Project Tracking Templates including RAID log (risk, action, issue, dependency log), Plan on a Page and Detailed Excel and Microsoft Project Plan

1.1    Introduction to Project Plan and Tracking Templates Top 10 Best Project Management Templates

This web page provides a step-by-step walk-through guide to the accompanying ZIP file (can be purchased at the right-hand margin). The file pack contains;

  1. Detailed Software Development Life-cycle (SDLC) Microsoft Project Plan MPP template top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  
  2. PowerPoint SDLC Plan on a Page template
  3. Detailed SDLC Excel Project Plan template
  4. Project Financial Tracker for internal and external costs including forecast and actuals, annual leave, margin, variation, expenses and accompanying charts
  5. Comprehensive RAIDs log (Risk, Action, Issue, Opportunity, Dependency, Supplier costs, Expense costs and Change Request tabs) and accompanying charts
  6. Walk-through Word format document for each of the above templates (this document) Top 10 Best Project Management Templates
  7. A weekly / monthly project status report template to tailor as appropriate
  8. Project Organisation chart/hierarchy template of project resources to tailor as appropriate

The plan incorporates both key tasks for Start, Execute and Close phases and Agile Framework entries. Project specific entries can be added to, updated or deleted as appropriate to your project or used as a guide to build your own project plan. For Agile, if the Agile ceremonies and tasks are removed, the plan will take the shape of a typical Waterfall project. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

This document and the associated plan (plus financial tracking and RAID log templates) are provided to enable a fast-track to producing and tailoring a quality detailed plan (and plan on a page) that maybe client facing and require a client-side review.  This is especially useful where compressed project start phase timelines and daily PM workload in the early part of projects, often detract from producing a good, phased plan of future project tasks. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

What follows is a description of each of the main project entries in the MS project plan. This document and the MS plan assumes a working knowledge of Microsoft Project, Agile and Waterfall type projects.

1.2    MS Detailed Plan Template Overview

The project plan follows a typical Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) progression through to traditional software test phase cycles, deployment and Early Live Support (ELS).

Each Sprint (in the Construction section) can be updated as Sprint backlog stories become known for software deliverables (if necessary or kept generic as just numbered sprints). If  Agile entries are deleted from the plan in favour of a Waterfall approach, software/document deliverables can be added in their place in their respective sequence of delivery. The plan contains a Comments column for further information to be added as required to explain the purpose of a task entry. Some comments have already been added. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  Best Project Management Templates

The project plan should be tailored appropriately as follows;

  1. Amend the start date of the project (see Section 6.2 below), currently set at October 2019
  2. Update agile / task entries as required for the project, e.g. sprints set to 2 weeks currently
  3. Add, amend and delete project task entries as required, e.g. dependencies, milestones, deliverables, gateways
  4. Add effort estimates to project tasks after team discussion and workshops where task not part of a Sprint
  5. Add necessary dependency links for sequenced tasks and phases where appropriate
  6. Update the project resource sheet as appropriate and assign resources to project tasks
  7. Update the project standard calendar and resource calendar for statutory holidays and annual leave
  8. Update the WBS references (if required for the supporting project documentation cross referencing) in the left hand column of the plan once all updates above applied – menu>Project>WBS>renumber
  9. Baseline the plan and then update at the required project intervals with team input
Figure 1 – Overview Plan – Main MS Project View

Best Project Management Templates mark whitfield project plan template ms 1

1.3    Project Resources and Offshore

The MS Project Resources view provides a customised view based on typical entries in a  resource view spreadsheet resources tab. top 10 Best Project Management Templates

Figure 2 – Project Resource View

Best Project Management Templates mark whitfield project plan template ms resource view 2

Sub-unit, Offshore (Landed, Offshore, UK, Contractor and so on), grade, assigned Y/N, resource role, chargeable, available from/to dates columns have been added.

Resource names can be added when assigned and the appropriate columns can then be updated. Notes can also be added to Resource entries as for the example Project Manager in the plan. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

2.1    Project Start Phase

The Start phase project task entries form the very first part of the project plan and provide a high level call out. These are an extract of the key start-up tasks only and are typically more client facing in terms of their completion (useful for when the client wants to review the detailed project plan). They are provided to enable the PM to complete the typical start-up tasks for a project and mark ‘percent complete’ of assigned effort as each task is carried through to completion. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Entries included are;
Confirmed Project Approach, Defined Client Acceptance, Produced Governance Plan Version, Initiated Planning and Financial Management (See Excel Forecast / Actuals Tracker), Reviewed and Refined Estimates, Agreed Detailed Requirements, Initiated RAIDs Management (see Excel RAIDs log also), Initiated Client Relationship Management, Verify Comms, Infra, Quality & Config Management, Client Kick-Off Held, Mobilise Complete

Figure 3 – Key  Start Phase Tasks

Best Project Management Templates mark whitfield project plan template ms start phase 3

Each task is annotated with a Notes entry (under Task Information) to provide a further description of what the project task requires.

2.2    Project Execute Phase

The Execute Phase project task entries form the second part of the project plan following on from the Start Phase.

