Browse published templates belonging to the Project Management category on Airtable, and get started with the one that fits your needs. Sought after discipline that transforms your leadership qualities into a career. The one-year Project Management Ontario College Graduate Certificate. PM Group delivers complex projects across the globe. Expertise in project. management, process design, facility design and construction management.
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Project Management Guide
Everyone manages projects — even if “project manager” isn’t your official title. Whether you’re a marketer, a creative director, or an IT professional, project management is essential to achieving business objectives.
Project management can be defined as the process of creating, organizing, and executing a plan to meet specific goals. However, project management is much greater than its definition. It’s a vast subject covering a wide variety of topics.
Here at Wrike, we’re passionate about project management because it can increase organizational efficiencies, boost team performance, and impact the bottom line. However, we realize not everyone is a project manager by trade. Although project management is common in all aspects of business, understanding its complex concepts and terminologies can help you take your project managing career to the next level.
We’ve put together our project management guide to introduce you to some of these concepts and terms, and provide you with strategies and best practices to improve your project management process. We’ve also linked to an abundance of articles on the Wrike blog, as well as other Wrike eBooks, videos, and infographics. We hope you enjoy it!
Choose from a variety of tools and approaches that best suit your preferences.
Get the big picture across programs and projects
Create a centralized view of all programs and projects across your organization in a visual, interactive roadmap. 1
Plan projects effectively
Simplify planning and reduce training time with help from familiar scheduling features for project managers like Timeline view (Gantt chart).
Share insights to keep everyone on the same page
Use Microsoft Power BI to create and share rich interactive dashboards that visualize all aspects of your project.2
Start quickly with built-in templates
Choose from a variety of built-in, customizable templates that use industry best practices. There’s no need to create new project management plans.
Run your business your way
Customize your project management needs in a way that best suit your organization and helps shorten your time to market.
Planning a perfect project
Get seven helpful tips from the project manager’s guide to planning a perfect project.
5 project management tools
See how five project management tools can help you save time, money, and energy.
Project planning in the cloud
Learn how online project planning is the future.
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1. Roadmap is only available with Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5.
2. A Power BI license may need to be acquired separately for certain scenarios. For more information, please see the Project Online service description.
A project management tutorial video on 12 key terms we think everyone should know (from beginners to experts).
4 Habits of Highly Productive People
If you want to know how to make the most of your available time and achieve your goals, start with these four essential habits.
How to Build a High-Performance Project Team
What makes a winning project team? Why do some teams achieve greatness while others struggle? Anna looks at the factors present in winning project teams.
Approaches to Risk Management
In this video, Brad Egeland talks about risk management's importance and discusses tools and common risk management mistakes.
How to Report Status on a Project
In this video, Brad Egeland explains how to prepare for the project status reporting process, carry it out, and talks about why it is valuable.
Intro to Scrum in Under 10 Minutes
What is Agile Scrum? Learn Scrum in under 10 minutes in this video introduction to the Scrum software development methodology.
SCRUM: Twice the Work, Half the Time
This video details why Scrum is so much better than traditional project management methods and how you can use it on your next project.
How to Write a Smart Goal
The acronym SMART tells us to write achievable and effective goals, but how do you write a SMART goal? This video tutorial looks at the dos and don'ts of writing SMART goals.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Leaves the Audience Speechless
Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Mr Universe, Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, and Governor of California, delivers one of the best motivational speeches you will hear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Try here first if you have a question.
What is Project Smart?
Project Smart was launched in the year 2000 to offer easy access to information about project management. The website's philosophy is to provide free, high-quality, ethical content in an accessible form while encouraging an open discussion.
What's so smart about Project Smart?
Unlike some other project management websites, we don't publish everything we can find on the subject regardless of quality. We quality check all articles and only post them if they give a helpful insight into the project management profession. You won't find any advertisements thinly disguised as articles or advertorials to waste your time.
Can I republish content from this website?
No, copyright law protects the material on this website. You may not sell or publish the material in any form without written permission from the content owner. You may read, print and download it for private use. Use for dissertations and essays does not need specific permission, as long as you use applicable copyright and website source.
In general, teachers, trainers and lecturers may use or adapt content for educational purposes. We request you to show the relevant copyright and website source.
Why is spelling on the site different from American English?
