A project outline is a company’s internal document used for project management. As a project manager, you oversee the project to its completion.
Your roles as a project manager are made easy by using this document. It shows how you forecast the project will play out as the work progresses. It is a very important document, even for small projects, and it ensures coherence among the project team.
A plan describes how you intend to satisfy project deliverables, what you will need, and the project team. The project proposal template lists deliverables, required resources, and associated budget and timelines. You will also include those on the team and what tasks will be assigned.
From the name, the project outline outlines the scope and objectives of the project. As a project manager, you will have objectives to fulfil at the end of the project. These objects act as guidelines throughout the project’s lifespan, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness.
Additionally, it serves as an official reference point for the management, project team, and other stakeholders. Even though it includes a list of tasks and schedules, it is more than that. In case of anything, you can always go back to the plan to refer from it. Using this outline, stakeholders who are not directly involved in the project will always know about the project’s progress.
The project proposal defines the goals and objectives and specifies how you intend to achieve these goals. It also promotes accountability and a sense of direction among the project team as it specifies the tasks of the project and who will do what. This is to say that the team members will be devoted to performing their tasks diligently because if they fail to, they will have to answer.
- Writing a Project Outline
- Project Outline Templates In Google Docs
- Project Outline FAQs
- Project’s Outline Alternatives
- Project Outline Templates in Word and PDF
Project Outline Example Google Docs for College Project
Writing a Project Outline
As a project manager, you are responsible for creating and managing the project outline. Creating a project outline template is very simple, with seven important parts.
This is the name of the project. This section will try to describe the whole project assignment in one sentence. The project title is meant to help you understand the project’s main objective.
The following are characteristics of an ideal project title
- Easy to understand and pronounce
- Easy to remember and recognize
- Creative and professional
- Represent organizational goals
- Represent team objectives and customer needs
Defining the project title is a collaborative work of the organization. You may be required to conduct surveys before naming the projects. They may include internal surveys, online surveys, board members, and other stakeholders.
There are four types of project titles
- Encrypted titles
- Sort titles
- Descriptive titles
- Temporary titles
The most common IT Project titles are
- Analytical project
- Net application
- Application development
- Process Automation
- WordPress theme development
You will include a summary of the objectives, goals, and the need for the project. Since the plan will provide more information, this section should be brief, not two paragraphs.
A strong project description provides stakeholders with a roadmap and communicates the project without details. It can be looked at as a high-level overview of why you are undertaking the project. You can think of it as the elevator pitch of the why and what without getting into the how part.
As a project manager, when writing the project description, you will need to include an overview of the following:
- Estimated budget
- Project goals and objectives
- Metrics for measuring success
- Stakeholders and their roles
However, the daunting task for you is figuring out what should be included in this part and what should not. The bottom line is to focus on the objectives, goals, and the overall approach without including an extensive background.
The project description may vary depending on the project type—however, a good project description has the following elements.
- Project title
- Project justification
- Phases of work
- Metrics of evaluating and monitoring
- Timelines and estimated budget
The following is the basic process of writing a project description, even though it may vary depending on the project.
- Set goals
- Get feedback
It is another important part of your project-proposal. It can be similar to project justification, and it describes the history of how you developed the idea of your project. This part will explain why your project should occur and what problem it aims to solve. Precision and clarity are very important for this section of the project-proposal.
The background section includes:
- A history of the problem as it relates to the business
- A concise summary of your projects requirements
- Some details about your project
You will need to focus on addressing the following matters:
- Primary focus- What your project is going to address
- Describe the methods to be used
- Explain the desired outcome
- The main reason for launching the project
The project manager designs this section. You will try to capture the attention of potential investors or donors by giving them an overview of the problems that will be addressed by your project should it be successful. When designing this section, you should focus more on giving a general idea and explaining the key prerequisites of the project to the donors.
Statement of Work
In this section, you will try to describe the work requirement of the project narratively. It defines project-specific tasks, timelines, and deliverables. The statement of work defines all the work engagement, including all tasks and activities, aspects of the project. You will note the deliverables, activities, and timetable for the project.
The project SOW highlights the following important aspects of the project proposal:
- Terms and Conditions
- Deliverable Descriptions
- Project process
- Phase details
Goals and objectives are the most important aspect of your project proposal that you should pay keen attention to. First, you set a goal and then define objectives to help you achieve the goals. These are what you intend to achieve at the end of the project.
An objective answers the ‘what’ question of your project. They should be SMART, specific, measurable, realistic, and time-bound. A strong and effective project objective may act as a guideline for making decisions throughout the project’s lifespan. They communicate the purpose and should be as precise and concise as possible.