These are an extract of the key Execution tasks only and can run in parallel to the main project tasks lower down in the plan which are more project specific. They are provided to enable the PM to complete the typical execution tasks for a project and mark ‘percent complete’ of assigned effort as each task is carried through to completion. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Entries included are;
Monitor Client Satisfaction, Conducted Project Compliance Check, Defined Implementation Strategy, Planned Project Handover, Prepared for Implementation, Managed Implementation

Figure 4 – Project Execute Phase

Best Project Management Templates mark whitfield project plan template ms execute phase 4

Each task is annotated with a Notes entry (under Task Information) to provide a further description of what the project task requires.

2.3    Project Close Phase

The close phase project task entries form the third part of the project plan following on from the project Execute Phase.best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

These are an extract of the key  close phase tasks only. They are provided to enable the PM to complete the typical close phase tasks for a project and mark ‘percent complete’ of assigned effort as each task is carried through to completion.

Entries included are;

Governance Handover Complete, Obtain Final Client Acceptance, Review End-of-Project Complete, Check / Finalise All Invoices Complete, Complete RAIDs & Change Control (see Excel logs), Monitor Client Satisfaction, Closedown Comms, Infra, Quality, Knowledge & Config Management. best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Figure 5 – Project Close Phase

Best Project Management Templates mark whitfield project plan template ms close phase 5

Each task is annotated with a Notes entry (under Task Information) to provide a further description of what the project task requires. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

3.1    Project Sprint Planning

Agile Framework entries are included after the waterfall Start, Execute, Close phase entries as of course, they can exist inside of a waterfall Project Management delivery.

The Agile ceremonies are all included and start with Sprint Planning meetings. The plan assumes 2-week sprints (and so 2-hour sprint planning) but of course, sprint lengths can be amended and so corresponding ceremonies should be amended appropriately, e.g. sprint planning, sprint retrospectives, sprint reviews. Based on the project timeline, extend the number of sprint planning meetings as required. Sprints should contain a balance of high, medium and low priority stories to allow contingency.

Note: Don’t forget to assign appropriate resources to the Agile ceremonies to ensure project effort is recorded accurately and over allocation visible in other areas of the MS project plan.

Figure 6 – Sprint Planning Meetings

mark whitfield project plan template Sprint Planning 6

The first 3 Sprint Planning Meeting tasks contain annotated Notes (under Task Information) should further explanation of Sprint Planning be required as a reminder. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

3.2    Agile Daily Stand Up

All project effort should be recorded for resources on the project and so the Agile daily stand-up is included across the appropriate timeline of the project (adjust as appropriate as for the previous section discussion on sprint planning).

Figure 7 – Daily Stand Up

mark whitfield project plan template agile daily stand up 7

Assign the project ‘scrum team’ to the daily stand-ups as appropriate and take note that not all stakeholders on the project need to attend the stand-up.

Typically the daily stand-ups are 15 minutes or less. The first 2 daily stand-up meetings are annotated with Notes (under Task Information) for further insight into the purpose of these meetings.

A typical daily stand-up contains a call out of ‘what was done yesterday’, ‘what is being done today’ and ‘any blockers to completing’ for each agile scrum team member present at the meeting.

For remote scrum team members, try and organise a meeting room with a conference phone facility and/or WebEx and hold the stand-up meeting at an agreed time. This is especially important when linking with Offshore (off-shore, near-shore) project team members.

3.3    Agile Sprint Review

Sprint reviews occur at the end of each sprint to review the work completed during that sprint and potentially sign off the sprint (and move uncompleted user stories to the next sprint or product backlog as required by the project). top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Figure 8 – Sprint Reviews

mark whitfield project plan template Sprint Review 7

As for sprint length and sprint planning discussed in previous sections, adjust the sprint review dates to align with sprint length and also assign appropriate project team members.

The first 2 sprint reviews are annotated with project Notes (under Task Information) to provide further insight into the purpose of the sprint review.

3.4    Agile Sprint Retrospective

Sprint Retrospectives are meetings to look back at a completed sprint and call out those areas that benefited/ helped/ were useful to the sprint and those things that hindered. For example, holding the daily stand up in a quiet meeting room (helped) and wavering sprint support from a client product owner (hindered) and so on.

The retrospective can then help to improve the subsequent sprint by applying lessons learned as appropriate.

Figure 9 – Sprint Retrospective

mark whitfield project plan template Sprint Retrospective 8

As for sprint planning and reviews, the sprint retrospective dates should be aligned with the overall sprint length and recurrence extended for the duration of the timeline of the project.

Assign all appropriate sprint team members to the sprint retrospectives so their time can be recorded in terms of project effort. This ceremony is usually 1-hour in length. best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

3.5    Agile Sprints

A sprint is typically 2-4 weeks in length and iterates across the length of the project, typically (though not exclusively) during the development (build) phase. The sprints should be adjusted in length as appropriate to the project and extended to cover the project length. Sprints should be appropriately weighted with user stories so that not all stories included in a Sprint are high priority. Typically, 10% of the Sprint effort should be used to further refine user stories in the next Sprint.

Optionally add the Sprint user stories (or tasks) to each story (lower down in the plan under the Construction (Build) Phase – see section 5.2 Construction) to record sprint context.best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Assign appropriate project resources to each sprint in this section (faster if team members stay instated) OR lower down in the plan next to user stories (or tasks if required) so that project resource effort is recorded accurately.

Figure 10 – Sprints

mark whitfield project plan template Agile Sprints 9

The first 2 sprints are annotated with project Notes (under Task Information) to provide further insight into the purpose of an Agile sprint.