We use British English throughout the website. Often British English spellings differ from American English. If you find a genuine spelling error, please get in touch with us to correct it.
We use the abbreviation tag for abbreviations and acronyms. A mouse hover over the abbreviation or acronym in question will reveal the full description in a tooltip.
Where can I apply for my Project Management Professional (PMP) exam?
The Project Management Institute (www.pmi.org) certifies project managers who lead and direct project teams as professionals or PMPs.
How do I post a topic in a forum?
To post a new topic or question in a forum, click the relevant button on either the forum or topic screens. You will need to register before you can post a message. Moderators oversee the forums to prevent the posting of spam and undesirable content. For more information, visit our forum help page.
Do you accept guest posts or link requests?
No, we do not accept guest posts and prefer to approach the people that write for us. Similarly, we do not accept requests for links to infographics, guides or other content. We will not respond to these requests and are aware many are automated bot requests.
How should I academically reference articles from your website?
We suggest you use the following citation format:
Darter, K. (2016). How to Finish Strong on Your Projects. Online at www.projectsmart.co.uk/best-practice/how-to-finish-strong-on-your-projects.php (accessed 23/09/21).
Haughey, D (n.d.). Introduction to Project Management. Online at www.projectsmart.co.uk/lifecycle-and-methodology/introduction-to-project-management.php (accessed 23/09/21).
(n.d.) = no date.
Project Management templates
Simplify your workflows and optimize your daily routines with our collection of project management templates.
This Project Kickoff Meeting template helps you have all the information about your project in one shared space, like a project manifesto. This template has seven activities to define your project’s goals and objectives, the team’s roles and responsibilities, and the next steps and resource materials for further consultation. Use the Project Kickoff Meeting template to manage projects effectively and keep everyone aligned.
You saw the opportunity. You developed the product. Now comes an important step: Find your audience and speak to them in a way that’s clear, memorable, and inspiring. You need a communications plan—a strategy for controlling your narrative at every stage of your business—and this template will help you create a good one. No need to build a new strategy every time you have something to communicate. Here, you can simplify the process, streamline your messaging, and empower you to communicate in ways that grow with your business.
Simplicity, clarity, and power — that’s what make Gantt charts such a popular choice for organizing and displaying a project plan. Built upon a horizontal bar that represents the project progress over time, these charts break down projects by task, allowing the whole team to see the task status, who it’s assigned to, and how long it will take to complete. Gantt charts are also easily shareable among team members and stakeholders, making them great tools for collaboration.
A timeline displays a chronological order of important dates, and scheduled events. Timelines help product managers, project managers, and team members tell visual stories about progress and obstacles. Timelines enable teams to see at a glance what happened before, what progress is happening now, and what needs tackling in the future. Projects or products with specific purpose or deliverables should be based on a timeline to be successful. Use the timeline as a shared reference for start dates, end dates, and milestones.
Project Organizational Chart
When you’re embarking on a long, complex project, you will inevitably hit roadblocks and obstacles. It’s important to have your project organizational chart on hand to overcome those challenges. A project organizational chart is a visual diagram that illustrates who is on your team and the role they play in a given project. It documents the structure of the project organization, the hierarchy between team members, and the relationships between employees. Project organizational charts are useful tools for clarifying who does what, securing buy-in, and setting expectations for the group.
Project Organizational Chart
Customer Journey Mapping Template Pack
A customer journey map (CJM) is a visual representation of your customer’s experience. It allows you to capture the path that a customer follows when they buy a product, sign up for a service, or otherwise interact with your site. Most maps include a specific persona, outlines their customer experience from beginning to end, and captures the potential emotional highs and lows of interacting with the product or service. Use this template to easily create customer journey maps for projects of all kinds.
Customer Journey Mapping Template Pack
When developing a product roadmap, it can be easy to get lost in the weeds. RICE, which stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort, helps you evaluate and prioritize ideas. Brainstorming new ways to delight your customers can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming. You and your team might be tempted to dive into the most exciting ideas first, without taking into account the potential lift. The RICE framework allows your team to carefully consider each potential project and assess its feasibility.
UX Project Canvas
Inspired by Alexander Osterwalder's 2005 business model canvas, the project canvas will help your team visualize the big picture of your UX and design projects, providing a convenient structure that holds all of your important data. This innovative tool enables you to transform an idea into a project plan, stimulating collaboration and communication between collaborators. Unlike alternative models, the project canvas is a simple interface. There are few startup costs, and employees can easily be brought up to speed to start using the canvas quickly.
