt chart?
Sort of. While Gantt charts and project roadmaps are similar, they serve different purposes. Gantt charts are more into the weeds, while project roadmaps are a high-level view of the project used to prioritize major decisions and track the progress against your goals.
3. Project budget
Defining project success upfront is one of the most important uses of time for a project manager. Beyond finishing on time and in project scope, it’s imperative that the project meets completion at or under budget so that the endeavor ends up profitable for all parties involved.
Managing your project budget in monday.com is easy: Simply plug your numbers into our project budget template to track project items alongside your corresponding budget. You can monitor planned vs. actual costs to ensure you’re not overspending. Plus, these columns even roll up into summary totals so you can see at a glance whether you’re overbudget or not.
FAQs about project management templates
Here are a handful of commonly asked questions regarding project management templates:
Q: Does Excel have a project plan template?
A: Technically speaking, you can perform project management duties, including planning, using Excel spreadsheets (or Google Sheets). That’s fine for small projects without a lot riding on them or small teams that don’t communicate much.
A free template can only go so far. If you’re communicating with multiple people, handling complex tasks, or are working on high-stakes projects, then the investment in effective project management software is worth every penny.
monday.com has a full suite of project management tools in its Work OS that simplify complexity and provide visibility across the entire project.
Q: How do I create a project plan template?
A: A project plan is a formal document that outlines the purpose of your project, the materials you’ll need, the timeline for deliverables, and much more. Almost every project needs a project plan template because you need a way to communicate project details to stakeholders.
A project plan template is part of the suite of project management templates you need if you want to get your project up and running with minimal fuss. Thanks to our fully-customizable template, creating a project plan using monday.com is simple.
Q: What templates do you need for project management?
A: The exact templates you need to effectively manage your project will be unique to you and your team. Are you juggling multiple contractors on a large construction project? We’ve got time-tracking, resourcing, and invoicing templates you can choose from. Are you running an Agile Scrum project? monday.com has just the sprint planning template you need.
With monday.com in your corner, you have access to an entire library of project management templates. And you can make them work even harder using monday.com’s easy “If this/then that” automations, freeing up your bandwidth to do the things computers aren’t good at, like developing relationships and creative work.
If you want to see our project management automation in action, then check out this awesome video on monday.com’s project management features. It’s just a tiny part of the functionality you get when you invest in the monday.com Work OS to power up your projects.