I know you love free project management templates. Here are 10 of the most-clicked free templates from this site. Enjoy!
Project initiation templates
Lots of people ask me for guidance on how to pick up a project from someone else, so I put together an article with a free checklist about how to do exactly that.
It talks you through the different things to consider when starting out — even if the project itself isn’t starting out. You’ll have to think through what exists already and then what else you need in order to be able to manage it effectively.
Spoiler alert: just because the project has been set up one way doesn’t mean you have to keep running it the same way. It’s yours now. Make sure you take it over and start running it the way that works best for you.
The next free project management template set is about the key documents you need to lead a project successfully. As you probably know, PM has an apparently unending list of paperwork, assets and things to complete. You don’t need it all. I mean, you might on some projects, but in the main, tailoring is the answer.
Start with the 9 files mentioned in the article and then add on anything else you need from there.
- 9 Essential project management documents with free templates: This is a bumper guide to the most important documents you need for managing your projects. You can download templates from within the article.
I think it’s really important to tailor project documentation so I tend to focus first on the documents I know I need (these 9 essentials) and then build from there with anything extra that would help keep the project on track and delivering as it should.
Project planning templates for setting up the work
Next up, template files to help with planning. There are plenty of timeline and roadmap templates you can download online, but they tend to be pretty specific to the tools you are using. For example, I use Office Timeline because I do a lot of communication in PowerPoint.
(I also have a ‘proper’ schedule in another tool too.)
These templates relate more to the planning part of planning, not the scheduling.
- How to plan a budget for a proposal with a step-by-step guide: You can download a proposal template from this article. It also has a step-by-step guide for working out your budget for a proposal.
- 20 Points to include in your project management plan (with templates): This article highlights what you should be including in your project plan and it has downloadable resources you can customize for your own project planning.
Project closure templates
Ready to close out your project? I wrote a book about lessons learned called Customer-Centric Project Management, and it brought home to me just how many people leave the capture of lessons learned to the end (which you absolutely should not do).
However, there is definitely a place for a formal lessons learned session at the end of a project, whether you call it a retrospective or something else (just please don’t call it a post-mortem — your project is not dead!).
Grab a template for the agenda for that session:
- Lessons learned agenda free template (although frankly you should be capturing lessons learned throughout the project, not just waiting until the end)
Remember to tailor it for what you need and make sure everyone is adequately prepared for the conversations before they show up for the meeting.
As well as the lessons learned agenda template above, I have a selection of other meeting-related templates that will help you (as well as a full meetings template bundle with advanced templates and a guide to chairing meetings, available in the shop.
10 Tips for good meeting minutes: This article explains how to take good minutes and includes downloadable resources for meetings.
10 Tips for a good meeting agenda with free template: This article is all about meeting agendas and includes an agenda template you can download and use. It also has details on how to create a really good agenda that keeps your meeting on track.
Other free templates
10 Killer interview questions for hiring project managers with free interview template: This interview guide is a comprehensive overview of some of the trickier questions you might get asked when you meet a new employer. If you are an employer, it will highlight some things you can ask to really test the knowledge of your candidates.
The template included is for the interviewer. It’s a document for recording candidate responses and feedback so you can more easily compare applicants on a level playing field after your interviews are completed.
8 Free and low cost project management resources: This article shares some top resources for free and very cheap project management resources like training, templates and more. You’ll have to pick through and see what is most appropriate for you, but you’ll be sure to find something.
How to use a decision log + free Excel template — This template is no longer available.
For more project management templates and free resources, check out my resource library! You’ll find over 20 checklists, editable downloads, free guides and more to help you manage your projects more easily. Why reinvent the wheel with your project documentation when you can start from these spreadsheets and Word documents?
If you can’t find what you need there, check out my advanced templates and a wide selection of project documents ready for you to use in my templates shop. The templates are fully editable and come with instructions and examples of what to include in each section so you can use them efficiently at work (and take all the credit!).