UX Project Canvas
Why create an action plan? Long-term business strategies and goals are only good if you can make them a reality—by accomplishing every small task along the way. An action plan lists those tasks and lays them out in clear detail. It helps you keep everything in order, make sure nothing is missed, and get stakeholders on the same page to complete a project quickly and effectively. This template will help you write an action plan that’s SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Want to truly understand your consumers’ mindset? Take a look at things from their perspective — by identifying the “jobs” they need to accomplish and exploring what would make them “hire” or “fire” a product or service like yours. Ideal for UX researchers, job mapping is a staged process that gives you that POV by breaking the “jobs” down step by step, so you can ultimately offer something unique, useful, and different from your competitors. This template makes it easy to create a detailed, comprehensive job map.
Parking Lot Matrix
When the creative energy is flowing, a workshop or meeting will yield a lot of new ideas — but not all are on-topic or currently feasible. Roll them right onto a parking lot matrix, a simple, effective tool for separating the best ideas from those that are promising but could use more research or discussion. This template will let you easily make your own parking lot matrix, which will come in especially handy during long meetings (and when you have teammates who tend to go off-topic).
Parking Lot Matrix
User Story Map Framework
Popularized by Jeff Patton in 2005, the user story mapping technique is an agile way to manage product backlogs. Whether you’re working alone or with a product team, you can leverage user story mapping to plan product releases. User story maps help teams stay focused on the business value and release features that customers care about. The framework helps to get a shared understanding for the cross-functional team of what needs to be done to satisfy customers' needs.
User Story Map Framework
Everyone has been in a meeting that didn’t go as planned. Maybe it ran off course, or you ran out of time to accomplish everything you set out to do -- or maybe it just felt like a waste of time. To avoid that, it’s important to prepare to run a team meeting ahead of time. With this simple but effective template, you can prepare to run a team meeting that ticks all the boxes. By creating a streamlined way to build preparation into your workflow, you’ll ensure your meetings are efficient, enjoyable, and collaborative.
The digital world requires collaboration, and better collaboration leads to better results. A workflow is a project management tool that allows you to sketch out the various steps, resources, timeline and roles necessary to complete a project. It can be used on any multi-step project, whether it’s a business process or otherwise, and is ideal for plotting out the tangible actions you’ll need to take to achieve a goal and the order in which you need to complete those actions.
Dot voting, also known as “sticker voting,” “dotmocracy,” or “voting with dots”, allows teams to point out issues in a series of potential solutions or to prioritize tasks when presented with various options. Dot voting is different from the default “one-share” or “one-vote” rule. Instead, each person in the group is given as many votes (or “points”) as can be filled. Those votes can either all be cast for one idea, or distributed among many ideas. You can use dot voting any time your team prioritizes options or agrees on a direction to take for a high-stakes project.
Sticky notes are a popular feature of any virtual, hybrid, or in-person brainstorming session. Participants can use sticky notes to submit, sort, or vote for ideas -- and much more. Use the Stickies Packs template to customize groups of sticky notes for your participants. You can then break your participants into groups according to the color of their sticky notes, or categorize ideas based on color, and so on. The Stickies Packs template empowers you to create brainstorming sessions that fit your needs and align with your goals.
Setting goals can be encouraging, but can also be overwhelming. It can be hard to conceptualize every step you need to take to achieve a goal, which makes it easy to set goals that are too broad or too much of a stretch. SMART is a framework that allows you to establish goals in a way that sets you up for success. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. If you keep these attributes in mind whenever you set goals, then you’ll ensure your objectives are clear and reachable. Your team can use the SMART model anytime you want to set goals. You can also use SMART whenever you want to reevaluate and refine those goals.
Large, complex projects have plenty of inherent uncertainty — and can have a lot of possible outcomes. How can you be ready for them all? You can anticipate them. Outcome Mapping is a technique that lets you gather information ahead of time to prepare for the many changes and unforeseen obstacles that arise during a project. This template makes it easy for you to conduct Outcome Mapping in four steps: doing your pre-work, providing a framework for monitoring, developing an evaluation plan, and circulating it to your team and stakeholders.
