The best PROJECT PLAN with example + EXCEL TEMPLATE

A lot of times I read in articles, heared in interviews, how difficult it is to fulfill own dreams, or achieve any change. I personaly believe, that lack of success comes, because that person does not believe, he/ she can achieve the change.

How to accomplish dreamed target, then?

This article covers:

  • Good planning for good organization
  • Key steps before starting with plan
  • Planning phases
  • Project plan Excel template
  • Project plan Word template
  • Project plan example

Hot news, folks. In order to help you as much as I can in your improvement efforts, I have launched non-binding consultation program. I would like to help you with:

  • Lean culture implementation in your organization
  • Six Sigma projects consultations
  • Lean Six Sigma trainings and certifications support
  • Project management theory turn into practical usage
  • Your career planning

First 30 minutes of consultation for free, every additional 1 hour 10 USD.

Good planning for good organization

Join me in creation of the plan, you will trust. The plan, that will lead you to the long-desired goal. It is, because you organize your self and you will be ready for unexpected circumstances.

Find key important steps to do before creating any plan. Understand important steps to help you to create a plan. By daily follow-up routine you will stay on track along the plan execution.

How to be successful with Six Sigma training? – read here

Key steps before starting with plan

Before you start creating any plan, make sure, you have defined SMART goal. Good goal should motivate you to action. When you are planning to build a house, you would not say, I would like to live in house and start building headlong. Try to be more concrete also with due date:

  • I will create 3 new products, wooden toys for children by end of the month
  • We would like to improve quality results from current 93% to 99.99977% in 3 months.

Build your business case, in the next step. Try to understand, why is so important to reach your targeted goal. How the change will affect your surroundings, possibly would affect someone life, and then think, what benefits will bring for you

  • I will teach children to appreciate their health, by producing toys from nature quality materials.
  • We will make our customer happy, save our workers time, and save money for business, by improving quality to 6 sigma level

Purpose of business case is to convince yourself internally about your goal meaningfulness.

Now we have a good goal, we do understand, why we would like to reach it, we can start with the plan creation

Long term plan? this is how.

DMAIC tools – order to use

Showed list is divided to the main tools and sub-topics, that belongs to it. Example: in defined phase project charter is a main tool, and subtopics are business case, opportunity statement, project goal, scope, high level plan and team resources.

DMAIC tool list

DMAIC tool list (tollgate) – download

Planning phases:

Use a paper, to draft your plan, first. If you are beginner, do not waste your time with learning sophisticated software. Use pencil and gum, you might be erasing in some steps.

  1. Begin with writing down high-level actions, you might imagine, to reach your goal. Do not thing details, yet. Try to read some articles about your goal, or ask for advice in some Facebook group, for example. Organize those steps in some order, you find it most logical.
  1. Define your start date and expected or wished finish date. Calculate days in between.
  1. Estimate each step duration. Based on this, estimate how much time you must spend on particular task, each day. Details will help you follow the timeline.
  1. Set up milestones in the next step. Milestones will help you evaluate how good you are at fulfilling your tasks. Milestone can be most significant accomplishments from steps. Chose 2 to 3 milestones.
DMAIC example from office processes
  1. In the step number 5 evaluate risks and plan risk responses. Here is one risk example: child will get sick. Your reaction might be: “I will try to work while child is sleeping.”
  1. Redraw drafted plan to final form on blank paper. Use colors if you like to.
  1. Share your plan with people around you, partner, parents, friends. Ask for their feedback. Discuss your intention with your family and ask them for time you will need to work on tasks.
  1. This preparation is 50% of the success. Subsequent 50% is a hard work. Nobody will do your tasks, but you. So, tuck up your sleeves and start realizing your dream.
  1. Plan evaluation is continuing and enough once a week . when you deviate from your plan or you are moving forward slowly evaluate where your problem is and tried to eliminate it or improve .

What are the best continuous improvement tools? read here

Green belt project selection – calculator

I recommend you testing project idea on project calculator, I have developed based on my training experiences. It will help you to determine, how demanding leading project will be for you.

THis is how my calculator looks like

Selection tool downolad

You can download selection tool on the link below:

Project plan excel template

All these steps listed above are implemented in project plan on excel, I have created for your usage. Use it, share it.

There are 2 lists in this spread sheet. First is about project planning. Second sheet will help you to control your progress. Both sheets are connected together with formulas, so what you will write down in first, will appear in second sheet.

Sheet number 1.

I recommend writing project charter first.

How to write project charter + free template.

There is top section for SMART goal and Business Case named: Discover you plan. You can copy both sections from your charter or develop it right in this form. Follow template directions how to properly define goal and business case

Set 2 to 3 milestones by clicking on roll-out window. Milestone can be most significant accomplishments from steps.

This is how excel forl looks like

I do videos, blog posts, and all templates in my free time. I will appreciate if you can donate me a cup of cofee, for more energy in my creation. (1 dollar counts, too 😉 Click on this link: I would like to support Erik in his effort

Sheet number 2.

Top section will show you start date and due date you have selected with numbers of weeks you plan to work on your project

There are 2 tables in this sheet. Both dedicated to control and analyze your actual progress. Top one is plan in your week perspective. Control high level steps in this section by using colors. Which color you choose is up to you 😉.

Second table is for daily progress monitoring. There are numbers of hours you have defined in “Expected hours to be spent” column in the first list of this spread sheet. Control your daily progress by marking colors into each window.

Simply conrol your project progress

How to perform Kaize event? read here

Project plan Word template

Simplified project plan on Word you can download below. Logic is the same as excel one, but without formulas. You must calculate all numbers manually.

This is example of word template

How to calculate Takt Time, Cycle Time and Lead Time? (+template) read here

Project plan example

Described example of filled project plan on excel:

First section in plan development is: High level steps to reach my goal- write it down. Select DMAIC (phase) or “Step (x)” from roll out bar in first column. N/a for not applicable. Describe expected high-level task in second column of this section.

High level plan

Starting date and due date can be chosen by opening calendar window and double click on the date. Big number in the middle will tell you how many days you plan for entire project. If 90 days and above, message “Your project is too broad” will pop up in orange window. Consider dividing your project into two smaller activities, called project generations. However, this decision is up to your needs.

Define each high-level step duration and hours you or team must spend on the task. Both numbers multiplication will tell you total hours you plan to spend on task. This can help you estimate if there is sufficient time to complete time. Orange window will calculate total hours automatically.

Project duration and time estimation

Set 2 to 3 milestones by clicking on roll-out window. Milestone can be most significant accomplishments from steps.

Think about risk that you or your team can face during performed activities. Try to briefly describe your reaction on each risk in Reaction on risk column.

Milestones and RIsk description

Take a look into my YouTube channel, where I post project-oriented explainer videos regularly. I can help you understand Six Sigma, Lean principals easy and fast way.

Your sincerely Erik

Do not be afraid of using lean. It gives us logic and proved approach to improve processes, our lives and surroundings.

erik from six sigma mania

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