Project Management Tools and Templates

When using any of these templates, please make a copy before making any changes.



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5 Whys Template

A 5 whys template is a powerful tool used for identifying the root cause of a problem following the 5 whys technique. Teams perform 5 whys root cause analysis using a 5 whys template by stating the problem and asking “why” five times until the root cause is discovered
5 Whys is a simple but effective method of analyzing and solving problems by asking “why” five times, or as many times as needed, in order to move past symptoms and determine root cause. This approach is used in tandem with Cause-and-Effect or Fishbone Diagrams.

5S Assessment Template

The 5S Assessment is a tool to determine whether or not the standards of 5S (Sort, Set-in-Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) are being met in an office, or in a digital work space. The types of conditions being monitored would include whether or not the shared drive had clear rules for document naming or a process for moving old files from the “Working” Folder to the “Archive” Folder, etc. Once conditions are assessed, the areas that miss the 5S standards would be addressed. 

7 Step Project Template

7-Step Project Template is a project management methodology that has 7 distinct phases to follow on improvement and deployment projects.

8 Wastes Check Sheet Template

Waste is any step or action in a process that is not required to complete a process (called “Non Value-Adding”) successfully. When Waste is removed, only the steps that are required (called “Value-Adding”) to deliver a satisfactory product or service to the customer remain in the process.

A3 Template

The A3 process is a structured template for solving problems in a continuous matter. ... The A3 approach is also known as SPS, which stands for Systematic Problem Solving. This approach is based on the principals of PDCA (Plan, Do Check, Act).

Action Plan Template

An Action Plan is a simple way of tracking the “who,” “what” and “when” of tasks and decisions involved in supporting any project, implementation or initiative. The Action Plan enables a group to document who has been assigned to do each task and when each task is expected to be completed.

Application / System Testing Template

An application or system test plan details the approach used for the validation of the new or upgraded application/system. The plan includes It generally contains an overview of the test strategy, objectives, schedule, estimation, deliverables, and resources required.

Box Plot Template

A Box Plot, or Box and Whisker Plot, is a graphical view of a data set that is divided into fourths or “quartiles.” It shows the center and spread of a data set but is most useful when comparing two or more “strata” or data sets such as the cycle time for two different departments.

Business Requirements Document Template (BRD)

This Business Requirements Document template outlines what’s needed to reach the intended project objectives. When it’s done, it should be so self-explanatory that it removes any ambiguity associated with the project work. Everything needed is listed in the business requirements document. 

Business Process Framework Template

Business Process Framework Template is a tool to lay out the business process from the top level to transactional level.

Business Requirements Template

A Business Requirements Template details the business solution for a project including the documentation of customer needs and expectations.

Capacity Model Template

A Capacity Plan Template details how to determine necessary people related resources.

Change Impact Analysis Template

Change Impact Analysis (IA) looks to identify the potential consequences of a change or estimate what needs to be modified to accomplish a change. It is the evaluation of the many potential risks associated with any change.

Communication and Notification Template

A Communication and Notification Template is a tool to plan for providing required information to the stakeholder and team members.

Communication Plan - Green Belt

The Communication Plan guides the meeting process, messaging, method, frequency, and target. The Communication Plan is the best tool to use to ensure acceptance.

Construction Project Scoping Document

The Project Scoping Document is a detailed outline that includes the activities, resources, timelines and deliverables of your project. It doesn’t end there, though. The project scope is extensive, and also lists the key stakeholders, processes, assumptions and constraints of the project.

Cost of Poor Quality COPQ Calculator Template

The Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) quantifies the negative outcomes due to waste, inefficiencies and defects in a process. Costs are separated into 3 categories:

  • Prevention Costs: Including quality planning, training, preventive maintenance, housekeeping etc.
  • Appraisal Costs: Including testing, inspection, audits, reviews and surveys, etc.
  • Failure Costs:
    • Internal Failures: Including scrap, rework, expediting, equipment downtime, injuries, etc.
    • External Failures: Including product recalls, returned products, complaint handling, lost sales, etc. COPQ is often represented as a dollar amount (or as a percentage of sales) and is composed of the categories listed above. The goal of any organization is to reduce COPQ to zero.