A project canvas is a management tool that helps you summarize, visualize, and share all necessary information about your project. It can be used by all team members—from facilitators to project management professionals—at every stage of project development. The project canvas template allows you to keep all stakeholders in the project development process in the loop. By using a single platform for all project-related discussions, you can build a clear project overview and improve collaboration.
A timeline is a visual tool that chronologically plots out projects step by step. It’s an ideal tool for your team to tell stories (such as an overview of events in your organization) and visualize your projects or processes. The Timeline Workflow template is perfect for any project that relies on visual content. You may find it beneficial to use with your team and also to share with other stakeholders or clients to keep them in the loop on your progress.
Project managers rely on project charters as a source of truth for the details of a project. Project charters explain the core objectives, scope, team members and more involved in a project. For an organized project management, charters can be useful to align everyone around a shared understanding of the objectives, strategies and deliverables for a project of any scope. This template ensures that you document all aspects of a project so all stakeholders are informed and on the same page. Always know where your project is going, its purpose, and its scope.
Bang for the Buck
The name pretty much says it—this Agile framework is all about helping you maximize efficiency by powering collaboration between product managers and dev teams. Together you can go over each to-do on the project agenda and evaluate them in terms of costs and benefits. That way you can prioritize tasks based on how much bang for your buck they deliver. This template is great for teams and organizations that want to make a strategic plan to tackle an upcoming sprint.
Bang for the Buck
To-do lists are simple, yet effective tools that can break down large tasks into smaller, concrete steps. They can range from individual daily tasks to broader group goals. You can make a to-do list for any project or deliverable that your team is responsible for. Breaking down tasks into concrete steps helps your team reach your goals with ease. With the To-Do List template, you can customize your to-do list to include photos, images, videos, color-coding, and documents.
A SIPOC diagram maps a process at a high level by identifying the potential gaps between suppliers and input specifications and between customers and output specifications, and thereby defines the scope of process improvement activities. The acronym SIPOC stands for Suppliers (sources), Input, Process, Output, and Customers. SIPOC identifies feedback and feed-forward loops between customers, suppliers, and the processes, and jump-starts the team to think in terms of cause and effect. Use this visual tool to document the working process from beginning to end.
For any type of project, the Project Proposal template can be a crucial step toward clarifying the context, goals, and scope of a project to get stakeholder buy-in. A project proposal outlines what you want to accomplish, your goals, and how you plan to achieve them. Generally, a project proposal gives the reader some context on the project, explains why it is important, and lists the actions that you will take to complete it. Project proposals have myriad uses. Often, businesses use project proposals to get external buy-in from a donor or outside stakeholder. But many companies draw up project proposals for internal buy-in too.
Whether you’re producing a podcast, a marketing campaign, a TV show, or a piece of content, establishing a production workflow is crucial. A production workflow creates a visual guide to the different steps in a process. It can be used to train new team members or give a high-level overview to stakeholders. Although production workflows vary by team and business, they generally contain information about who the stakeholders are, how you brainstorm ideas, what your timeline looks like, and what resources you need to succeed.
When your team is collaborating on a large project, keeping track of the many tasks and multiple timelines can be a challenge. That’s why you need a milestone chart. These visual representations of important project events will make it simple for your team to stay on schedule and reach goals on time. And it’s so easy to get started — just determine the major milestones, use our template to create a milestone chart, and define the key dates and deliverables each milestone will require.
Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task Success. Those are the pillars of user experience — which is why they serve as the key metrics in the HEART framework. Developed by the research team at Google, this framework gives larger companies an accurate way to measure user experience at scale, which you can then reference throughout the product development lifecycle. While the HEART framework uses five metrics, you might not need all five for every project — choose the ones that will be most useful for your company and project.
Pique their curiosity. Get them excited. Inspire them to keep reading, diving further into your proposal details. That’s what a good executive summary has the power to do—and why it’s a crucial opening statement for business plans, project plans, investment proposals, and more. Use this template to create an executive summary that starts building belief, by answering high-level questions that include: What is your project? What are the goals? How will you bring your skills and resources to the project? And who can expect to benefit?
