Prep Time:
Time to Run:

Project Planning Template

Begin a new project with a clear head

MURAL template for project planning
Courtesy of our friends at

About this project planning template

Starting a new project can feel overwhelming, especially without sufficient planning. We built this project planning template based on hundreds of examples to help you get started — and make sure you have all the bases covered. With this template, you can define goals, measure success, as well as outline cost, participation, and obstacles to success.

What is a project plan?

A project plan outlines all major areas of a project, including resources, possible risks, and communication protocols, and may also include summaries of cost and schedule baselines. A project planning template serves as a visual guide, improving alignment and engagement as you track every essential element of the project.

How to create a project plan

A project plan is easier to manage and maintain using a MURAL template. However, if you create your own, there are some key elements to any project planning template that make it more effective:

  • Draft your project planning template with goals and objectives as a starting point - Write out what the project is, what you hope it will achieve, and how you’ll achieve it.
  • Determine a budget - You should plan out all needed and future resources because it can determine the viability of your project. Cost overruns are expected but can be anticipated with careful project planning.
  • Create a project timeline - Will this be done in a week or a year? When will you deliver a beta? When can stakeholders expect the final product?
  • Conduct a SWOT or risk analysis - Identify all risks involved, including foreseeable roadblocks or challenges like holiday schedules or lack of resources. Need help? Try the SWOT analysis template
  • Assign ownership to your team members - It's important to clearly stake out who will be doing what in your project plan. Gaps at this stage could lead to problems later.
  • Schedule a project planning post-mortem - It’s always important to see where a project succeeded and where it failed so you can improve the process for future projects.

Features and sections in this template

Warm up

A great start to any project; a warm-up exercise is a good way to get teams communicating from the start. Facilitators will find the timer feature useful for this activity.

Establish goals for this project

What do you hope to achieve with this project? It’s the central question before you begin any plan.

Define success

How will you know you achieved it? Brainstorm for 5-10 minutes, and then vote on the results.

Pro Tip: Use anonymous voting to increase participation and get more accurate feedback.

Define Scope

How big a project is this? Will every detail of this project be handled by one team?

‘4 Whats’

A 10-minute exercise that asks the team: What do we have? What are we missing? What could block us? and What will this cost?

Collaboration agreements

This is a good place to put things down like responsibilities, who’s responsible for what, reporting cadences, or anything else in the project that requires collaboration from other teams.

Project timelines

Another 10-minute exercise that lets the team map out when they think projects, or segments of projects, will be completed.

Pro Tip: You can delete the timeline and use the monthly calendars in the Frameworks section to plan with specific dates and timelines

Next steps and action items

Take 10 minutes to have the team discuss what action items need to be completed. You can even segment the responsibilities by type (Product, Marketing, Leadership, etc.).

How to create a Project Planning Template

Project Planning Template Frequently Asked Questions

How many people can collaborate on my project project plan?

Who should be involved in a project planning kick-off?

What’s a reasonable timeline for a project?