This section is included to enable the PM to see the dates at a glance for each project Sprint without drilling down to the lower level detail in the Construction section of the plan (as shown above – note that statutory bank holidays can push sprint starts to Tuesdays in some cases – this can be amended as required based on the project timeline).

4.1    Project Dependencies Best Project Management Templates

Project dependencies can be added ahead of the main project body in this section of the plan (which follows on from Sprints Overview). This acts to highlight key dependencies in the project without the need to drill/scroll down to the lower level detail of the plan.

This approach highlights the tasks to both the client and PM (especially where the client is responsible for delivery and  are highly dependent on a customer commitment to the project overall delivery success) and is an approach seen and used on many previous projects. Best Project Management Templates

Add as many project dependencies as required to reflect the RAIDs log, e.g. client hardware dependencies, software licenses, security access requirements.

Figure 11 – Project Dependencies

mark whitfield project plan template dependencies 10

These dependencies can then be hooked up as a link to dependent tasks in the project body (lower down) of the plan and so drive the project dates appropriately with a finish-to-start dependency.

4.2    Project Milestones

Project Milestones are grouped at the top of the plan as shown below. For ease of cross referencing, they are also contained in the body of the plan in green font. The milestone has a one-to-one (finish-to-finish) relationship with its corresponding task in the plan.

This approach to grouping milestones has been used to good effect on previous projects and helps the PM and client just peruse the top part of a detailed plan for status and reporting project status to senior management without having to drill down to a more granular level of detail. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Figure 12 – Project Milestones

mark whitfield project plan template milestones 10

Project milestones should be modified/deleted in accordance with the project being delivered and the milestones included in the plan represent typical example milestones for a  delivery.

Remember when modifying the milestones to also modify the corresponding green font tasks lower down in the plan.

Also update the WBS (work breakdown) column by accessing the ‘main menu>Project>WBS>renumber’ option for any new and deleted tasks prior to base lining.

4.3    Key Meetings

Key Meetings (shown below in Amber above Inception and Elaboration) are worth recording in the plan for both effort from resources ( and Client) and keeping an audit of key conversations.

If any meeting minutes, key decisions or important points made, are shared after the meeting, it is worth also adding these as a ‘Note’ item to the task also (as shown below – left margin) to keep track of conversations.best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Figure 12b – Key Meetings

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5.1    Inception and Elaboration

The first project phase of the main body of the plan containing more project specific start-up tasks required by the client (Note: the green tasks represent project milestones as discussed above).

This section should be amended to align with project specific deliverables, likely effort recorded for each task and also appropriate linking of tasks where tasks cannot be completed in parallel due to task or resource dependency.

Figure 13 – Inception and Elaboration

mark whitfield project plan template inception and elaboration 12

The tasks included are good representative list of typical inception / elaboration tasks to update or delete as appropriate and of course, new items can be added. If the latter, don’t forget to update the dependencies and milestones sections higher up in the plan if appropriate.

Also update the WBS (work breakdown) column by accessing the ‘main menu>Project>WBS>renumber’ option for any new and deleted tasks prior to base lining. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

5.2    Construction (Build) and Test

The second project phase of the main body of the plan containing more project specific development (build) tasks required by the client for development/construction and test (Note: the green tasks represent project milestones as discussed above).

This section should be amended to align with project specific deliverables, likely effort recorded for each task (outside of a Sprint and with project team input) and also appropriate linking of tasks where tasks cannot be completed in parallel due to task or resource dependency. Best Project Management Templates

Figure 14 – Construction (Build) and Test

mark whitfield project plan template construction and test 13

Note also that the sprint tasks align exactly with the sprints called out higher up in the plan (they are included higher up as general summary and to quick reference sprint start/end dates). Sprints are included here in the plan to add more detail to each sprint if required (e.g. user stories, tasks, specific resource allocation if required).

Resources can be assigned specifically to sprints in this section or more generally to the sprints higher up in the plan (Sprints Overview). Add more sprints to the project to cover the appropriate timeline and adjust to 2 – 4 week sprints as appropriate to the  project.

Also update the WBS (work breakdown) column by accessing the ‘main menu>Project>WBS>renumber’ option for any new and deleted tasks prior to base lining. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

5.3    Testing Phases and Cycles

As part of this construction phase of the detailed plan, the testing cycles are included in full and can be amended as appropriate depending of the requirements of the project.

Amend the duration (cycles), effort and dependency links and assign test resources as appropriate for the project.

Figure 15 – Testing Phases

mark whitfield project plan template test cycles 14

Each test phase has an annotated Notes entry (under Task Information) to further detail the requirements for that particular test phase.

Also update the WBS (work breakdown) column by accessing the ‘main menu>Project>WBS>renumber’ option for any new and deleted tasks prior to base lining.

5.4    Transition

The third project phase of the main body of the plan containing more project specific transition / deployment tasks required by the client (Note: the green tasks represent project milestones as discussed above).

This section should be amended to align with project specific transition and deployment tasks, likely effort recorded for each task and also appropriate linking of tasks where tasks cannot be completed in parallel due to task or resource dependency.

Figure 16 – Transition

mark whitfield project plan template transition 15

Also update the WBS (work breakdown) column by accessing the ‘main menu>Project>WBS>renumber’ option for any new and deleted tasks prior to base lining.