Whether you’re planning a product launch, fully remote conference, or milestone event, the Event Planning Template will act as a visual checklist and map for all the details you need to consider before the big day. The Event Planning Template is an adaptable way to make sure the creative and strategic vision of your event doesn’t get lost in the details. By mapping out different sections - from the marketing plan, to the agenda, to snacks and swag for guests — you and your team can focus on the details most important to your functions, and collaborate as needed when overlaps occur.
A work plan is essentially a roadmap for a project. It articulates the steps you must take to achieve the desired goal, sets demonstrable objectives, and establishes measurable deliverables. An effective work plan guides you throughout the project lifecycle, allowing you to realize an outcome by collaborating with your team. Although work plans vary, they generally contain four core components: goals, strategy, tactics, and deliverables.
Work Breakdown Structure
A work breakdown is a project management tool that lays out everything you must accomplish to complete a project. It organizes these tasks into multiple levels and displays each element graphically. Creating a work breakdown is a deliverable-based approach, meaning you’ll end up with a detailed project plan of the deliverables you must create to finish the job. Create a Work Breakdown Structure when you need to deconstruct your team's work into smaller, well-defined elements to make it more manageable.
Work Breakdown Structure
A status report provides a snapshot of how something is going at a given time. You can provide a status report for a project, a team, or a situation, as long as it emphasizes and maps out a project’s chain of events. If you’re a project manager, you can use this report to keep historical records of project timelines. Ideally, any project stakeholder should be able to look at a status report and answer the question, “Where are we, and how did we get here?” Use this template as a starting point to summarize how something is progressing against a projected plan or outcome.
STAR is a framework that stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Use this strategy to answer interview questions with concrete examples to show that you have the skills and experience you need. Many hiring managers or interviewer panels will ask prospective employees competency-based questions such as, “Tell me about a time when you …” or “Share an example of a situation where. …” If you’re an employer, you can use STAR to clarify with your team what skills and personality traits make someone a successful, high-level performer.
Managing stakeholders is integral to completing a project on time and meeting expectations, so here’s how to use a stakeholder analysis to help. A stakeholder analysis empowers you to meet expectations and complete projects on time by identifying individuals, groups, and organizations with a vested interest in a program or process. In a typical stakeholder analysis, you’ll prioritize stakeholders based on their influence on a project and seek to understand how best to interface with them throughout the course of the project.
Simple Project Plan
A simple project is a North Star for your team, helping them answer any big questions about the project. The project plan should describe the nature of the plan, why you’re doing it, how you’ll make it happen, how you’ll carry out each step of the process, and how long each step is projected to take. If you’re a project manager or team lead, use this template to start a simple project plan, which can then be adapted to suit internal team projects or external client partner projects.
Simple Project Plan
Scenario mapping is the process of outlining all the steps a user will take to complete a task. The scenario mapping template helps you create a visual guide to what different personas are doing, thinking, and feeling in different situations. Use scenario mapping to outline an intended or ideal scenario (what should happen) as well as what currently happens. If you’re trying to outline the ideal scenario, user mapping should take place very early on in a project and can help inform user stories and the product backlog. If you’re just trying to get a better sense of what currently happens, you can do user mapping when conducting user interviews or observation.
A risk assessment matrix is a simple framework you can use to plan your project or product development cycle. Also known as a probability and severity risk matrix, the framework can enable you to figure out how to prioritize project or product-related risks based on likelihood and potential business impact. Risks can be ranked according to low probability and severity (1, color-coded green) to the highest possible likelihood (10, color-coded red). Ranking each risk lets you and your team prioritize risks and tackle the biggest threats with a strong action plan. The grid format allows you to control the amount of risk you’re likely to face during the project by visualizing and qualifying it.
A RAID log is a project planning tool that focuses on four key areas: risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies. Risks are events that could have an adverse effect if they occur, assumptions are things you assume will happen to contribute to the project’s success (and that will have negative consequences if they don’t occur), issues are risks that have already occurred and had a negative impact on the project, and dependencies are things that must start or finish so your project can progress. RAID logs are often used when beginning a new project, but they’re also useful for promoting alignment and sharing status for projects that are already underway.
Project Status Report
A project status report is a short, timely document that keeps your project stakeholders informed and aligned on what is happening, and why. You can start writing this document on your own, then include your teammates as well to produce a timely and relevant report. A project status report should ideally compare the current state of your project against its projected plan. The report tracks on a high level how you achieve your goals, even if you experience setbacks. It’s also likely to be read by an executive-level audience controlling budgets and governance, which can help you keep the report focused on critical issues.
