Smartsheet Contributorkate ebi
July 22, 2022
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Project managers use checklists to plan and execute all types of projects. We'll show you how checklists can help you stay organized and consistent from project to project.
Check this article for a list ofthe benefits of using checklists, A12-step project overview checklist, and examples ofthree other types of checklistsfor project managers.
What is a project management checklist?
AVerification listis a tool that project managers use to stay organized. Checklists can help project managers keep track of project tasks, requirements, goals, and deadlines. You can always update checklists for subsequent tasks or initiatives as needed.
Project managers create checklists with information from their team and project sponsors. A good checklist should be as short as possible, yet exhaustive. It should also be easily customizable to suit the needs of any project. A checklist should contain the most important steps in a project or process, as well as the important sub-steps needed to successfully complete the project.
What is a project checklist?
AProject checklistis a list of steps required to successfully complete a project. These steps focus on the planning and configuration phase. Using a checklist helps teams adequately prepare for future project work.
Project sponsors often create an overall project checklist to use throughout an organization's efforts. Project managers then adapt the checklist for individual projects. A project checklist should include the general items needed to complete a project and the specific items needed to complete the project at hand.
Why do you need a project checklist?
Project checklists offer many advantages. Project managers can use them to improve task management, risk management, and more. From tracking project approvals to creating solid project plans, we've compiled a list of the top benefits of project checklists.
Here are some of the benefits of using checklists in project management:
- Task Management:Checklists make it easier for project managers and their teams to manage tasks by providing a simple organizational structure. Checklists make it easy to create, assign, and mark off completed tasks.
- Project planning:Planning a project is easier when you use a project checklist. A checklist helps ensure that all required design elements are in place and considered before moving on to the next steps.
- Risk management:Using project checklists is a simple way to manage risk. A checklist can provide security by ensuring that teams complete process steps in the correct order. Using checklists also helps to avoid the risk of lost or incomplete work.
- Resource management:Creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) and checklist helps project managers visualize the resources needed at each step of the process.
- Project approval:A project checklist can help inform the project charter and plan. Both statutes and plans are valuable tools that provide funders with the vision and transparency they need to approve projects with confidence.
How do you create a project checklist?
The first step in creating a project checklist is to understand the project. Identify your goals and the problems you will solve. You can also use or adapt checklists from past projects for future projects.
We've outlined a number of tasks and factors to consider when creating a checklist:
- Search the project:Identify your project's needs and the problems it will solve. Determine how you will solve these problems, what your goals are, and how you will measure your success. This will help you know what to include in your project checklist.
- Meet the interested parties:Find out who is on the team and who is accountable for project results. Identify your current project strengths and trade-offs. Find out who the project sponsor is and what their needs and priorities are. This will help you to roadmap your project and assign tasks.
- Start planning the project:First, plan the project details with a project order, and then finalize them in a project plan. Create a work breakdown structure (WBS) to plan process flows, assign tasks, and manage resources. Develop a timeline, budget, and communication plan. All of these items will likely become steps on your checklist.
- Use information from previous projects:Past projects can become a model for future projects. Take a look at their most successful projects and try to replicate their success. Identify the planning tools used and integrate them into your current planning. Write down everything you would do differently next time and add those processes to your next checklist.
- Identify potential risks:Many risks are related to missing or incomplete project steps. Identifying your project's potential risks can help you identify areas where you need to pay more attention to detail. Clearly outline these checklist items and be sure to keep them in mind.
- Consider visibility:Decide in advance how often and with whom you need to share project updates. Consider using online dashboards to consolidate this information and make your checklists and updates available to anyone who needs them.
Project Management Checklist
A project management checklist contains all the steps needed to successfully complete the project. This includes conducting research, building a team, identifying objectives, and planning and executing your project.
A project management checklist is also known as aProject management plan, project execution checklist, project execution checklist, project process checklist,or simplya project checklist. The exact items on your checklist may vary depending on your industry, the nature of the project, or your company's background and expectations.
We've outlined 12 basic steps for any project management checklist, which you can customize to meet your project needs:
- Do a project search:Research should always be the first step on your project checklist. Reference similar completed projects for an estimated timeline and budget. Enter this information into aproject orderSubmit it to your sponsor for approval. Consider obstacles you might encounter and additional resources you might need. Use experiences from previous projects to support your strategies.
- Assemble your team:Define your stakeholders and assign specific roles to your team members. Set expectations around deadlines and reports, and start defining who will be responsible for what.