Cross Training Matrix Template

Cross-Training is training different employees to perform different tasks outside of their original role. For example, training Worker A to do Worker B’s job, and training Worker B to do Worker A’s job. Cross-Training improves the flow of the process, enables the sharing of best practices and increases flexibility in managing the workforce.

Data Collection Plan Template

A Data Collection Plan is a well thought out approach to collecting both baseline data as well as data that can provide clues to root cause. The plan includes where to collect data, how to collect it, when to collect it and who will do the collecting. This plan is prepared for each measure and includes helpful details such as the operational definition of the measure as well as any sampling plans.

DOE Brainstorming Template

Design of Experiments (DOE) is a Six Sigma tool that helps project teams determine the effects that the inputs of a process have on the final product. DOE helps uncover the critical relationships between variables in a process that are often hidden under all of the data and identifies the most critical inputs that must be modified to ensure optimal process performance. Once Design of Experiments identifies the critical inputs of the process, it helps project teams understand the impact that modifying the variables will have on process performance.

Efficiency Effectiveness Matrix Template

The Efficiency & Effectiveness Matrix is a tool used to balance the types of measurement applied to a process. The goal is to monitor data that indicates the effectiveness of a given process or how well it meets customer expectations as well as the efficiency of a process by monitoring the amount of resources required, materials used and time spent producing goods and services.

This matrix facilitates the listing of all proposed measurement in order to uncover any imbalances in the Data Collection Plan. The goal is to pay attention to both kinds of measures in order to satisfy customer needs profitably.

Fishbone Diagram Template

A Fishbone Diagram is a structured brainstorming tool designed to assist improvement teams in coming up with potential root causes for an undesirable effect. Its name derives from its resemblance to the bones of a fish. It is also known as a Cause and Effect Diagram or an Ishikawa Diagram after its creator.  This tool is used in tandem with The 5 Whys.

Fit Gap Analysis Template

Fit-gap analysis method is used to analyze the range of processes, and systems of a business to compare its current state against an ideal or preferred state.

FMEA Template

Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a risk management tool that identifies and quantifies the influence of potential failures in a process. FMEA analyzes potential failures using three criteria:

  • Occurrence (failure cause and frequency)
  • Severity (impact of the failure)
  • Detection (likelihood of failure detection)

Once assessed, prioritized failures are addressed with mistake-proofing for preventable failures and contingency plans for unpreventable risks.

Go Live Readiness Report/List

The Project Go Live Readiness Report is a list of activities that need to be checked for implementation readiness. The Report List includes tasks related to

  • site readiness
  • business organizational readiness
  • project readiness, and
  • system readiness. 

The content can be included in a tollgate go-live deck or used to prepare for go-live.

Green Belt Tollgate Checklist

The Green Belt Tollgate Checklists outline the deliverables for each Phase of DMAIC (Define, Measure Analyze, Improve & Control). Each Phase deliverables must be completed before moving onto the next Phase. There are companion tools and templates for each of the deliverables.

Histogram Template

A Histogram is a bar chart showing the frequency of an outcome. In Six Sigma, we can use a histogram to visualize what is going on. A Histogram can reflect the voice of the process.

Hypothesis Testing Plan Template

The Hypothesis Testing Plan provides an analysis framework for verifying root causes. The plan involves documenting potential root causes, creating underlying hypothesis statements, selecting the best hypothesis tests for the situation and recording the results of each test. 

Impact Effort Matrix Template

The Impact Effort Matrix is a 2 x 2 grid that helps you assess solutions for their relative impact given the effort required. It provides a quick way to filter out solutions that might not be worth the effort. The best solutions are in the upper right quadrant, easy to implement but with substantial impact.

Kaizen Project Template

The Kaizen Project Plan is a scaled down version of a project plan listing the tasks associated with each phase.  

Matching X-Y Measures Template

Matching X & Y Measures is a template that illustrates which input and process “X” measures impact the “Y” or output measure. This helps when determining what data to collect to uncover the critical “X” Measures. This is related to the equation: Y = ƒ(x1, x2, x3…) when searching for root cause.

Meeting Agenda Template

Meeting Agenda template is recommended to use for University Services PMO project meetings.  It lists the purpose, date, time, location, agenda items and attendees along with meeting notes, action items/decisions.