Project Status Report
A project scope helps you plan and confirm your project’s goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, costs, and deadlines. A project manager and team should develop a project scope as early as possible, as it will directly influence both the schedule and cost of a project as it progresses. Though project scopes will vary depending on your team and objectives, they generally include goals, requirements, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints. Aim to include the whole team when you create a project scope to ensure everyone is aligned on responsibilities and deadlines.
A project plan is a single source of truth that helps teams visualize and reach project milestones. Project plans are most useful when you outline the project’s “what” and “why” to anyone who needs to give you project buy-in. Use a project plan to proactively discuss team needs; expectations; and baselines for timeline, budget, and scope. The plan will also help you clarify available resources before you kick off a project, as well as expected deliverables at the end of the project.
Consider your team’s or organization’s ideal state. Now compare it to your current real-world situation. Want to identify the gaps or obstacles that stand between your present and future? Then you’re ready to run a gap analysis. This easy-to-customize template will let your team align on what obstacles are preventing you from hitting your goals sooner, collaborate on a plan to achieve those goals, and push your organization toward growth and development. You can focus on specific gap analyses — including for skills, candidates, software, processes, vendors, data, and more.
Corrective Action Plan
For a manager or HR leader, it’s the least fun part of the job: Documenting an employee’s performance issues and talking about them directly to that employee. A corrective action plan makes that tough task a little easier by putting issues into a professional, written framework. That way the process, next steps, and details of the conversations are all clearly documented. This template will enable you to eliminate murky communication, align on expectations, and provide step-by-step instructions for your employee.
Corrective Action Plan
Even when you’ve hosted meetings for years, hosting them online is something altogether different. Keeping them structured, purposeful, and on-task is key. That all starts with having a detailed agenda, and this template makes it so easy for you to create one. The best part? Agendas are often dry and boring—but not here. We make it easy for you to sprinkle in your choice of graphics, colors, fonts, and images to give your agenda personality and creative style.
Value Stream Map
Value stream mapping is a method of depicting the flow of materials and information necessary to bring a product to a customer. It’s simple: you use a series of symbols to showcase work streams and information flows, and another symbol to indicate whether those items add value. You can thereby figure out which items are not adding value from the customer’s standpoint. Value stream mapping results in better communication and collaboration. Use the value stream map template to understand knowledge gaps in handoffs between team members and across teams. An effective value stream map helps identify waste, foster collaboration, and streamline production.
Value Stream Map
Pros and Cons List
A pros and cons list is a simple but powerful decision-making tool used to help understand both sides of an argument. Pros are listed as arguments in favor of making a particular decision or action. Cons are listed arguments against it. By creating a list that details both sides of the argument, it becomes easier to visualize the potential impact of your decision. To make your pros and cons list even more objective, it can help to weight each pro and con against the others. You can then present your decision with confidence, making a strong argument for why it’s the right one.
Pros and Cons List
Bull's Eye Diagram
When you’re a growing organization, every decision can feel like it has make-or-break consequences—which can lead to decision paralysis, an inability to prioritize, inefficient meetings, and even low morale. If that sounds like you, put a Bull’s Eye Diagram to work. True to its name, a Bull’s Eye Diagram uses a model of concentric circles to help companies establish priorities, make critical decisions, or discuss how to remove or overcome obstacles.
Bull's Eye Diagram
Whoa whoa whoa, pace yourself! That means knowing how much work is left—and, based on the delivery date, how much time you’ll have for each task. Perfect for project managers, Burndown Charts create a clear visualization of a team’s remaining work to help get it done on time and on budget. These charts have other big benefits, too. They encourage transparency and help individual team members be aware of their work pace so they can adjust or maintain it.
Growing organizations have countless to-do’s and only so many hours in a day (or weeks before a big launch) to get them done. That’s where an impact effort matrix comes in. It gives you a quick visual guide to help prioritize your tasks and know exactly what’s worth doing. Using our template, you can create a matrix that organizes your activities into four main categories: quick wins that are low effort, effort-intensive projects that provide long-term returns, fill-ins that are low effort but low value, and time-wasters.
