How to Create an Excel Action Plan for Your Project

Adriana Girdler

The most straight-forward way to create a plan that doesn’t break your project One of the most important aspects of project management that every project …

The most straight-forward way to create a plan that doesn’t break your project

One of the most important aspects of project management that every project manager needs to understand is that your project plan can make or break your project. But sometimes, it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to creating an action plan for your project.

One of the most straightforward and reliable ways to create your project plan is to do it in Excel. Having a project plan in Excel makes it super easy because everyone will be able to follow and access the plan, and the formatting possibilities within Excel will make your project much easier to manage.

Plus, if you’re a beginner project manager, Excel is a program that you’ve likely used before for other types of documentation and learning how to create an action plan in Excel will be a breeze.

Basics of Creating an Excel Action Plan

The first thing to do when it comes to building an Excel action plan is to get your headers set up, without worrying about formatting yet.

The easiest place to start with any documentation is just to get that information on the page. Then, once it’s all there, you’ll have a chance to format it properly and set it up in a way that is easy to follow.

But often, people get overwhelmed by formatting when it comes to Excel. So, take it back to the basics: Add headers for your Action Item, Start Date, End Date, etc.

This will give you the base of your framework so that you can then build on that.

How to Make It the Perfect Action Plan

Next, you’ll want to think about formatting and actually populating your Excel action plan with that important information and adding formulas that make it super easy to manage.

I want to teach you how to do all that, but let’s be honest… It’s a little easier to do that if I can just sit down and show you how to do it!

So, follow me on over to YouTube and I’ll show you how to create a killer Excel action plan!

If you want more step-by-step guides on all things project management, check out my SLAY Project Management online course where I take you through all the steps of successfully managing a process – including documentation – from start to close. You’ll get every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to use them.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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