Project Heat Map Excel Template Free Download

What is a Project Heat Map?

The Project Heat Map Excel Template enables anyone to easily point out the areas of problems. The heat map is simple to use as it is based on keywords. The heat map also has an area which can be used to provide additional details and comments.
Project Heat Map Excel Template
Project Heat Map Excel Template

How to use Project Heat Map

The heat map template is simple to use. The heat map is divided into 4 sections - Schedule, Budget, Risks and Issues and Other KPIs.

Each section is made up of multiple categories or sub sections which refer to the key performance measures for the reporting . The bigger the sub section higher the significance of that sub section. 


Download Project Heat Map Excel Template


Each sub section can be colored to reflect their status. The sub section uses conditional formatting and will be colored as per the key word used. 
Below is the list of key word and corresponding colors. Use the relevant key word in the status update to color as per below -
  • Use the key word "Critical" to color the sub section bright red. This status is used when the things are really really bad,
  • Use the key word "Red" or "Delayed" to color the sub section light red. This status should be used when the situation is bad and out of control.
  • Use the key word "Amber" or "Concern" to color the sub section in Amber. This status should be used when things look like going south.
  • Use the key word "Green" or "On Track" to color the subsection in Green. This status should be used when all is good.       

Examples of using keywords in the Project Heat map Excel Template

  • Project Progress is Critical - will color the sub section in bright red.
  • Key Resource Dependency Red  - will color the sub.section in light red.
  • Project Benefits delayed  - will color the sub.section in light red.
  • Scope Change Requests are on track  - will color the sub.section in green.
  • Risks are green - will color the sub.section in green.
  • Leave plans and vacations Amber - will color the sub.section in amber.
  • Budget is a Concern - will color the sub.section in amber.

Other Sections in the Project Heat Map

Project Heat Map Excel Template
Project Heat Map Excel Template
To supplement the heat map with information the excel template contains additional sections to provide details or comments. 
  • The schedule sections can cover key project phases with end dates and status. There is also a section to enter any comments related to issues visible in the heat map.
  • The budget section has basic information about the budget and a comments section to provide any additional information about the issues identified in the heat map.
  • The risks and issues section has the count for risks and issues. In addition to the basic details it also has a comments section.
  • The other KPIs section can contain comments about other issues visible in the heat map.

What is a list or issue heat map template?

Heat maps provide a simple and effective way of communicating status of tasks, issues or project modules . In this article we will look at two types of heat map dashboards - List and high level dashboards.

High Level Heat Map

The high level heat map can be used to display status of the project components or phases. The size of each cell depends on the size of the component. Enter the Module Name on the top and the status below the module name. In the above example I have used a website building project as an example.
  • Hopeless = Dark Red.
  • Bad = Light Red.
  • Worry = Yellow.
  • Good = Green.
  • Great = Dark Green.

Heat Map Template
High Level Heat Map Template

List Heat Map
The list heat map template is simple list of items. Each cell will have name and then status.  Use the following status. I have used Project Management Toll Review as an example.
  • Green Status = Green Color.
  • Amber Status = Amber Color.
  • Red Status = Red Color.

List Heat Map Template
List Heat Map Template


Swapnil Wale

Written by

Swapnil Wale is an IT Professional based in Sydney, Australia with over 10 years of experience in technology and project management. He is a passionate blogger and focuses on project management and BRMS articles.

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