Monitoring Plan Map Template

The Monitoring Plan Map includes a high-level Swimlane Map of the improved process. This map highlights the steps in the process that require ongoing tracking in the Control Phase. There should be a mix of Input, Process and Output Measures that are reflecting in the Monitoring & Response Plan.

Monitoring Response Plan Template

A Monitoring Plan is a data collection plan for checking the ongoing health of the improved process. It lists the measure, the targets for each measure, how each measure will be checked, how and who will check the measures. It sets the stage for the Response Plan.

The Response Plan establishes a threshold or trigger level for each measure in the Monitoring Plan. When the process performance goes beyond a trigger level, the Response Plan details immediate and long-term actions that will help the process return to and maintain the desired performance.

New Procedure Audit Template

The New Procedure Audit provides an easy way to check for adaptation to the new way of doing things once a project is successfully completed. It serves as a reminder for both you and the process participants.

One-on-One Meeting Agenda Template

One-on-One Meeting Agenda Template is recommended to use for University Services PMO project updates.  It contains who, date, project/updates, admin updates and issues and concerns.

Operational Definitions Template

Operational Definitions describe the terms used within measures such as “accurate” or “complete” and if it’s a time-based measure, they include the stop and start points. These detailed description of each measurement are designed to ensure that each measurement is interpreted the same way by different people. They are key to insuring the integrity of any measurement system.

Pareto Chart Template

Pareto Chart in six sigma is used to show the frequency the phenomena occur at. It is a bar graph where each frequency or frequency range is displayed on the basis of the Pareto Principle, also referred to as the 80-20 rule or the vital few rule, in descending order of data importance from left to right. 
Many of the process defects follow a certain pattern, with relatively few problems causing the bulk of defects. In order of faults, the Pareto Analysis offers the relative frequency of problems, thus providing a list of absolute priority problems. 

Pilot Plan Template

Pilot Plan is an experimental or preliminary trial or test of your solution on a limited scale.

PMBOK Template

The Project Management Body of Knowledge is a set of standard terminology and guidelines (a body of knowledge) for project management. PMBOK standards can be custom tailored to best fit the specific project needs.

Post Project Closure Plan Template

Project Closure Template is utilized to formally close a project and authorize the handoff from project to operations.

Prioritization (Project) Matrix

Project prioritization is the process of selecting the most important projects to focus on given  resource and time constraints impacting the work. This involves evaluating each project idea based on multiple criteria such as benefit, cost, risk, resource input needed, etc. The prioritization matrix is a tool used to identify critical projects based on importance/ urgency/amount of resources needed vs impact/potential rewards.

Process Overview and SOP Template

This Process Overview and SOP Template contains all the necessary elements when creating Standard Operating Procedures.

Process Transition Template

A Process Transition Plan is simply a project management methodology that outlines the phases and tasks to be followed during the process changes. Methodology includes: Solution Identification, Migration Planning, Knowledge Transfer, and Go-Live phases.

Process Walk Interview Sheet Template

The Process Walk Interview Sheet is a simple data collection form, designed for transactional processes. It is used to ask pertinent questions during a Process Walk.

Project Charter Template

A Project Charter is a formal document that authorizes the start of a project. It names and appoints a project manager, assigns a summary budget, establishes a project timeline, and documents key assumptions and constraints. The project boundary, its key deliverables- the mission of the project are documented as much as possible.

Project Kick-off Template

The Project Kick-off Template is an example of the type of information to present when holding a project kickoff meeting.  Depending upon what type of project you are doing you may or may not need all suggested slides.

Project Playbook Deck

The Project Playbook Deck is a series of Google slides that PMO Project Managers can use for their tollgates.

Project Risk Analysis Template

This Project Risk Analysis template outlines what’s needed when handling multiple resources and projects.  It helps you identify which problems need your immediate attention and why.  The inability to identify these key priorities and risks often result in a delayed and over-budget delivery.  


Project Risk Assessment Template

The Project Risk Assessment Template is to assess the project's potential risks on a project and evaluating the likelihood that those events might happen on the project.

Project Selection Tool Template

The Project Selection Tool is a 3-Step process to screen project ideas and ensure they are meaningful and manageable. This tool includes a screen for non-DMAIC projects, a Goal Statement builder and an Impact Effort Matrix to rigorously assess potential improvement projects.