5.5    Early Live Support (ELS)

Early Live Support (ELS) tasks underpin the last part of the project plan. Amend effort, resource allocation and dependencies as appropriate. ELS is typically 2-4 weeks depending on the project contract. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Figure 17 – Early Live Support (ELS)

mark whitfield project plan template ELS 16

Also update the WBS (work breakdown) column by accessing the ‘main menu>Project>WBS>renumber’ option for any new and deleted tasks prior to base lining.

6.1    Project Calendar

The current project calendar takes stock of statutory bank holidays for the next 3 years on the standard calendar view in the UK.

The PM resource also has annual leave resource added as an example. It might be that another offshore calendar should be added if required for the project (for example, different parts of India or resources in Poland).

Figure 18 – Project Calendar

mark whitfield project plan template calendar 16

A generic Indian calendar entry has been added though no bank holidays have been set-up in this version.

Add offshore resources under the appropriate calendar entry (UK or offshore) for more meticulous effort tracking if both 7.5 and 8 hour working days need to be visible to the client and called out in the plan.

See also section 1.3 for nominating project resources and Offshore settings, e.g. Landed, UK, Offshore, Contractor and so on.

6.2    Project Start Date

As well as the project duration, sprint lengths (if relevant), also amend the likely project start date under Project>Project Information (first field as shown highlighted below). Currently set at October 2019.

Figure 19 – Project Start Date

mark whitfield project plan template project start date 17

After changing the Project Start Date, review the rest of the plan to ensure that appropriate milestones, dependencies and  task entries align as expected.

6.3    Project Notes

Quite a few of the tasks in the project plan contain Notes references under the Task Information of each task. These better describe the task and contain much more detail for task entries.

Figure 20 – Project Notes

mark whitfield project plan template project notes 17png

6.5    Project Notes – Agile

More detailed information can be found on the Agile Framework under the Notes tab of the appropriate task information.

Figure 22 –  Agile Framework

mark whitfield project plan template agile framework 18

Here are some YouTube videos, which may be of interest:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDLJpRw_tRV1Uy0Fdy-nSO5Qy6nlqSGLE.

6.6    Project Notes, Agile Meetings

Agile meeting agendas are included under each agile ceremony (Task Information>Notes tab) to aid setting up conf. call meetings in Outlook or face-to-face.

Figure 23 – Agile Ceremonies, Meetings

mark whitfield project plan sprint planning notes 21

7.1    Project Timeline View

The project timeline view in MS Project can be tailored as a final task to setting up the MS Project Plan. Best Project Management Templates

Add milestones to provide further detail to the timeline as required by the client and/or project team. Just right-click on an appropriate task to add it to the project timeline view. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Figure 24 – MS Project Timeline

mark whitfield project plan template timeline view 21.png

This is useful if requiring a high level plan-on-a-page for the project and client reporting and can be exported to PPT or email as required. See also Section 7.2 for a Plan on a Page.

8.1    Plan on a Page (POaP) Template

There is a  PowerPoint Plan on a Page template that accompanies this walk through document and detailed  MS Project Plan. This can be used if the previous MS Project Timeline view does not offer detail for the client.

As for the detailed plan, the POAP plan can be tailored as appropriate to the project and currently aligns to the main task entries in the detailed plan.

The PowerPoint POAP is embedded below.

Figure 25 –  Plan on a page template

Best Project Management Templates mark whitfield project plan template plan on a page poap

NOTE: If you (and/or the client) prefer to use and view high-level project plans in Excel rather than MS Project or PowerPoint, in the next section is an example template prepared for a recent  project including an instructions tab. This can be tailored as appropriate for client bids, modelling, early project planning or ongoing project tracking as appropriate to your project. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

 

9.1    Excel Detailed Plan Overview

In order to complete the Excel project plan tab, please follow the instructions below. No freeze panes are currently set so feel free to freeze rows as appropriate for viewing purposes. (Note: also see comments in the appropriate spreadsheet cells for guidance):

mark whitfield excel project plan template

  1. Enter the actual project name from the contract or statement of work/bid material if available
  2. If known, enter the name of the assigned project manager
  3. Enter the current project Red/Amber/Green (RAG) status from the drop down list if appropriate or N/A if the project has not yet started
  4. Enter the planned project start date based on current discussions
  5. Enter the last date for when the project plan was updated
  6. Today’s date is automatically populated and also highlights in red above the Gantt bar view
  7. Enter the Work Breakdown Structure reference (WBS) for the current project task if known or just use sequential/logical numbers as required (as shown)

mark whitfield excel project plan template 2.png

  1. Enter the best project task name / description (from official contract documentation if available)
  2. Enter any task / client dependencies such as hardware, security, resource start dates etc. Highlight the cell in amber if currently holding up a project task.
  3. Enter the project deliverable reference ID (from official contract documentation if available)
  4. Enter the project milestone ID represented if appropriate (from or official contract documentation if available)
  5. Enter the exact role description for the project resource from the contract or statement of work (if available), e.g. Solution Architect, Technical Architect
  6. Enter the actual name of the project resource allocated to item 12 above, if currently known
  7. Enter the currently planned start date for the task entered based on team discussions
  8. Enter the currently planned end date for the task entered based on team discussions
  9. The next column (Duration) is self-populating and represents the actual number of ‘business days’ between the planned start and end dates in the two previous columns
  10. Enter the estimated effort in days for the project task based on team discussions
  11. Enter the actual start date for the task entered when the project is underway. This is currently set to the same date as the planned start date and can be overwritten as appropriate when provided by the project team
  12. Enter the actual end date for the task entered when the project is underway. This is currently set to the same date as the planned end date and can be overwritten as appropriate when provided by the project team

