Get your team on the same page with this project overview template. Collect goals, tasks, and notes about a project in one convenient place.
Set your project up for success by outlining its purpose, goals, and resources required. Decide what you need to do and set clear deadlines to complete objectives on time.
You can accomplish all that by writing a project overview or a project plan.
What Is a Project Overview?
A project overview is an organized document that features key details about a single project. It usually includes project goals, timelines, action items, resources, and project history.
Keep Organized With the Project Overview Template
This simple project overview template is an excellent tool for projects of varying scope and complexity. Sharing a project overview with your team will help you:
- Stay on message. All members of your team can take a quick look at the project overview and remember its whys, hows, and when.
- Stay on track. Your team can easily check where everyone is at and how close you are to major milestones. They can also track their own progress and workload.
- Customize on the go. Plans can shift rapidly depending on multiple factors. The project overview template will let your team adapt and correct the course in an instant.
How to Use the Project Overview Template
- To get started, sign in to your Taskade account or sign up for free.
- Open the template link and click on the ➕Use Template button.
- Choose the Workspace where you want to create your project overview.
- Customize your project overview using Taskade’s editing and formatting features.
- Finally, click on the Share button next to your profile photo to start collaborating.
A successful project requires significant planning. Understanding the steps involved provides a realistic timeline for the project owner and other managers. Leaders often use a project roadmap that provides a general outline of the pathway and timeline for completion. This document should be concise to prevent the big picture from getting lost in the weeds of detail.
The project team members will require additional information before they get started. They need to know more about goals and expectations within the process. Individual members require a clear idea of their roles as part of the larger project. A project overview is the tool of choice for fleshing out the details of the project roadmap.
How do you write a project overview?
The steps that lead to a successful project with on-time delivery begin before any practical work gets done. The project overview is the final summary of a longer planning process. The critical first step is understanding the vision of the project. Meeting with the project owner will help you define goals, needs and expectations. From there, the project leader looks backward to mark the path that will lead to the final product. Several pieces of information are necessary to make that happen.
It can be easy to confuse the things you could do with the things you must do. A clear understanding of the scope of a project will prevent this tendency from adding work and creating delays. When the entire team understands the final goal, it will keep them on track. Ideas for new features can wait until the next version or project evaluation meeting.
Organization and Communication
A small team may be able to work with an informal structure. However, as projects become more complicated, a clear path of organization and communication matters. Mapping this out at the beginning will prevent important information from being lost in a wave of group emails and texts. Understanding their responsibilities and authority will also empower team members to make decisions within their purview.
A project overview will need information about the resources necessary to meet the final goal. For software development, the primary resources will be knowledge and programming hours. A physical project may require parts from outside vendors. The time and cost necessary for customization or other processing will impact the budget and timeline.
A well-planned project will take potential risks into account. Unexpected problems can include data storage shortages, insufficient bandwidth and supply chain problems. Once the team identifies these risks, they can assign members to anticipate and minimize them.
The timeline is the part of the overview that serves as the organizational framework for all the other information. Realistic timelines help define expectations for the project owner, leader and team members. Goals within the timeline will determine how to focus efforts during sprints in an Agile model.
Evaluation and Change Management
Projects with an extended timeline are almost certain to change. The project owner may realize that the product must include new features. The project team may confront unpredictable delays. The overview should include regular opportunities for evaluation and changes. Revising the timeline with the project owner will maintain a positive relationship between the client and the business.
Once the team has gathered and processed all the necessary information, the project leader can assemble it into a visual overview using a project template. The project overview will serve as a guide at every team meeting and a reference during the work.
What should a project overview look like?
An overview is a tool for getting your project done. Its appearance and organization are a matter of preference and functionality. Many overviews center around a traditional timeline, but Gantt charts are becoming more popular.
This document is geared toward the project team and will be more detailed than a roadmap for clients. It must give your team members the information they need without creating confusion. Some of the qualities to look for in a project overview template include clarity, connectivity and flexibility.
Team members will consult this document regularly, so clarity is of paramount concern. By hovering or clicking on a task, they should be able to access information about the timeframe, resources and responsibilities around it. The information presented will minimize the time lost while waiting for answers to basic questions.
The overview should clarify connections and act as a connector for the team. A few moments with the document should be enough to remind people of where they stand in the project org chart. This knowledge will avoid confusion and improve communication.
The document should be a shared resource that connects the team. A digital project overview template allows centralized access to project information. To avoid confusion, only the project manager or a designated member should make changes to the overview itself. By following this practice, team members will always know that they are looking at the latest version.
A project overview template must take into account that complicated projects will change over time. It should be simple to adapt the resource as new needs or challenges arise.
How do you create a project overview template?
In the past, a project leader might jot down information in a notebook to create a project overview template. A whiteboard or a poster from a printing department are other options for a physical representation of the project. Group members would see the overview in a central location like the project leader’s office or a meeting room. However, a physical format is difficult to share and impossible to update without causing confusion. Most leaders will opt for a digital project template.
Working with a well-designed project overview template simplifies the move from gathering information to creating the overview. The team leader first chooses their preferred format, building a visual summary of the relationship to goals and the overall timeline. Then, they will incorporate information about each step such as the proposed resources, estimated length and responsible team members.
This digital project overview can easily be shared online with all team members, allowing them to access the plan from any device at any time. Using a digital project overview template will streamline the planning process and increase productivity for any project.