Project Status Update Template

Project Status Update is a regular, formalized report on project progress against the project plan. It is an effective way of communicating the progress with the project members and across the stakeholders.

Project Storyboard Template - Green Belt

Project Storyboards are ready-to-go project overviews. They communicate a success story of process improvement projects and highlight the project as an example of real world application of Lean Six Sigma tools. The Storyboard also shares lessons learned so that others can learn from mistakes and replicate success.

Project Success Story Template

Use this Project Success Story template when you close a project.

Project Team Roles

Project Team Roles is a University Services PMO template to incorporate into  a project kickoff deck, if applicable.   It may be especially helpful if you are working with a cross-functional  group for your project.

Project Tollgate Method

Tollgate method breaks complex projects into small, manageable checkpoints so that team members and stakeholders understand the goals of the project.

RACI Matrix Template

A RACI Matrix is a powerful tool that helps increase accountability for a project.  The simple chart is used to assign roles and responsibilities for each task, milestone, or decision on a project. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.

RAIDD Template

RAIDD log is a single tool which helps a project or program manager to track the different activities and requirements on the project.  RAIDD is an acronym, which unfolds into Risks, Actions, Issues, Decisions, and Dependencies.

Risk: Calling out a project risk
Action: Something specific needs to be done to resolve the item
Issue: Clearly defined issue to be addressed by the project team
Decision: A decision to be made in order to perform the project activities
Dependency: Similar to decision, there is a dependency in order to perform the project activities

RFP Planning Document

Use this Departmental RFP Planning Document when planning out requirements for a request for proposal according to the University of Minnesota's purchasing policies. 

Root Cause Hypothesis Confirmation Worksheet Template

Root Cause Hypothesis is an educated guess as to the cause of a problem in a process. Root Cause Hypothesis is part of the Analyze Phase in DMAIC. In order to form Hypotheses regarding the causes of process issues, one must conduct Root Cause Analysis which involves questioning and investigating to move past symptoms to the the true root of the problem.

Run Chart Template

A Run Chart is a line chart of data plotted over time. In other words, a run chart graphically depicts the process performance or data values in time order. Viewing data over time gives a more accurate conclusion rather than just summary statistics.

Sample Deck - Project Check-In

Project Check-In Template is an example of a deck that can be used during the Solution Identification phase of a project, if applicable. 

Service Level Agreement (SLA) Template

Service Level Agreement Template can be used to incorporate into a Project Go Live or Close Tollgate presentation.  

SIPOC - Green Belt

A SIPOC diagram is a high-level view of a process which stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers. Every Process starts with Suppliers who provide Inputs to the Process which results in an Output that is delivered to Customers.  This is a MS Excel spreadsheet template with several examples of SIPOCs.

SIPOC Template

A SIPOC diagram represents a high-level view of a process. It shows the Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers and plays an important role in process definition/improvement and should ideally be done first before beginning the detailed process mapping. It may be used to define the scope of the project, and identify the stakeholders of the process.  These are google slides that can be used in a presentation.

Solution Selection Matrix Template

The Solution Selection Matrix provides a method of assessing the positive impact of each proposed solution on reaching the goal as well as the relative effort, time to implement and cost. Improvement teams rate each solution resulting in individual scores and then indicate whether they choose to implement the solution or not.

Stakeholder Analysis Advanced Template

Stakeholder Analysis enables you to outline who has a vested interest in how a process performs. Remember that stakeholders do not receive the product or service. It helps you determine how and when to reach out and communicate with stakeholders to build buy-in, which is critical.

Standard Work Template

Standard Work is a precise explanation of the current best practices for carrying out the steps of a process. It is a key component of Continuous Improvement since it supports the reduction of variation in how a process or process is performed. This addresses the problem of process participants developing their own preferred ways of completing any given task. The concept dictates that if there is no one “best” method being practiced then there is no way of achieving process excellence.

Swim Lane Process Mapping Template

A Swimlane Diagram (also sometimes called a cross-functional diagram) documents the steps or activities of a process flow or workflow. A swimlane diagram groups these activities into swimlanes which are horizontal columns that contain all the activities which fit into the category represented by that swimlane. Swimlanes can represent many categories of information which perform the activities (i.e., role or department), and the stage of the process in which the activity takes place.  This is a google slide that can be edited and inserted into a presentation.