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  1. Actual days duration is a self-populating field representing the number of actual ‘business days’ between the start and end dates in the previous two columns
  2. Days left to complete is a self-populating field representing the numbers of days between ‘Today’ and the actual task completion date
  3. Enter the task current status from the drop down list (green should be the default) for Red/Amber/Green (RAG) or N/A if using the row entry as a format separator line as shown for the ‘Stakeholder Management’ description row which forms a heading to sub tasks
  4. The variation duration column is a self-populating column to show task variation between the ‘planned’ and ‘actual’ business days elapsed for the task entered. This is currently zero at the start of the project.
  5. The actual effort column represents the effort taken to complete the task and is currently set to the same value as the estimated effort days. This actual effort value can be overwritten when the value is known from the project team
  6. The variation actual effort column is self-populating and represents the difference between the estimated effort in days and the actual task effort in days. This is currently zero at the start of the project
  7. The percentage complete column is a drop down list starting at 0% through to 100% and this should be maintained when the project is underway for each task. The default is 0%. The N/A value can also be entered when using the row as a separator row when setting up sub-tasks to a main task as for the ‘Stakeholder Management’ description row
  8. Enter any notes/comments/issues/risks etc. in the comment cell for the task and widen the column if necessary
  9. Adjust the week, dates, days and phase column headings above the Gantt bars to reflect your project period required and stages. Ensure weekends, bank and public holidays are aligned appropriately as currently shown in the example plan. Note: the dates shown underneath the plan table (above the chart) are self-populating when you enter the header dates in the topmost date row. Note that the date will show in red when equal to Today’s date to highlight the current position in the plan.

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  1. Add Gantt bars as appropriate to your project. The current bars use ‘outside borders’ and a mid-blue colour. Theming can be altered to differentiate between say Supplier, Client and Ourselves tasks. Bars can be coloured based on RAG status and completion etc. Different textures can also be used to represent percentage completion if not merging cells such that the first two cells could be blue (or a textured pattern) and the second two green for a four day task that is 50% complete, if this level of detail needs to be reflected. See the first task bar in the plan example.
  2. Note that project phases (green horizontal bars) are used to split tasks between stages, e.g. mobilisation and private beta. Ensure you have a similar approach to reflect the number of stages in your project, e.g. inception, elaboration, build, closedown or Start, Execute, Close. For ease of reading the phase name is also included along the length of the appropriate green bar to make the plan easier to read when scrolling down.
  3. Totals are shown at the bottom of the plan table for appropriate columns, e.g. day totals top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  
  4. Most of the table columns below the main project plan table are self-populating.
  5. The tasks table (leftmost under the plan) is self-populating from the main project plan. The resources and roles below this are also self-populating once these role/resource cells have been entered into the main project table.
  6. The two pie charts below; task status and task RAG totals is populated from the values in the tables directly above.

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  1. The resource table immediately to the right of the charts is self-populating from the main project plan table once the resource names and task completion values have been entered into the main project plan.
  2. The chart immediately to the right of the table in [35] above is self-populating from that table. In order to change this, select the chart and then right click and choose ‘Select Data’ to change the date range. Select other options on right click to change up the chart presentation if needed.
  3. The table at the bottom of the spreadsheet (penultimate) directly underneath the bar chart in [36] is self-populating for columns ‘Unique Roles’, ‘Tasks Allocated’, ‘Fees’ and ‘Total Days’. Enter the rate from the client rate card. The Role column to the right is self-populating from ‘Unique Roles’. The date columns are also self-populating.
  4. To the right of the ‘Roles’ column, enter the number of days for each week the resource will likely work on the project and the specific phase. The cell will change to pink if a value is entered above zero. Take note of any public/bank holidays. Values entered are totaled to obtain the fees. The headings to the table are self-populating for the weeks and days but the phase/stage headings will need adjusting manually based on the main project plan table.
  5. The bottom most table in the spreadsheet is self-populating and calculates the fee total for each phase/stage (for each week). Only the headings (stages/phases) and totaling rows will need to be manually amended to reflect phase totals, e.g. mobilisation grand total. The role columns self-populate from the main project plan table.

11.1  RAIDs Log

Below is an example RAIDs log template which can be used to track Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies (and other lists) for the project. The Excel spreadsheet also contains data validation for cells, some formulas and of course, automatically updating charts.

11.1  RAIDs Summary

The first tab contains a self-populating summary view of charts that are populated from the other tabs in the spreadsheet. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Best Project Management Templates Mark Whitfield RAIDS log template risks actions issues dependencies 1

11.1  Risk Log Tab

  1. Populate fields;
  2. Risk Number,
  3. Internal Risk ID,
  4. Risk Category,
  5. External Risk ID,
  6. Contract Reference (if Commercial),
  7. Date Risk Identified,
  8. Identified By,
  9. Risk Title,
  10. Description of Risk and the Impact,
  11. Mitigation Actions,
  12. Mitigation Action Date,
  13. Risk Response?,
  14. Risk Probability,
  15. Risk Impact / Severity,
  16. Risk Priority,
  17. Risk Owner,
  18. Risk Mitigation and Contingency Plan Update/ Comments,
  19. Risk Status,
  20. Risk Realised (Y/N),
  21. Date Status Changed,
  22. Target Closure Date,
  23. Date Closed,
  24. Sign Off