- Define your scope and goals:State your project goals, what it will take to achieve them, and the specific problems they will solve. Determine how you will measure project success and what is in and out of scope for your project.
- Check your budget:Confirm the budget available for your project. Then start categorizing and adding up your expenses. Include all costs necessary to complete the project, including labor, materials, equipment, and any additional resources needed. Consider using aproject budget templateto keep your budget up-to-date and organized throughout your project's lifecycle.
- Estimate your schedule:Draw up a timeline for the project. Start with the major milestones and fill in the smaller details as your plan comes to fruition. By creating a preliminary schedule early in the planning process, you make it easier to adjust as planning progresses. The sketch also provides a great starting point for creating your final schedule.
- Create a work breakdown structure:After covering the basics, create aWorkDemolishStructure(WBS) to define the flow of your project. Identify thecritical fireplaceand createto-do listsfor each stage of the project and each phase.
- Complete a formal project plan:They areProject PlanIt should include a project overview, the final budget, the project schedule with deadlines and deliverables, a list of potential risks, a risk mitigation strategy and a communication plan. read ourHow to write a project planHere are tips and templates to help you create your own complete plan.
- Define your measures of success:Determine how you will measure the success of your project. It really depends on the type of project you are doing. For example, a sales or production project's measure of success might include the total number of items sold or produced, but other projects might focus on hosting a successful event, developing a better version of an application, or improving an existing process. . Keep reading this guideproject success fairlearn more.
- Put your risk management plan into action:Adjust your company's strategiesrisk management planfor concretetypes of risksthat you can find in your project. If you don't already have a risk management plan, create one with one of theseRisk Management Plan Templates.
- Create and share project information:Create a central repository or dashboard to store project information and keep it up-to-date throughout the project lifecycle. Host a project kickoff meeting to review project information and let stakeholders know where to find updates. Wearproject management softwareto create shareable dashboards and visuals for budgeting and planning information.Gantt diagramand pie charts make complicated project information easier to digest.
- Execute your plan and monitor progress:Once you've finished planning and starting your project, it's time for your team to get things done. As a project manager, your job is to keep the project on track by assigning and monitoring tasks, sending regular updates to stakeholders, and organizing meetings based on your communication plan. It is also important to keep project status information up-to-date and accessible at all times and to take steps to mitigate and prevent risks.
- Confirm completion and close the project:When your project is complete, the final step is to commit or close it. Transmit all necessary contracts with suppliers or customers to those in charge or complete them in full. Gather information about thelessons learnedduring the project and maintain aLessons Learned Treffento share your findings with the team and stakeholders. Prepare a .....Completion of the projectReport and finalize all project deliverables and deliverables with the sponsor. Save this information for future reference before moving on to the next project.
Project management checklist template
Download project management checklist template
Microsoft Excel|Microsoft Word|google docs|google spreadsheet
Download the Project Management Checklist Template with Sample Data for
Microsoft Excel|Microsoft Word|google docs|google spreadsheet
Use this downloadable project management checklist template to track project planning and execution. Document the time spent on each task in the template and mark them as not started, in progress, or completed. We've completed a sample template with the 12 steps outlined above to get you started, but this template is fully customizable. Customize it for use on any type of project in any industry.
You can find more checklists in this list.Free Project Checklist Templates.
Additional Types of Project Management Checklists
Project managers can use additional types of project management checklists. These checklists are more specific than a generic design checklist. The most common types are used for project planning, program management, and project closure.
Project planning checklist
A project planning checklist contains all the steps needed to set up and plan a project. These checklists cover everything between project initiation and startup. Use these to ensure your project plan meets all sponsor requirements.
Project planning checklists are also called project setup checklists, planning phase checklists, project development checklists, or pre-project checklists. Depending on your organization, they can sometimes also include project compliance elements.
We've outlined a generic eight-step project planning checklist that you can adapt to any project:
- Investigate your project:Talk to the project sponsor to understand their expectations for the project. Consult the project information above to determine what is feasible with your time and resources. Use the knowledge gained from previous projects to plan your project.
- Assemble your team:Identify your stakeholders and assign roles to team members. Determine your strengths and your current commitment to other projects when making decisions.
- Evaluate the requirements and create the project order:Prepare a project brief with an estimated budget and timeline. Your charter should also include preliminary risk management plans and an initial scope statement.
- Secure Sponsor Approval:Submit the completed charter to the project sponsor for approval. Once they approve, you can start developing your plans.