Swimlane Map - Green Belt

A Swimlane Map is a process map that separates process into lanes that represent different functions, departments or individuals. The process map is called a “swimlane” because the map resembles a pool with lanes identifying the different process groups.  This is an MS Excel template with multiple examples.

Test Plan Template

The Test Plan Template is utilized by University Services PMO when creating a test plan or assisting the business in creating a test plan, when applicable.  This is a MS Excel template.

Threats Opportunities Matrix Template

A Threats & Opportunities Matrix is a simple 2 x 2 grid that captures the threats of not implementing a proposed solution and, conversely, the potential opportunities if the solution is accepted. This matrix is often completed with a particular Stakeholder group in mind and then it becomes part of Stakeholder Management efforts.

Training Development Process

This is an example of a Training Strategy & Process deck that was developed by the EAM Training Team.  It can be used as a guideline or as an example when creating a training development process.

Training Plan Template

This Training Plan Template can be used to document the following:

  • Overview of training needs
  • Resources
  • Noting training attendees
  • Curriculum and delivery method(s), and
  • Tracking of training

User Stories Business Requirements Template

This is a User Story Template that can be used to document high level requirements either in a User Story or detailed requirement format (best for RFPs).

Vacation Calendar Template

This google vacation calendar template can be utilized in many fashions.  You can use it as your project calendar to track project team availability/holidays/vacations or you can use it in your department that everyone can access, update so that the team is aware of their teammates time off/vacations, etc.

Value Added Flow-Value Cycle Time Analysis Template

Value-Added Flow Analysis combines two powerful tools into one. The Value Analysis differentiates steps that add value in the eyes of the customer from those that do not, and Flow Analysis calculates the time spent on each step. This makes clear the time and effort being spent on non-value adding activities, the cost of doing business, and sets the stage for reducing waste and streamlining the process.

Value Stream Core Process Identification Template

The Value Stream & Core Process Identification Template helps an organization to document their core Value Streams and Core Processes at a high level. This is done prior to any detailed mapping of the Value Streams or Core Processes which requires more time and effort.

Value Stream Identification works best early in the Lean journey as a way to get agreement from upper management on what the organizational Value Streams are and discuss the Value Streams that will be targeted for improvement. Then middle management will be brought together to map the core processes (or sub-processes) at a high level.

This benefit of doing this work is that everyone in the organization will understand from a process perspective, what the organization delivers and the processes that deliver those products and services. Ideally, these maps can then be used to:

  • Identify processes targeted for improvement
  • Identify customers and what their requirements are for each process
  • Develop dashboards and scorecards to manage processes
  • Help staff become more process-centric by using these maps in process change discussions

Value Stream Map Template

A Value Stream Map (VSM) visually displays the flow of steps, delays and information required to deliver a product or service to the customer. Value Stream Mapping allows analysis of the Current State Map in terms of identifying barriers to flow and waste, calculating Total Lead Time and Process Time and understanding Work-In-Process, Changeover Time, and Percent Complete & Accurate for each step.

Vendor Scorecard Template

A Vendor Scorecard lists criteria for measuring performance and uses a weighted scoring system to evaluate the results. This scorecard is designed to function as a vendor selection template. Once you’ve gathered your data and compiled it into the spreadsheet, you can use the scoring system to compare vendor performance and select vendors accordingly. You can also use this scorecard template to compare current vendors or to evaluate a single supplier.

Voice of the Customer Translation Matrix Template

The VOC (Voice of the Customer) Translation Matrix is a tool that helps teams take customer comments, determine the underlying issues represented by those comments and use this information to develop measurable customer requirements. The goal of this tool is to translate often vague comments into something concrete so that the team can focus their efforts to meet these requirements.

Weighted Criteria Matrix Template

A Weighted Criteria Matrix is a decision-making tool that evaluates potential options against a list of weighted factors. Common uses include deciding between optional solutions or choosing the most appropriate software application to purchase.

Typically, a Weighted Criteria Matrix takes the form of a table, with multiple options listed across the top and criteria (e.g., Ease of Use, Cost, Time to Implement) listed in the leftmost column. The criteria are weighted relative to their perceived importance and then each option is scored against each criteria.

The process of scoring the options turns this into a powerful communication tool regardless of the final scores.