Mark Whitfield RAIDS log template risks actions issues dependencies 3

11.2  Issue Log Tab

Populate fields;

  1. Issue Number,
  2. Internal Issue ID,
  3. Issue Category,
  4. Issue Type,
  5. External Issue ID,
  6. Date Issue Identified,
  7. Issue Identified By,
  8. Issue Title,
  9. Description of Issue and the Impact,
  10. Issue Priority, Issue Impact / Severity,
  11. Issue Owner, Blocker?,
  12. Issue Resolution Update/ Comments,
  13. Issue Status,
  14. Date Status Changed,
  15. Related Change Request Number,
  16. Target Resolution Date,
  17. Date Closed,
  18. Sign Off

11.3  Action Log Tab

Populate fields; top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

  1. Action Number,
  2. Action ID,
  3. Date Action Raised,
  4. Action Raised By,
  5. Action Description,
  6. Source of Action (Email, Meeting, Call etc.),
  7. Project Area,
  8. Owner,
  9. Action Update/ Comments,
  10. Action Status,
  11. Date Status Changed,
  12. Planned Completion Date,
  13. Date Action Closed

11.3  Dependencies Log Tab

Populate fields;

  1. Dependency Number,
  2. Dependency ID,
  3. Company / Client / Supplier,
  4. Date Dependency Raised,
  5. Dependency Identified By,
  6. Dependency Description,
  7. Date Required,
  8. Impact of Missed Completion Date,
  9. Project Area,
  10. Owner,
  11. Dependency Update/ Comments,
  12. Dependency Status,
  13. Blocker?,
  14. Date Status Changed,
  15. Forecast Completion Date,
  16. Date Dependency Closed

Mark Whitfield RAIDS log template risks actions issues dependencies 2

11.3  Decisions Log Tab

Populate fields;

  1. Decision Number,
  2. Decision ID,
  3. Company / Client / Supplier,
  4. Date Decision Made,
  5. Decision Owner,
  6. Detailed Decision Description,
  7. Decision Area,
  8. Decision Forum,
  9. Rationale for making the Decision,
  10. Decision Approver,
  11. Agreed Investigation or Confirmation Actions/ Comments,
  12. Decision Status,
  13. Date of Last Review,
  14. Date Status Changed,
  15. Target Action Date,
  16. Actual Action Date

11.4  Obligations Log Tab

Populate fields; top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

  1. Obligation Number,
  2. Obligation ID,
  3. Company / Client / Supplier,
  4. Date Obligation Raised,
  5. Obligation Identified By,
  6. Obligation Title,
  7. Obligation Description,
  8. Date Required,
  9. Impact of Missed Completion Date,
  10. Project Area,
  11. Owner,
  12. Obligation Update/ Comments,
  13. Obligation Status,
  14. Date Status Changed,
  15. Forecast Completion Date,
  16. Date Obligation Closed

11.5  Change Requests Log Tab

Populate fields;

  1. Internal Change ID,
  2. External Change ID,
  3. Date Raised,
  4. Raised By,
  5. Title,
  6. Description,
  7. Priority,
  8. Contractual Change Y/N,
  9. Owner,
  10. Classification Category,
  11. Impact Assessment Status,
  12. Requirements (Man Days),
  13. Analysis (Man Days),
  14. Design & Build (Man Days),
  15. Testing (Man Days),
  16. Technical (Man Days),
  17. Overall Total  (Man Days),
  18. Value other than effort which need to be Invoiced,
  19. Impact (Severity),
  20. Cost of Change to Client,
  21. Quote Valid Until,
  22. Comments,
  23. Change Request Status,
  24. Date Status Changed,
  25. Related Change Requests,
  26. Target Implementation/ Release Date,
  27. Actual Implementation/ Release Date,
  28. Date Closed,
  29. Actual Cost,
  30. Invoiced Y/N,
  31. Sign Off

11.6  Out Of Scope Log Tab

Populate fields;

  1. OOS #,
  2. Internal OOS ID,
  3. External OOS ID,
  4. Date Raised,
  5. Raised By,
  6. Still Out Of Scope (Y/N),
  7. Related Change Request?,
  8. Title, Description

11.7  Contacts Log Tab

Populate fields;

  1. Contact Number,
  2. Last Name,
  3. First Name,
  4. Initials,
  5. e-Mail,
  6. Office phone,
  7. Mobile Phone,
  8. Fax,
  9. Role,
  10. Entity,
  11. Company Mailing List 1,
  12. Mailing List 2,
  13. Mailing List 3

 

11.8 Opportunity / Benefits Log;

Populate fields;

  1. Opportunity Number
  2. Internal Opportunity ID
  3. Opportunity Category
  4. External Opportunity ID
  5. Contract Reference (if Commercial)
  6. Date Opportunity Identified
  7. Identified By
  8. Opportunity Title
  9. Description of Opportunity
  10. Opportunity Actions
  11. Opportunity Action Date
  12. Opportunity Response?
  13. Opportunity Priority
  14. Opportunity Owner
  15. Opportunity Update/ Comments
  16. Opportunity Status
  17. Opportunity Realised (Y/N)
  18. Date Status Changed
  19. Target Closure Date
  20. Date Closed
  21. Sign Off

 

10.1  Financials – Introduction – Forecast, Actuals, Variance and Charts

This is a spreadsheet template for project financials modelling and tracking forecasts and actuals. It can be used, tailored or copied (as appropriate) to track weekly/monthly burn on projects accurately once the company view is completed and approved (as part of the original bid process). This will then aid in verifying and updating internal company portals and other corporate tools and help as input to month-end reviews.