- Finalize budget, schedule, and resource needs:Use the original plans in the project brief to establish a budget. Create a work breakdown structure and use it to write a schedule with all relevant deliverables and deadlines. Assign tasks to your team members based on their strengths and availability. Acquire any additional resources and equipment needed to complete your project.
- Create a formal project plan:Combine all of your planning and research into a formal project plan. Your project plan should include a budget, schedule, scope statement, communication plan, and risk management strategies. Your project plan serves as the authoritative document for each phase of the project, so it should be as accurate as possible. Once completed, you should only deviate from it if absolutely necessary.
- Identify and monitor potential risks:Risk mitigation begins before work on the project begins. Identify potential risks as early as possible and educate your team about the risks they are likely to face. Be aware of these hazards and, if necessary, pivot to mitigate or completely avoid their impact.
- Host a project kickoff meeting and begin:hold somethingproject startMeet to present the plan to the team and stakeholders. The project initiation should describe the project's goals, timeline, roles and responsibilities, and encourage stakeholder buy-in. A successful kick-off meeting will be informative and exciting so the team can get off to a good start.
Program Management Checklist
Program Management Checklists provide the basic steps for managing a program or portfolio. They prioritize projects based on the goals of the organization as a whole. They also include steps to monitor ongoing value programs.
We describe five basic steps for aprogram managementVerification list:
- Define program objectives:Define your program goals. Talk with leaders to determine the organization's goals and how they relate to your program goals. Program goals may include growing a business unit, increasing sales, or expanding a company's presence in a market.
- Organize current program information:Collect information on all active projects within the program. Speak with project managers and get access to their dashboards and status reports. Project goals, schedule information, budgets, and team compositions can all be helpful in determining the value of existing projects.
- Define prioritization criteria:Determine theprioritization criteriaThey are used to classify projects within the program. Prioritization criteria can be the total cost of the project, the ultimate benefits of completing the project, or the maintenance needs that the project addresses. Talk with leaders to determine the most important criteria for the company.
- Prioritize projects within the program:Once you've established your prioritization criteria, use apriority matrixoProject Prioritization Modelto rank projects within your program based on need and importance. Over time and as new projects emerge, you can update these criteria.
- Monitoring and reporting:Monitoring the progress of projects within the program. Change priorities when adding or completing projects. Establish a regular reporting schedule to update executives on progress and status of program goals.
Project Completion Checklist
A project completion checklist contains the steps needed to complete an entire project. It should include sharing project information, measuring project success, preparing a final project report, and archiving project data for future reference.
A project completion checklist is also known as aRetrospective Project Checklistthe onepost mortem checklist.
We've outlined six steps for creating a general checklist for completing a project:
- Formal delivery of contracts and documents:Some projects end when handed over to another team or department. If so, create a formal system for ending your own involvement in the project and updating the next team. Be sure to include any customer or vendor contracts that the new team or department still needs. Completed contracts that are no longer needed.
- Measure success metrics:Review your project success metrics and measure your project success against those criteria. Conduct surveys to get team feedback on project processes. If customers are involved, get their feedback on the success of the project. Document all of this information for your project report.
- Identify and review lessons learned:Discuss and reiterate the lessons you learned from completing this project with your team and stakeholders. Document this information in your report for future reference.
- Create a final project report:join onefinal project reportThis includes lessons learned, successful results, and project background information. Describe the timeline you followed and your final budget, including any overages. Your report should include all the good and bad information about the project for future project managers to refer to.
- Formally share the results with stakeholders and sponsors:Hold a closing meeting to share your project results with stakeholders and sponsors. Present an overview of the project and what was and was not achieved. Use visuals like graphs and charts to present data and provide insight into what went well and what you would do differently next time.
- Archive project data:Collect your project data in a centrally accessible unit. Be sure to follow your company's file naming conventions for ease of searching. Use this unit to reference data from past projects and to aid in researching future projects.
Keep your projects organized and consistent with Smartsheet
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From simple task management and project planning to complex portfolio and resource management, Smartsheet helps you improve collaboration and work faster, allowing you to get more done.
The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage and report work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and produce more. Report on key metrics and gain real-time insight into work in progress with summary reports, dashboards and automated workflows designed to keep your team connected and informed.
When teams are clear about the work that needs to be done, there's no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.Try Smartsheet for free today.
What is checklist method in project management? ›
A project management checklist is a document used to keep track of all the tasks, deadlines, resources and goals necessary to complete a project. Project managers, team leads and supervisors frequently use project management checklists to organize and monitor the progress of a project's various elements.What are the 7 elements of a project plan? ›
- Step 1: Define your goals and objectives. ...
