The job of a project manager has always been daunting, to say the least.
Delegating tasks, tracking results, budgeting, resource planning, creating schedules, managing people—all these can be quite overwhelming without the proper tools.
Fortunately for today’s project managers, there’s no shortage of tools to make their jobs easier.
Take the following Excel project management templates, for example. Most of them are free and accessible online, and they will always come in handy whenever project managers need an effective and efficient way of carrying out their tasks.
A Gantt Chart Excel template provides you with an excellent visual representation of task schedules, allowing you to see project timelines in more detail.
With a Gantt Chart, it’s easier for you to see things like your project’s start and end times, target milestones with an overview of the tasks every member of the team needs to do, priority levels, and due dates for all their deliverables, among other things.
Building a well-functioning Gantt chart could be complicated and may take time, but once you get it done, you can be sure that your project’s most important tasks will be carefully scheduled, tracked, and finished on or before the deadline.
Every project needs a budget and a smart way of handling it to ensure its completion within its limits.
Excel Budget templates have proven to be quite useful for project managers trying their best to predict and manage the financial side of things.
An Excel Project Budget template allows project managers to create detailed costings and fund allocations.
With this one-size-fits-all template, tracking materials, labour, and fixed costs has never been so easy.
Project managers may be jack-of-all-trades by nature, but if there’s one task that takes a lot out of them, it would probably be creating a Critical Path Method or CPM.
Painstaking as creating a CPM can be, it can never be stressed enough how important it is to successful project management.
After all, a CPM helps project managers identify which tasks they can afford to delay and which ones are more critical and require more attention and resources.
Thankfully, the Critical Path Method template exists to make CPM creation easier for project managers. Aside from pinpointing crucial and non-crucial tasks, the CPM template also allows you to determine how long the latter can be possibly delayed.
Project managers should always know the status of the team on a regular basis. They cannot be unaware of their teams’ progress (or lack of it), or that could come back and haunt them later.
The Status Report Template can help project managers stay on top of everything that’s going on with their team.
It takes mere seconds to generate project schedule metrics using this template. Aside from giving project managers the ability to see where the team stands at a glance, the Status Report Template also makes for more impressive presentations for teammates and stakeholders alike.
The Earned Value Management Template allows project managers to compare the project’s actual expenses to its budget to see if it can be completed on time without going beyond its allocated funds.
In doing so, project managers will be able to determine how the project is progressing vis-à-vis its budget, as well as identify possible issues early on to avoid future issues with its finances.
All projects come with certain risks, some big, some small.
If a project manager can anticipate what those risks are, he or she should be able to come up with ways to counter them to keep the project moving forward.
With the Risk Register template, project managers should be able to see risks coming from a mile away and deal with them promptly.
When using the Risk Register template, make sure you draw up a list of all possible risks to your project. Spell out the potential impact of each one, then appoint people in your team to be on the lookout for those risks so you can meet them head-on when they come.
It’s definitely a great time to be a project manager with all these free and downloadable Excel templates at their disposal.
A project manager’s job today may be no less demanding and challenging than it was in the past, but as long as these tools exist, they can breathe more easily knowing they have these Excel templates at their disposal.
Anthony Stevens is the Content Specialist for Excel Templates, a resource for free Excel templates including calendars and charts. When not writing, he spends time building furniture and running with his dog.
Hart Square’s free-to-non-profits Training Programme “How to deliver successful projects” provides more great insight into project management tips and techniques. Click through below to find out more about it.