This Microsoft Project Example is a Project Plan for an IT project involving data loads from a front end website into back end ERP systems. The Microsoft Project Example highlights the following:
- Grouping of Tasks in a hierarchical fashion
- Resource Allocation and Resource Leveling
- Work hours assigned and Confidence in estimates
- Task Prioritization and Task Flexibility
- Task Categorization
- Predecessors to show which tasks are dependent on the completion of others
- Estimated Start and Finish Dates
The MS Project example also shows the Gantt Chart with the tasks, duration, predecessors and resources. The project plan accounts for gathering requirements, designing the solution, testing, implementation and training.
This Project Plan Template has a built in calculation for Expected Time using the Program Evaluation and Review Technique, or PERT.
A full PERT Project Plan template would include additional components such as the critical path definition, a Gantt Chart, etc. Other tools, such as Microsoft Project, are preferred over Excel for that type of work. This PERT template is intended to incorporate the Expected Time calculation from the PERT Project Management method.
Expected Time is calculated based on three different estimates of time for a single task of work. The first estimate is the Optimistic Time, or the minimum amount of time to complete the task. It assumes everything proceeds better than is normally expected. The next estimate is the Pessimistic Time. This is the maximum amount of time required to complete the task and assumes that many things go wrong. The final estimate is the Most Likely Time. This is the best estimate of time to complete the task and assumes that everything proceeds as normal.
The Expected Time is then calculated by multiplying the Most Likely Time by four, then adding the Pessimistic Time and the Optimistic Time and dividing the entire sum by six. This takes into account all three estimates provided, but weights the Most Likely Time the heaviest.
This IT Project Plan template is intended for small IT projects, roughly 3-6 months. It has the basic tasks of a project already populated for the Project Manager, Business Analyst and Developer/Programmer.
Additionally, it has places for the Status of each tasks, Start Date, End Date, Duration, and Owner. The Duration field calculates automatically based on the Start & End Date of the Task.
Be careful with the Status field. What you enter into this field determines the color of the entire row. You may enter: Not Started, In Progress, Delayed, Completed, Milestone or (Phase).
Since this is a template for smaller IT projects, it does not provide functionality for Dependencies, a Gantt Chart, etc. For those types of features, consider using MS Project or another tool instead of Excel.
This is a project plan template that can be used across many types of projects. It is built in Microsoft Excel and is simple and easy to use. This project plan template allows for the entering of:
- Task Name
- Start Date
- End Date
Additionally, the Project Plan template automatically calculates the Duration of each task, as well as the Total Project Duration and Project Completion Date.
The project plan template also shades each row a certain color based on which status the task is in. A Completed task shades the row green, an In Progress task shades the row orange, a Delayed task shades the row red. A status of Not Started does not create any shading and leaves the text black.
To indicate a line is a Milestone, type “Milestone” into the Status field and it will turn the text blue and remove any shading. To indicate a line is a Project Phase (or header of multiple tasks), type “(Phase)” into the status field and it will shade the row grey to mark it as a a phase which does not have a status.
The project plan, also known as a “project schedule”, is created and maintained by the Project Manager. It should be easily accessible to project team members, stakeholders and sponsors. It can also be printed and hung in a common working area to create a sense of accountability for tasks and timelines.