- Step 2: Set success metrics. ...
- Step 3: Clarify stakeholders and roles. ...
- Step 4: Set your budget. ...
- Step 5: Align on milestones, deliverables, and project dependencies. ...
- Step 6: Outline your timeline and schedule. ...
- Step 7: Share your communication plan.
- Introduction. This defines the what and why of a project. ...
- Project scope. This defines the project requirements. ...
- Deliverables. ...
- Acceptance criteria. ...
- Exclusions. ...
A checklist is a type of job aid used in repetitive tasks to reduce failure by compensating for potential limits of human memory and attention. It helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task. A basic example is the "to do list".What is a checklist template? ›
What is a Checklist Template? Checklist template is a tool that businesses use to ensure that tasks are systematically organized, promptly accomplished, and efficiently done. It helps give an overview of the current status and trends of assignments within a team or organization.What is simple checklist method? ›
Under checklist method, a checklist is forwarded to the rater regarding the performance and behaviour of the employees. The rater on analysing the question and the employees, rates the employees. Such questions carry score which is given by the HR manager.What are the 5 P's in project management? ›
The 5 P's of management provide such a framework. The 5 Ps are: 1) Plan, 2) Process, 3) People, 4) Possessions, and 5) Profits. Planning is the key to the success of an organization.What are the 3 R's of project management? ›
Project Management 3 R's – Reduce, Reuse, Revise.What is the rule of 7 PMP? ›
The Rule of Seven as applied in Quality Management says that “A run of seven or more consecutive points in a control chart, either above the mean, or below the mean, or continuously increasing or decreasing, may indicate the process may be out-of-control”.What are the 10 parts of a project plan? ›
- Define stakeholders. Stakeholders include anyone with an interest in the project. ...
- Define roles. Each stakeholder's role should be clearly defined. ...
- Introduce stakeholders. ...
- Set goals. ...
- Prioritize tasks. ...
- Create a schedule. ...
- Assess risks. ...
What are the 9 elements of project management? ›
- Project Integration Management. ...
- Project Scope Management. ...
- Project Time Management. ...
- Project Cost Management. ...
- Project Quality Management. ...
- Project Human Resource Management. ...
- Project Communication Management. ...
- Project Risk Management.
- define the project.
- list the tasks.
- estimate the cost and time of each task.
- plan the dependencies and longest route.
- speed up the project plan if necessary.
- create a Gantt chart (I love Gantt charts)
- check you have the resources required.
- think about risk.
- The Identification of Stakeholder Needs. ...
- Smart Project Objectives. ...
- Clear Project Deliverables and Timelines. ...
- A Detailed Project Schedule. ...
- Defined Roles and Responsibilities. ...
- Project Costs That Help Identify Shortfalls.
- Determine the project goals and objectives.
- Determine the project scope.
- Build your work breakdown structure (WBS)
- Set timelines.
- Determine and plan resources.
- Estimate costs.
- Determine risks and constraints.
- Plan out communication.
- Collect Requirements. This is the first process group in scope management. ...
- Define Scope. This is the process of developing a detailed description of the Project and product. ...
- Create WBS. Creating a work breakdown structure is done using a technique called decomposition. ...
- Verify Scope. ...
- Control Scope.
The 5S framework, developed and popularized in Japan, provides five key steps for maintaining an efficient workspace in order to improve the quality of products. In Japanese, these steps are known as seiri (Sort), seiton (Set in order), seiso (Shine), seiketsu (Standardize), and shitsuke (Sustain).Does Excel have a checklist template? ›
A checklist in Excel is a custom list of items you can create to track tasks, projects, training or other items that often use checklists. Excel has several templates you can use to build your checklist, or you can create your own.Is Excel or Word better for checklists? ›
Microsoft Excel Pros
Better if you want to combine multiple elements onto the page e.g. a habit tracker and a checklist or a daily schedule and notes box etc.
- Give a name to your checklist. The name of the checklist represents the purpose and use of creating it.
- Date / Date range. ...
- Add tasks in your checklist. ...
- Continue repeating for every task.
A checklist is a checkbox in Excel used to represent whether a given task is completed. Normally, the value returned by the checklist is either true or false. But, we can improvise with the results. When the checklist is tick marked, the result is true, and when it is blank, the result is false.