The first tab is an automatically updated ‘Summary’ Dashboard which is updated each time the finance tracker tabs (forecast, actuals tabs) are updated weekly/monthly for the project.

The values currently included in the spreadsheet are examples only to provide a context for each tab. These can be reset based on the contents of the approved company view.

The spreadsheet contains columns to account for a change of resource rate in April so that two rates can be entered for internal and client fee rates if appropriate. This is useful if your project crosses over this tax year period and you need to track this.

Note: Whenever the term ‘Company View’ is used in the financials spreadsheet, the contents of the spreadsheet tab should not be shown to the client. This is because the tab most likely contains both internal rates and margins.

When the Company View is approved from the bid, the instructions to update this finance tracker are (more detail for each tab follows in the subsequent section); top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

  1. The CompanyView (2nd tab) tab is not a mandatory tab to complete but if you have the details to enter from the bid, enter them here. Reset and update the ‘CompanyView’ tab accurately with appropriate month column headings (and do the same for the other tabs in the spreadsheet) (Note: the working days in brackets for the month are correct for 2019), rates (pre and post April if required for index linked calculation), resources (copy/insert rows as required and match exactly/align in other tabs), names, grades, resource type and days effort. Also correctly set (Y/N) whether the resource will be charged for and whether the resource can charge expenses to the client.All other cells are self-populating. All calculated values should then match the approved Company View bid spreadsheet precisely.Update the project parameters (bottom left margin below main tables); Contingency, Expenses and VAT constants (plus others). The fee, cost, expense, days totals are also broken down automatically by resource type (External, Landed, Onshore, Offshore) at the bottom of the tab. This convention is adopted across all appropriate tabs. The charts below this area of the tab are self-populating.
  1. The ‘Forecast’ tab drives all the subsequent tabs by Cell Reference (e.g. rates, resources etc.). Reset and update the ‘Forecast’ tab accurately with appropriate month column headings (and do the same for the other tabs in the spreadsheet if not already done as part of step 1 above) (Note: the working days in brackets for the month are correct for 2019), rates (pre and post April if required for index linked calculation), resources (copy/insert rows as required and match exactly/align in other tabs), names, grades, resource type and days effort. Also correctly set (Y/N) whether the resource will be charged for and whether the resource can charge expenses to the client. All other cells are self-populating.Update the project parameters (bottom left margin below tables); Contingency, Expenses and VAT constants (plus others). These are also used in the rest of the spreadsheet by reference. The fee, cost, expense, days totals are also broken down automatically by resource type (External, Landed, Onshore, Offshore) at the bottom of the tab. This convention is adopted across all appropriate tabs. The charts below this area of the tab are self-populating.
  1. The ‘Actuals’ tab is driven from the previous ‘Forecast’ tab. Expense actuals are driven from the Expenses tab in [6] below.
  2. The ‘Variance’ tab is self-updating from the other tabs (forecast, actual tabs) and provides a very useful analysis area for where the project is financially based on the current forecasts. This tab does not need updating apart from aligning with the other spreadsheet tabs for added (new row) resources or month headings etc.
  3. The ‘AnnualLeave’ tab should be automatically aligned with the other tabs and day/week columns updated.
  1. The ‘Expenses’ tab should be updated monthly (or as required) and is used to drive the other tabs in the spreadsheet that refer to expenses. You may need to link in with PMO for the final expense claims for the month if you only approve a subset of your resources.
  2. The ‘SupplierCosts’ tab should be updated monthly (or as required). The value is also detailed on the ‘Summary’ tab. Also enter any invoice and purchase order numbers.
  3. The ‘ChangeRequests’ tab should be updated as required and other tabs aligned as appropriate to account for changes to weeks/months, resources, cost, days effort etc. as a result of the change.

 

10.2  Financials – Summary Dashboard

The first tab contains a summary dashboard of the key project finance metrics for the Company View baseline, forecast, actuals and variance.

This is especially useful when looking to gain a quick snapshot of the current project health from a budget perspective and also supply key project finance data to senior management. Needless to say, it is also very useful to compare to PMO project recorded actuals just before the month-end report and walk through.

Figure 1 – Financials – Summary Dashboard

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 1

This tab (for the best part) is self-updating and only requires a minor update where the ‘amend’ text has been used. It is ordered; baseline, current forecast, actuals, variances, invoices and project notes respectively. The first pane (top left of screenshot) details the original project budget in terms of cost forecast and effort (days) based on the Company View from the original approved bid.

The second pane details the project current forecast to complete.

The third pane details the current actuals only and budget / days effort spend so far.

The fourth pane provides the Variances on the project based on the original forecast values for cost and day’s effort compared to the recorded forecast / actuals to date.

The fourth pane is a ‘Notes type’ pane to record Purchase Order (PO) and Invoice details and current invoice values if available.

The last pane is to record any project notes for the financials and provides a useful area to explain variances ahead of the month-end review.

