Project Management Templates

Download essential project management excel templates and watch training videos on how to use them.

On large complex projects the number of project documents and plans could be staggering. For any size project you are going to need the essential tools.  The word tool is a common phrase that could mean all sorts of things. For the most part, project tools are documents or spreadsheets that are used for tracking, documenting, reporting, and capturing information.  

The essential tools that need to be used on any size project would be an agenda, meeting notes, status reports, project schedule, and project plans.  Most projects are going to use tools to log issues and risks. PMI (Project Management Institute) refer to these logs as registers.  

Another tool that should be used for any project large or small is a project charter.  On small projects, having a project charter seems to be too much but a charter can really make a difference because it establishes the project and gives a very clear picture of what should be expected. It takes time to develop a charter but having a project charter can pay dividends when issues or conflicts come up later in the project. 

A project schedule is another important tool.  This tool is where activities also called tasks are listed with a start date, end date, and a task owner.  Without a project schedule, you will not know when items should start, or when things are due, and most importantly who is responsible. This is an essential project tool because it gives the project structure.  Project management is about bringing structure to something which is temporary and by nature, all projects are temporary.