Having clear goals is an important aspect of success, like your personal goals.
Project constraints are general limitations you may have to account for during the project’s lifecycle. In most cases, time and budget constraints are common for projects. Time constraints relate to project timelines, while budget constraints related to the project’s cost.
Here is a list of the six main project constraints that you may need to take note of:
- Customer satisfaction
If not well managed, these project constraints may adversely affect the project’s outcome. As a project manager, you need to be prepared for such limitations and have measures to manage them as and when they occur.
An assumption is defined as anything considered true or real, often without any proof. In project management, an assumption is considered any event or circumstance expected to occur during the project’s lifecycle.
When putting a project plan together and you don’t have answers to some questions, it is often advisable to use assumptions. Assumptions are ideal ways to deal with unanswered questions as they simplify and fill the missing dots of the project.
The most common assumptions relate to:
- Finances/ budget
When making these assumptions, it is also important to consider how they affect the project’s outcome.
Project Outline Templates In Google Docs
Project Outline FAQs
How do you outline a project plan?
Outlining your project plan is very simple. You need to follow some basic steps and have your outline. Even though the process may vary depending on the type of project, it is still the standard process when outlining a project plan.
What should be included in a project outline?
Your project outline should include the vision, goals, and objectives of the project. It is important that you also include the deliverable and acceptance criteria, key project stakeholders, project scope, and a summary of resources and budget forecast.
What are the characteristics of a project plan outline?
The characteristics of a project plan outline are:
Scope- defines what the project will cover
Time- when to undertake what activities
Resource-what is needed
Risk-an undesirable or unexpected event
Quality- deviation allowed from the desired standard
Project’s Outline Alternatives
Statement of Work vs Project Outline
The statement of work defines the terms and conditions for those parties involved in the project. You have to be very careful with this section as it could be your worst or best tool. It is your best weapon as it saves you from a mountain of travel. It could also be your nightmare as it involves a lot of work, and a simple mistake may result in massive repercussions.
You must include the following elements in your project sow document.
- Purpose of the project
- Scope of work being performed
- Location of the project, project length, and any work requirements
- Expected deadlines and deliverables outline project
- Acceptance criteria
- Any hardware and software required
- Performance-based standards to be met
The work statement has a noble task of eliminating any risks that may result from misunderstandings or disputes among parties. A well-written statement of work also reduces the risk of overspending by ensuring both the supplier and the organization clearly understand the work involved.
There are three different types of statements of work that you may use:
- Design or detail
- Level of effort
Project Charter vs Project Outline
A project charter in a project proposal is an elevator charter of your project scope, project objectives, and project responsibilities. It is an important part as it allows you to get approval from key project stakeholders.
This section provides a short, vivid explanation of the project’s main elements before getting started. It is a formal document that outlines the business objective of the project, and its approval initiates the project.
A strong project charter is clear and full of adequate information that will propel the project forward. What makes it even more effective is its simplicity and ability to be read and understood by everyone, from the manager to other project stakeholders.
The following are the important elements of a project charter that you must consider:
- High-level risks
- Assumptions and constraints.
- Project boundaries and description
- Project selection
- Project justification and purpose
Project Proposal vs Project Outline
It is a document that defines your project. It may include goals, objectives, and start and finish dates. A project proposal is meant to convince the stakeholders to explain why your project should be undertaken.
Creating a strong and effective project proposal is simple. You can write a project proposal using the following basic steps.
- Problem definition
- Solution presentation
- Definition of deliverables outline project and criteria for success measurement
- Statement of an approach plan
- An Outline schedule and budget and budget of the project.
- Revising editing and proofreading the proposal
Here is a list of business project proposals that you may choose to use depending on the type of your project:
- Formally solicited.
- Informally solicited.
Project Plan vs Project Outline
A project plan is a formal document that defines a project’s stages. Project planning is the process of addressing how to complete a project in a certain time frame. A project plan usually contains defined stages and resources required for each stage.
The following are the basic steps you may follow to create an effective project plan.
- Definition of the project
- Identifying and meetings with stakeholders
- Setting and prioritizing goals
- Establishing metrics for success measurement
- Defining critical deliverables and moments
- Select project team members and assign roles
- Select the correct software for project management
- Create the project schedule
- Carry out a risk assessment
- Test deliverable
- Evaluate project results
Project Outline Templates in Word and PDF
- Business Project Outline Template
- Simple Project Outline Template
- Project Outline Presentation Template
- Sample Project Outline Template
- Design Project Outline Template
- Research Project Proposal Outline
- Research Project Outline Sample Format
The following are some of the project proposal alternatives you should consider when planning a project.