10.3  Company View Internal Baseline

The second tab of the spreadsheet should be manually transposed (in terms of resources, resource types, roles, rates, chargeable (and expenses) and man days) from the completed and approved Company View (from the original bid).

This tab is not mandatory if these details are not available as the forecast tab drives the rest of the tabs in the spreadsheet.

Note: When adding the same resource row to the other respective spreadsheet tabs (e.g. actuals, annual leave etc.) to keep a consistent resource alignment format, the forecast and actual days can be entered as required.

Figure 2 – Company View Internal Baseline

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 2b

The client fees, internal costs and margins are self-calculating and should match the approved Company View (from the bid) precisely.

The resource focus (e.g. Governance, Architecture, Development), resource role, rates (internal and external facing), days and month titles (e.g. Jul 18 (22) ) should be entered correctly.

Automated Offshore breakdown of resource cost is included at the bottom of the main grid (centrally) along with various charts which are self-updating. This convention follows for each of the subsequent tabs also. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

10.4  Forecast

This tab provides a running indicator of the days left to complete the project and cost (and overall project cost). This tab is mandatory as the forecast tab drives the rest of the tabs in the spreadsheet.

Resource rows can be added to keep the spreadsheet format aligned to the rest of the subsequent tabs which are based on this particular spreadsheet tab format. When adding rows to this forecast tab, effort/days should be kept at zero in order to keep the variance integrity for project forecast versus actuals analysis.

This tab should be updated with the latest actuals (when available) and all other values left ‘as-is’ to provide an indication of likely project completion effort. This layout of this tab should then be left without amendment for the life of the project apart from when adding new project resources and (months) under Change Control.

Figure 3 – Internal Forecast to Complete

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 3b

As with the Company View Internal Baseline tab (section 10.3 above), care should be taken when completing this tab with actuals and forecasts as it drives a number of the other tabs in the spreadsheet.

Typically, this tab is checked each month to verify the current month actuals (actuals tabs) for days and expenses (the latter requires an update to the Expenses tab – see Section 10.8 – Expenses later).

Keep this tab aligned in terms of format, with the other tabs in the spreadsheet when new resources or months are added.

At the bottom of the main grid (central), Offshore values are totaled and below these, a number of charts are available.

10.5  Actuals

This tab is similar to the last forecast tab but does not contain any forecasts, just project actuals. This way, the PM can track the budget spend so far in terms of cost and days.

The tab also contains the current margins for each month as actuals are logged (under each month column).

Figure 4 – Internal Actuals to Date

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 4b

NOTE: When updating this tab monthly, the resource day effort values can either be typed manually or be a direct cell (by reference) copy of the values in the tab ‘Internal Forecast to Complete’.

Keep this tab aligned in terms of format, with the other tabs in the spreadsheet when new resources or months are added.

10.6  Project Variance

The variance tab is self-populating and does not need any values entering. It provides a complete breakdown and analysis of the current project forecast versus the actuals. It also drives the Variance pane in the project Summary Dashboard (see Section 10.2) and the Variance charts below the tables.

Figure 5 – Project Variance

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 5b

The Variance tab provides an analysis of all project cost values against the original forecast including;

  1. Days
  2. Expenses
  3. Fees
  4. Revenue
  5. Margins
  6. Resource Type (Onshore, Offshore, External and Landed)

This variance tab will be useful when explaining current project figures at the project month-end review.

Keep this tab aligned in terms of format, with the other tabs in the spreadsheet when new resources or months are added.

10.7  Annual Leave

This tab is for entering approved resource annual leave and helps update the forecast tab in section 10.4.

The tab is broken down by weeks and will be useful to spot resource contention if similar resources are booking annual leave (or other types of leave) at the same time. top 10 best project management templates artifacts raid risk issue log project plan excel  

Figure 6 – Annual Leave – Weekly

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 6

Blue/Grey column headings (for the week titles) will need to be amended in-line with appropriate week headings for your project as required.

Keep this tab aligned in terms of format, with the other tabs in the spreadsheet when new resources or months are added.

10.8  Expenses

Expenses can be entered in this tab and are in turn picked up by the other tabs in the spreadsheet as appropriate for actuals and forecasting purposes.

Figure 7 – Expenses

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 7

Typically expenses are approved by the PM but in some cases, only by linking in with PMO are the final expenses for the month able to be recorded here for analysis and month-end reporting.

Keep this tab aligned in terms of format, with the other tabs in the spreadsheet when new resources or months are added.

10.9  Supplier Costs

Costs for any suppliers required by the project can be entered into this tab and the overall total is highlighted in the Summary Dashboard in Section 10.2 (actuals column).

Figure 8 – Supplier Costs

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 8.png

Also add any Purchase Order (PO) and Invoice references where indicated.

10.10         Change Control

A change control tab has been added to track change requests to the project and their value in terms of day’s effort and cost.

Figure 9 – Change Control

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 9

This tab is taken from the current  Change Control log and can be used to reflect and total costs within this financial tracker spreadsheet.

10.11         Charts

A number of charts are included to best illustrate the current status of the project in comparison with the original forecast. More can be added as required.

Figure 10 – Charts

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 10

mark whitfield project financials forecast actuals variance expenses 11

 

12.1  Extras Best Project Management Templates

http://scrumtrainingseries.com/

http://www.scrumstudy.com/scrum-free-videos.asp?course=sdc#

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