One-Sheet Project Document - Multiple Versions


Quick Summary
Screenshot Before you decide that your project is too small, too short, too simple, and/or too informal to need a "project plan document," check out this one sheet way to lightly clarify, capture, and communicate what matters on ANY project: The GOALS (surely what we're trying to achieve matters no matter the size of the project!); the PEOPLE (those who need to do work, and those who care about the outcomes); the RISKS (a several week project can be blown out of the water too); and the "PROCESS" (because any project needs at least some target dates and checkpoints). This template includes several versions of a one-sheet project document to let you choose the best for your particular project.


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What this is

Several versions of a one-sheet project document (either one page total, or two pages usable as one sheet front-and-back) to help think through, capture, and communicate info about a new project. They are meant to:
  1. help a team focus on the key aspects of Goals, People, Risks, and Process/Plan that matter for any project:
    • Goals: What is the project meant to accomplish for the group spending money and time to get it done? What benefits is it meant to provide to its "customers"? When do we need to be done and at what cost?
    • People: Who needs to do work on the project? Who needs to provide those resources and thus needs to know about it? Who else cares about the project? Who might we need help from?
    • Risks: What could go wrong? What should we do about it? Even small projects can experience blow-ups.
    • Process/plans: How are we going to approach this? How will we communicate, be sure we’re on track, and control changes? What checkpoints/reviews?
  2. enable an easily-scanned, very digestible summary of those key parameters for communication with those working on the project and those who care about it.

Four format variations are included: A checklist for at least prompting you through each area, and recording in a non-tabular format if desired; a table-formatted 1-page version for "micro-projects"; a 1-sheet version (front and back) in a table format but minimal # of rows and columns to keep it simple-looking and easiest to use in a ‘worksheet mode’ (i.e. printing it and jotting down thoughts by hand); and 1 sheet (front and back) most detailed view in a table format including rows and columns for cleanest electronic fill-out.


Why it's useful

For smaller or shorter, smaller, and/or simpler projects, these formats are handy for ensuring that "the baby isn’t thrown out with the bath water" in terms of using some project management. "Oh, this project doesn’t need a big project plan, that would be overkill." "Oh, we’re a small team, we can just do everything verbally." No, these projects don’t need everything a larger project would, but they can still suffer from misunderstandings on goals and scope, contributors who get pulled to other work, capricious changes, dropped or late tasks, and risks. So they still need some basic understanding of and strong communicate about goals, people, risks, and team "process" and plans to ward off such problems.

For the smallest projects, this document can be the one-stop shop for "goals, scope/requirements, and plan."

For larger projects, this type of one-sheet project document can be useful as a very brief summary form of the project plan, basically a concise "project overview document" for communicating widely about the project.

For any project that is a "background" or part-time effort for team members, this type of summary document can be critical for keeping key elements of the project on people’s radar. The less time they get to work on your project, the more likely they could lose lock on the priorities, fall behind on their tasks, and so forth.

In any environment where project management is new and/or resisted as "unnecessary overhead", these formats communicate that it really CAN be "light" and common sense.


How to use it

  1. Review the 4 included versions to see the information provided and the format variations.
  2. Think about your projects and how they map into the project profiles listed above. Where might this Goals-People-Risks-Process information, in such a concise format, benefit your project(s)?
  3. Select the format that seems most appropriate for each of projects and use it stand-alone to create your own summary document. Keep in mind your use mode for each project: e.g. personal checklist or worksheet to think through something? (Version 1 or 2) Communication for something short and simple? (Version 2 or 3). Electronic communication of a strong and more detailed project overview to a group of people? (Version 4)

This template requires a Premium Subscription
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