Venn Diagrams have been a staple of business meetings and presentations since the 1800s, and there’s a good reason why. Venn diagrams provide a clear, effective way to visually showcase relationships between datasets. They serve as a helpful visual aid in brainstorming sessions, meetings, and presentations. You start by drawing a circle containing one concept, and then draw an overlapping circle containing another concept. In the space where the circles overlap, you can make note of the concepts’ similarities. In the space where they do not, you can make note of their differences.
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Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM)
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Acquisition Training Providers
FAI maintains a list of Commercial Acquisition Training Providers. FAI does not endorse and no longer verifies any vendors’ training materials for alignment with FAC-competencies. You are strongly encouraged to conduct market research to inform training vendor selection.
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Reciprocity with Other Certifications
Project Management Institute (PMI)
As a result of FAI's analyses and collaboration with the Program and Project Management Functional Advisory Board (P/PM-FAB), FAI established a letter of understanding with the Project Management Institute (PMI) outlining competency alignment, training equivalency, and continuous learning (CL) credit for the PMI credentials per the listed matrix below. This competency alignment and CL credit comply with: (1) the certification training standards contained in the December 16, 2013, Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM); and (2) the FAC-P/PM Core Competency Model.
A current PMI credential may be used as a one-time acquisition workforce system credit to waive the FPM X33 course as authorized by each agency Acquisition Career Manager (ACM).
FAC-P/PM Entry Level
|N/A||N/A||24 hours; one time FAI CSOD entry*|
Meets the Business, Cost and Financial Management competency typically taught in the FPM 133 course.
|OR||Meets the Business, Cost and Financial Management competency typically taught in the FPM 233 course||OR||Meets the Business, Cost and Financial Management competency typically taught in the FPM 333 course||OR||40 hours; one time FAI CSOD entry*|
* ACM may award additional CL credit for classes taken over the minimum PMI requirement.
Individuals pursuing or renewing PMI credentials who have completed training toward the FAC-P/PM certification, or have attained the FAC-P/PM certification, may submit evidence to PMI of such training or certification, subject to PMI review, toward meeting the education requirements of the initial or recertification of the applicable PMI credential. This letter of understanding is available as a downloadable PDF file.
Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA)
For program and project manager professionals coming from DoD, a valid, current Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification is equivalent to a FAC-P/PM at the same certification level, provided the FAC-P/PM experience and continuous learning requirements have been met and the agency ACM approves the certification. When applying for a FAC-P/PM, the individual is responsible for providing their agency acquisition career manager with the documentation supporting their DAWIA certification, education, and continuous learning history.
Because the DAWIA certification program has different training requirements, a valid, current FAC-P/PM does not necessarily meet all the requirements for the DAWIA certification in Program and Project Management. Civilian agency program and project managers seeking positions subject to DAWIA requirements must meet all agency specific training as required per each agency policy. Reciprocity will be determined by DoD on an individual basis.
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Continuous Learning Requirements
Note: DAU periodically revises the amount of CLPs for their courses, based upon the time it takes for students to complete a DAU course. For example, CLC 106 used to be worth 8 CLPs, but has recently been revised to 3 CLPs. Please be aware this may affect your recertification effort. Contact your ACM if you have questions.
To maintain a FAC-P/PM, PM professionals are required to earn 80 continuous learning points (CLPs) every two years, which begins on the date they were certified. For PM professionals holding an IT Core Plus Specialization Certification, 20 of the 80 CLPs must be dedicated to continuous learning in topics associated with the IT core-plus area. The FAI Continuous Learning Opportunities page contains guidance from OFPP, training courses and other suggested methods of earning CLPs
Per the December 16, 2013, Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM), at least 20 of the 80 CLPs required must be dedicated to continuous learning in topics associated with the IT core-plus area.
The FAI Continuous Learning Opportunities page contains guidance from OFPP, training courses, and other suggested methods of earning CLPs.
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The FAC-P/PM Program is built on competencies that refer to the knowledge, skills, and abilities Program and Project Managers must have in order to perform their program and project manager duties. The FAC-P/PM core competency model and the FAC-P/PM-IT Core-Plus competency model, portray the competency areas and further define the areas in behavioral terms using performance outcome statements and learning objectives.