Does Word have a checklist template? ›
On the Home tab, choose the down-arrow next to the Bullets list to open the bullet library, and then choose the checkbox symbol.What are the four 4 pillars of project management? ›
Organizations can take steps to avoid these problems and enhance the probability for project success by building or reinforcing the four pillars of effective IT program management – IT Portfolio Management, Governance, Risk Management and Enterprise Architecture.What is the 6p rule of project management? ›
They include process, people, proficiency, passion, patience and perfection.What are the 4 parameters of project management? ›
When it comes to project management, these four factors – time, cost, quality and quantity – constitute the most important parameters.What are the 3 most critical elements of effective project management? ›
- Scope: The deliverables and tasks that the team must finish to meet the project's objectives are referred to as the scope. ...
- Cost: The entire sum of money necessary to finish a project is the project cost and is also known as the budget. ...
The project management triangle is made up of three variables that determine the quality of the project: scope, cost, and time. The triangle demonstrates how these three variables are linked—if one of the variables is changed, the other two must be adjusted in order to keep the triangle connected.What is 5r principle? ›
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle – that offers improvement to the environment.What is the 80/20 rule in project management? ›
The 80/20 rule – also known as the Pareto Principle – states that 20% of inputs give rise to 80% of outputs. Initially theorized by the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who noted that about 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people, this observation can now be applied in many situations.What is the 8 80 rule in project management? ›
Another good measure is the “8 – 80” rule, which recommends that the lowest level of work should be no less than 8 hours and no more than 80 hours. Level of detail for work packets should be documented in the WBS Dictionary or the Project Management Plan.What is the 50/50 rule PMP? ›
The 50/50 rule is important in project management because it uses current performance to predict future performance. With the 50/50 rule, managers assess 50% of a project's value at the start and 50% when it's complete.
What are the seven 7 stages of project cycle? ›
The Project Lifecycle consists of seven phases intake, initiation, planning, product selection, execution, monitoring & control, and closure. These phases make up the path that takes your project from start to finish.What is project plan checklist? ›
A project planning checklist includes all steps needed to set up and plan a project. These checklists include everything between project inception and kickoff. Use them to ensure that your project plan satisfies all sponsor requirements.What would the main 5 tasks of a project manager be? ›
Skills and attributes needed to be a project manager
direct, manage and motivate the project team. develop and maintain an agreed project plan and detailed stage plans. understand and apply business case and risk management processes. tailor expert knowledge to meet specific circumstances.
- Create and Analyze Business Case.
- Identify and Meet Stakeholders for Approval.
- Define Project Scope.
- Set Project Goals and Objectives.
- Determine Project Deliverables.
- Create Project Schedule and Milestones.
- Assignment of Tasks.
- Carry Out Risk Assessment.
- Add Headers to the Table. First, you'll need to add some headers to your table. ...
- Add Your Project Information. Start with the Task column and enter the tasks for your project plan. ...
- Add Colors to Convey Project Status at a Glance. ...
- Create the Project Plan Timeline. ...
- Final Touches.
- 3 key factors to have a project success. Recent studies have been investigating the project successes factors. ...
- Synergic Teamwork. A successful project is made by teamwork that knows their importance on it. ...
- Leaders with vision and imagination. A successful project is led by project managers prepared for future events.
- Project Integration Management.
- Project Integration Processes.
- Develop Project Charter.
- Develop Project Management Plan.
- Direct and Manage Project Work.
- Monitor and Control Project Work.
- Perform Integrated Change Control.
- Close Project or Phase.
- Step 1: Do a “brain dump” ...
- Step 2: Organize and prioritize tasks. ...
- Step 3: Put them on your to-do list. ...
- Step 4: Check off each item as you complete it. ...
- Step 5: Continue adding items as they come up.
Microsoft Excel Pros
Better if you want to combine multiple elements onto the page e.g. a habit tracker and a checklist or a daily schedule and notes box etc.
Based on the long-standing Gantt chart model, this project planning template in Excel uses a simple visual representation to show how a project will be managed over time. You can enter the start dates, duration, and current status of each task and share them with your team to keep task owners accountable.
Does Google have a checklist template? ›
Google Sheets also allow you to make custom checklists and save them as templates. You can do it by adding checkboxes to the desired cells and keep the sheet for future use. To add the checkboxes, you need to click on the Insert tab at the top, select Checkbox, and you're all done.Is there a checklist template in Google Docs? ›
Using Google Docs to create a checklist is very simple. As long as you already know what you want to include on the list, the steps are straightforward. To start a new checklist, click on the Checklist button from the toolbar. Then you can start typing the list of items.