Free Project Work Plan Template in Excel

Free Project Work Plan Template in Excel

Free Project Work Plan Template in Excel
Free Project Work Plan Template in Excel 

Free Project Work Plan Template in Excel 

A work plan is a written document designed to streamline a project. The purpose is to create a visual reference for the goal, objectives, tasks and team members who are responsible for each area. Every member of your team should be updated based on progress and current status.

If you have a complex project, you can create your own custom work plan. When you are clear about your strategy and what you need to be successful, a work plan template can save time, as you will plug in tasks, team members, objectives and timelines.

A work plan includes:
  • Setting goals and objectives 
  • Establishing team responsibilities 
  • Setting project timelines 
  • Establishing a budget
Thoughtfully working through these details before beginning a large project can identify team member responsibilities, reduce the chances you will go over your budget, and increase the likelihood of achieving your goal within the allotted time period.

The goal of the this workplan Template is threefold

1-It prompts staff think about their biggest priorities and commitments so they don’t just have a “laundry-list” workplan. It includes prompts for folks to think about the organization’s Annual Operating Plan, their own Development Plan, and the organization’s values and commitments. In this way, the staffer keeps an eye on the “big picture” and ties their workplan to the organization’s overall vision, mission and plan. 

The workplan also asks for the staffer to think about their objectives–what they would like to get accomplished, where they’d like to be at the end of the quarter. Again, so that they think beyond a list of tasks to be accomplished. 

2-The workplan helps the staffer and their supervisor see if they are doing the work that was anticipated in their job description, or if they have gotten off track. Each workplan template is modestly customized for each staffer based on their job description so that the staffer is comparing their planned work to the organization/supervisor’s expectation of how they should be spending their time. 

The workplan has room for 7 job functions and a pie chart that shows the allocation from their job description. There is a second pie chart that shows how they plan to spend time on those functions in the current quarter. This second pie chart is created by the data that is entered into the detail plan (it is not general estimates). 

There may be many good reasons why their work has shifted, but this workplan helps to bring that into focus. Is the variance an anomaly based on the schedule? Or are they consistently working more or less in the various areas than we planned? We recommend that staff include time for general staff work/meetings/etc., as well as time for opportunistic campaigning or outreach, if that is part of the expectations of them exceling at their job. 

3-The workplan asks that staff project hours they plan to spend on projects. It can be tough to do estimates at the start, but it get easier with practice. It is super helpful for the supervisor to see what the staffer expects so they can give feedback on the level of the work required and expected on specific projects.

Customizing the workplan template for your organization

  1. Add your organization’s name or logo in the upper left 
  2. Change any of the wording of the categories or notes to match your organization’s vernacular 
  3. Create a sample workplan for a generic staffer at your organization. This will help staffers see how it works.

Customizing the workplan for individual staffer

  1. If your staff have job descriptions with functions and time splits, they can enter job functions in E34-30, and time splits into F34-30. 
  2. If they don’t have them, or they are out-of-date, supervisors and staffers should come to agreement on these before staffers start filling out the workplan. What is entered as “job functions in job description” is used to populate the subsequent sections, so this step should be done first. That way, staffers filling out their objectives and their planned hours will be doing it into the agreed-upon functions.

Important instructions to pass on to staff:

  • 1. This template has formulas embedded. As you go to enter data, hover to make sure you are not over-writing a formula. For example, there are formulas so that the customized job functions populate the “this quarter pie” and the same job functions are also listed in the next two sections, “objectives” and “work planned”. No additional data entry needed. And, very importantly, as the staffer fills out hours in the “work planned” section, those will be compiled into the “This Quarter Pie”.  Do not enter estimates for work allocation for this quarter to get the second pie chart – let it be populated by the hour-by-hour detail entered into the detailed plan section. 
  • The hours that a staffer plans out can and should be less than their overall hours. That way they are leaving some capacity for unplanned work. Plus they will have vacation and holiday time, and there is a spot to enter those projected hours.
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