Web Site Design Project Plan – Free Project Template

Designing and implementing a new web site is not a simple task. Depending on the content and goals of your web site, it can be extremely complex. One way to ensure the successful, on time completion of your project is to spend a good deal of time in the planning phase. The free template below will give you a starting point and may help you structure your implementation project.

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Are you using this template? Please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

Project Management with Microsoft Excel

Excel Project Management Template

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” —Benjamin Franklin

Among the many titles in Ben Franklin’s vast career, I’m fairly certain you will not find “Project Manager.” However, you can be sure that he understood the value of planning to ensure the success of any activity requiring multiple tasks.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t have the benefit of computers and couldn’t leverage Microsoft Excel or any tools to aid in organizing his projects… But I bet he would if he was able. So, in celebration of the fact that we DO have access to these tools, in this article, I’ll provide some information about Project Management and more specifically about Microsoft Excel as a tool to help you manage your projects more effectively.

What is ‘Project Management’?

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived constraints. The primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget. The secondary —and more ambitious— challenge is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and integrate them to meet pre-defined objectives.

What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a commercial spreadsheet application written and distributed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has almost completely replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets. Excel forms part of Microsoft Office. The current versions are 2010 for Microsoft Windows and 2011 for Mac OS X.

Cells, Formulas and other Excel Content

Excel is an intuitive and easy to use tool for creating anything from simple todo lists to math intensive spreadsheets. It’s power is in its extensibility. Excel documents are called spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are made up of cells. Cells are arranged in a tabular format of rows and columns. Each cell in a spreadsheet can contain formulas or plain text. There are approximately 350 individual formulas that exist in current versions of Microsoft Excel and these can help you perform calculations and data manipulation. A simple formula can be seen in the example below:

Click on the next page to continue reading and for more information about our example formula… or skip to page 3 to check out the free example download.

An Excel Project Planning Spreadsheet

Excel Project Management Template

Project planning and progress tracking is an essential part of any successful project, no matter the size. Part of ensuring success is communicating progress with project stakeholders. For small projects, simple meetings will suffice, but anything involving more than a couple of tasks and people typically requires some form of formal project documentation. While Microsoft Project is a great tool, not everyone uses it and while they have a “viewer” version, sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth the hassle. You may want to use a Gantter a free Microsoft Project alternative, sometimes I think it’s just easier to use Excel. While it’s not free – it’s certainly popular, easy to use and offers the ability to export and/or save as PDF files for easy sharing.

Excel Project Plan Example
Excel Project Plan Example

This is why I almost always create a project plan with a Gantt Chart using Microsoft Excel when embarking on a project. In this tutorial, I’ll walk through the steps I took to create a sample Excel-based project planning spreadsheet with a nifty gantt project schedule that shows who’s doing what, when and how complete the tasks are.


I’ve included some important features in this example. Most notably is the Gantt Chart schedule view of the project which automatically provides a view of who is performing what tasks on what date. The example includes logic to skip around weekends and non-working days as well as a separate column to track progress against tasks or goals.

If you’d prefer to skip the article and simply download the excel project planning template, you may skip to page 4 using the page links below to access the download link.
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