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FAC-P/PM Policy Documents
Below are links to OMB and OFPP guidance on the FAC-P/PM program:
April 15, 2005 Policy Letter 05-01 on Developing and Managing the Acquisition Workforce
April 25, 2007, Memo on The Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers
November 18, 2011 IT Program Manager Career Path Guide
December 16, 2013, Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM)
March 27, 2017 FAC-P/PM – Information Technology (IT) Core-Plus Specialization Competency Model v3.0
June 25, 2018, Memo on Improving the Management of Federal Programs and Projects through Implementing the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (PMIAA)
Below are FAI resources for the FAC-P/PM program:
FAI Project Manager's Guidebook
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Program/Project Functional Advisory Board (P/PM FAB)
The Federal Program/Project Managers Career Field acquisition career area has a Functional Advisory Board (FAB) which serves as a collaborative, federal-wide working group charged with shaping the management policies and practices of the Federal Acquisition Certification program which is chartered by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. The FAB Charter establishes the P/PM FAB to perform continuous review, evaluation, and update of the P/PM career field in Federal civilian agencies.
Click here to view the P/PM FAB meeting minutes, briefings and presentations, and other related documents. Please note: This information is password protected. To access this information you must have a Max.gov userid and password and be a registered user of the FedPM Community of Practice.
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Introduction to project management
What is project management?
A 'project' is a set of agreed activities with a definite start, middle and end. Together these activities produce business products or services in line with an approved business case which is sponsored by senior managers within the organisation.
'Project management' provides structure and control of the project environment so that the agreed activities will produce the right products or services to meet the customer’s expectations.
Projects are temporary structures which must be properly managed and controlled in order to meet their stated objectives. They are usually delivered in an environment where both funding and resources are constrained and subject to competition.
Projects may be part of overarching programmes.
Purpose of project management
A project has a lifecycle, underpinned by a plan, which is the path and sequence through the various activities defined to produce its products. Project management is a controlled implementation of the project plan under the direction of the organisation’s senior management.
Traditionally, a successful project is one that has delivered its products or services according to the project plan, meeting overall business objectives.
Project success is now seen more and more in terms of delivering projected business benefits or the capability required for benefits delivery within the business.
A properly managed project will usually have:
- senior level sponsorship from within the organisation
- strong leadership, accountability and governance arrangements
- a dedicated project manager
- a project plan and adequate resources to implement the plan
- clear processes for the management of risks, issues, stakeholders, communications and benefits
- effective project assurance arrangements
- well defined reporting structures and a clearly understood project scope
Some of the key documents usually associated with a properly managed project are:
- a business case justifying the investment and proposed changes
- a project initiation document setting out the project objectives and the means for achieving them
- a project plan setting out the main products or services and all associated resources and activities
- standards for reporting progress and highlighting issues
- registers for recording risks and issues and managing their escalation
- end project and lessons learned reports
- a post project review report, independent of the project, reporting estimates against eventual outturns including the extent to which projected benefits have been realised
Project management guidance
Project management methods have been developed to help apply a structured approach to managing projects and to aid successful delivery. In government, PRINCE2 (projects in controlled environments) is an accepted standard.
PRINCE2 is widely used in the private sector both in the UK and internationally for all types of project. A PRINCE2 approach should always be applied to government projects.
Project management roles and responsibilities
The main roles, and their associated responsibilities, in project management are:
- project board; comprising representatives from both user and supplier sides - representatives with authority to make decisions and commit resources; the board is chaired by the SRO and has overall accountability for project success
- senior responsible owner (SRO); chairs the board with overall accountability for the project; the SRO is the key decision maker responsible for continuation of the business case, project structures and plans, controlling and monitoring progress, problem referral and resolution, formal closure and post implementation review
- senior user; the board member responsible for providing user resources, ensuring project products or services meet user expectations and deliver expected benefits
- senior supplier; the board member representing the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating, procuring and implementing. Is also responsible for the quality of products or services supplied
- project manager (PM); responsible for day-to-day project management, the PM has been given authority by the board to run the project within agreed constraints
- project team; responsible for the production of products or services defined by the project manager within the time, cost and quality constraints set by the board; the team reports to the project manager
- project assurance; owned by the board but often delegated, it must be independent of the project manager; project assurance provides assurance that the project is being properly managed and includes frequent checking of the quality of the project’s products or services
- project support; the role can include administrative help for the project manager and board but may extend to administration of planning, control and configuration systems. Depending on skills and experience the role may extend to advice, guidance and limited support on a range of project areas
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