A Project Management Checklist is a structured and systematic list of tasks, actions, and considerations essential for planning, executing, and controlling a project. It serves as a guide or tool to ensure that project managers and teams cover all necessary steps and elements required for successful project delivery.
Why do you need a Project Checklist?
Haven’t you always wanted someone who could simply list all the aspects you need to check when managing a new project? Look no further. I’m giving you a way to quick-start your project!
If you are new to the profession, managing a project can be a roller coaster, sometimes scary, others exciting – even experienced project managers feel this way sometimes! To make your project run as smoothly as possible and to clarify your responsibilities, a project checklist can certainly be handy.
Project checklists are a simple but essential tool, often developed and distributed by a Project Management Office, whose purpose is to assist new project managers in following the project governance processes established in the organization, in this way standardizing the approach and assuring its quality.
Excel Project Checklist Template
Each checkpoint can be Open, Closed, or N/A. N/A should be used when the question is not applicable. The template highlights the status for visual indication.
New checkpoints can be easily added. Has a comments column to record any notes/special mentions.
By default, all the checkpoints are marked as open.
Project Initiation Checklist
- Is the scope of the project clear?
- Is the project funding approved?
- Have all the stakeholders been identified?
- Has a sponsor been identified?
- Does the project contain 3rd Party or external resources?
- Have you confirmed in writing the project delivery expectations(time and scope) with all the stakeholders?
- Have all the project benefits been captured and are reasonable?
- Are you aware of the process of getting the project approved?
- Does the business case cover assumptions, dependencies, and constraints?
- Do you need a risk assessment to be conducted?
- Will the project costs be capitalized?
- Do you have a high-level effort estimate for the project?
- Are you suppose to use a standard template for the initiation document?
- Has the project team been established or resources available to start the project?
- Does the project need an approved business case to start work?
Project Planning Checklist
- Have you organized a project kick-off meeting?
- Does the project team need any training?
- Are you comfortable with the skill level of the project team?
- Do you need a project management plan?
- Do you have enough contingency or buffer in the budget and schedule?
- Is there a vendor contract involved in the project?
- Have all the project components been estimated?
- Do you have a detailed project schedule drafted?
- Do you need a work breakdown structure?
- Have you created a baseline for the project plan?
- Is the project team comfortable with the project schedule?
- Do you have clearly defined the milestones for the project?
- How do you plan to track project progress?
- Have the team left plans and public holidays been factored into the project plan?
- Do you have a resource plan for the duration of the project?
- Do you need to hire additional resources for the project? If yes, has the hiring process been kicked off?
- Have you factored in the resourcing costs in the plan?
- Are you aware of the SMEs required for the project?
- Is your project schedule detailed enough for the project team to understand the tasks?
- Is there a quality assurance plan for the project?
Project Planning Checklist
Project Execution Phase Checklist
- Has the project scope been finalized by the stakeholders?
- Have the business requirements been finalized and signed off?
- Is there a peer/code review practice in place?
- Is the team aware of the project deliverables?
- Have all the hardware and infrastructure requirements been finalized and addressed?
- Does the project team need to be co-located?
- Is everyone in the team aware of roles and responsibilities for everyone, including themselves?
- Is the team aware of the benefits and business value of the project?
- Is everyone in the team fully allocated to the project?
- Is the project team comfortable with the requirements and their details?
- Have you planned the resources required for the implementation?
- Is everyone in the project team aware of the project deadlines?
- Does the project team need to be co-located?
- Is everyone aware of the defect management process?
- Are you aware of the impact of systems shut down for implementation?
- Do you need an implementation manager for the project?
- Is there a way of checking the systems are production deployment and before the business starts?
- Do you have a commitment from a business for testing resources?
- Do you have a plan to update the system documentation after the project is complete?
- Do you have a list of housekeeping tasks for the project?
- Will the system need a User Manual?
- Do you have a list of critical tasks?
- Will there be a need for environment setup required?
- Does everyone in the project team have the required hardware and software?
Project Control Checklist
- Is there a mechanism to track scope creeps and change requests?
- Have you created a project change management plan?
- Do you have a change request log and change request template?
- Do you have a communication plan?
- Is there a set of standard templates for project artifacts available?
- How often do you review your project budget?
- Do you need daily scrum meetings?
- Do you have a detailed project schedule where the largest task is less than 5 days?
- Do you have a defect management process in place?
- What is the frequency of status reporting?
- Do you have a project status report for weekly and/or monthly reporting?
- Do you plan to conduct a monthly project team meeting?
- Will the project need a project control members group?
- Do you need to set up regular meetings with sponsors or the project committee?
- Do you need all the resources on the project till the end?
- Do you have a mechanism to manage the defect count in the project?
- How will you track resource utilization in the project?
- How do you plan to manage ongoing leave management for the team?
- Was a risk assessment conducted for the project?
- Is there a repetitive process to review the project risks?
- How will everyone be aware of the project risks and issues?
- Have you created a project risk and issue register?
- What is your stakeholder management plan?
- Will you be using a project management tool for tracking?
- How are you tracking the project dependencies?
- How are you tracking the project action items?
- Do you the required tools to capture timesheets?
- How do you plan to manage project issues?
- Do you know who should be getting the project status report?
Project Management Checklist for Dummies
This simple and short checklist will help a project to get up to speed for projects. There is a repeatable set of activities, there is the potential to convert that information into a checklist. This being said, you can create sub-checklists by stage (e.g., initiation checklist, planning checklist) or by deliverable (e.g., Project Charter checklist) and play with different granularity levels necessary.
Make no mistake, though: project management is much more than simply following a checklist! A project checklist is just a tool, and “a fool with a tool is still a fool”! Projects do not always go according to plan; however, you now have a checklist that you can use.
Project Management Checklist Template
Project Closure Checklist Excel Template
The attached checklist needs to be filled out and signed as a part of the project closure report. Even seasoned PMs and PMO’s who have brought many projects to full closure may sometimes overlook the report's basic steps.
A checklist is the best way to avoid these mistakes, which may leave a bad taste in otherwise happy and content clients' mouths. The checklist should also specify who is responsible for the tasks which appear in it. Some of the simple questions which can be part of the checklist -
- Was an implementation review conducted?
- Are all the project benefits still on track?
- Will there be a closure document?
- Have all the stakeholders authorized the project closure?
- Are there any pending or open issues because of the project?
- Do you have a list of lessons learned?
- Have adequate arrangements been made for the handover of the new or updated systems/processes?
- Has the project budget been finalized?
- Are all the project resources released?
- Have all the post-project activities complete?
- Handover is complete for all deliverables?
- All deliverables are accepted and signed off by the client?
- Final project status reports are complete?
- All financial processes and reports are complete?
- Project review is done?
- Staff performance evaluations and reports completed?
- Staff employment on project terminated (no more work is done on the project)?
- All supply contracts and processes are terminated?
- Site operations and facilities used for the project closed down?
- Disposal of all equipment and materials is done?
- Communication: Announcement of completion of a project (internal, external, and public relations contacts)?
- Completion of storage for all the project files?
Project Closure Checklist