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Project Documentation: Types of Project Documentation Examples & Templates

High-quality project documentation has long-term value. It not only helps to ensure the success of the project, but it also serves as a reference for future projects and initiatives!

At its core, project documentation is the pulse of any project. It connects everything needed to run the project successfully.

Documentation must be extensive enough so development can progress. But flexible enough so modifications or adjustments can be made in response to different situations.

Let’s take a closer look at the primary types of documentation, along with others typically buried within inboxes that should be organized into project management software. ⚒️

If you need a fast-track solution to start documenting your projects the right way, get your team into ClickUp’s Project Documentation Template! Collaborate in real-time or async and even assign comments within the Doc to keep communication in one place.

Store project documentation in a single ClickUp Doc

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What is Project Documentation?

Project documentation is any type of written material that describes the details of the steps taken throughout a project’s life cycle. This includes the project scope, planning, development, change control, assessments, and quality assurance reports. Sharing information makes sure everyone has the right context to get their work done efficiently. 

Good documentation helps with collaboration, communication, training, and problem-solving throughout the lifecycle of a project. 

Creating project documentation in ClickUp Docs
Create a new Doc from anywhere in your ClickUp Workspace

More importantly, project documentation plays an important role in the success of any project by providing details for informed decision-making.

Examples of Project Documentation with Templates

Documentation connects people with the right content at the right time. 

Having the proper project documents is key to successfully managing a project from start to finish. A variety of documents, such as diagrams, timelines, policies, reports, meeting minutes, and project plans come together to provide a comprehensive overview. 🌐

Plus, maintaining accurate documents is required for reviews and audits, helping us track what’s been accomplished and keeping everyone accountable for their part!

Meeting minutes in ClickUp Docs
Write fast, collaborative, and sharable meeting notes and minutes in ClickUp Docs

Here are the most common types of project documentation:  

Project proposal

Owner: Primary stakeholder, sponsor
Contributors: As needed

A project proposal document outlines the objectives and scope of a proposed project. It’s typically written by the project’s stakeholders in order to secure approval and necessary funding for the project. 

The document typically includes an executive summary, background information, objectives or goals, proposed methods, projected timeline, budget, and risks. After approval, the project manager uses the document to write the project charter.  

Streamline the entire voting process for agile estimation techniques using ClickUp’s readymade templates

Project charter

Owner: Project manager
Contributors: As needed

A project charter is a document illustrating a project’s objectives and scope based on the project proposal. It’s the first document that serves as a foundation for the project team’s work. 

While drafting the project charter, it’s the perfect time to make sure you have a solid understanding of the project. Take careful consideration of the project schedule, goals, objectives, and scope. It requires close attention to details and the needs of stakeholders.

If the project has circumstances such as working with cross-functional teams or company-wide impact, you’ll likely have a short list of stakeholders from different areas:

Documenting the necessary stakeholders ahead of time will help prevent scope creep later in the project!

Organize your project, define success metrics, and identify potential problems with ClickUp’s hyper-organized project charter template

Discover project charter templates & team charters!

Project plan (or scope of work)

Owner: Project manager
Contributors: Department leads

A scope of work document is a detailed description of the work that needs to be done on a project. It outlines the objectives, tasks, deliverables, timeline, cost estimate, dependencies, and any other relevant information to guide your project team to success. 

Additionally, the project plan should discuss any potential risks or challenges that could happen during the course of the project, and propose solutions for handling them.

Simplify product development sprints with a personalized project plan template

Learn how to write a scope of work document!

Project status report

Owner: Project manager
Contributors: All team members as needed

A project status report covers the current state of the project written for key stakeholders and project leaders. Status reports are typically sent on a weekly basis by the project manager, who condenses large amounts of data and task progress.  

It generally shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to read and includes these key information:

  • The project’s overall key milestones are summarized in a few words: Scoping, On Track, Blocked, Delayed, At Risk, Cancelled, or Complete
  • Major project tasks, activities, decisions, or updates since the last status report 
  • Key issues and risks (For example, tight timelines with task dependencies) 
  • Blockers (For example, bugs or pending stakeholder approvals)
  • Any small/big wins, problems solved
  • Next steps
Connect with project stakeholders and project managers through Email in ClickUp
Send and receive emails anywhere in ClickUp

Project change management plan

Owner: Project manager 
Contributors: Stakeholders 

A change management plan outlines the processes, procedures, and resources required to apply changes to a project’s deliverables, team members, or strategy. It helps maintain control of the scope and ensures all stakeholders are fully aware of changes being implemented. 

The plan typically includes: 

  • An overview of the change
  • An assessment of the impact of the change
  • A communication plan for stakeholders
  • A timeline for each stage of the process
  • New tools and resources required to implement the change
  • New roles and responsibilities related to the change
  • A list of potential risks associated with the change

Learn more about how project change management plans in ClickUp help teams stay on track! 

Project post-mortem (or retrospective)

Owner: Project manager
Contributors: As needed 

A project post-mortem is a reflection document capturing key outcomes and lessons learned from a project. Post mortems should include an assessment of the project’s overall effectiveness, along with an analysis of any challenges and the tools used for project completion. 

The project manager creates the retrospective document, and all project team members contribute their feedback and questions. This can help the team become more aware of blind spots, identify areas of improvement, call out specific project successes, and develop better methods of problem-solving!

Check out the best Sprint Retrospective templates for teams, or get started with ClickUp’s Retrospective Brainstorm Template!

Collaborate in a team retrospective using a ClickUp Whiteboard

How to Manage the Project Documentation Process

Keeping track of documentation takes a considerable amount of effort if you’re updating multiple channels of communication. And sometimes you’re sending the same information to different channels.

Here are the best practices to create project documentation:

1. Use document collaboration tools

If a new marketing team member needs to get up to speed on a specific project, it wouldn’t make sense to digitally toss them into a group Slack channel to put pieces of information together. 

Organize information with the audience in mind.

ClickUp Docs are the most efficient tools to connect tasks to documentation within a few clicks. And it’s easy to set up! Divide the documentation by the types we learned earlier—proposal, charter, plan, and so on—into separate subpages. 📄

From there, you can take your team’s Doc experience even further with page customization and collaboration tools. If you have other project documentation like Google Sheets and PDFs, embed these resources into the Doc for quick access!  

For seamless integration of project documentation, make the most of ClickUp’s AI Writing Assistant.

ClickUp AI can generate drafts based on your notes, suggest content improvements, and even help in maintaining the documentation up-to-date. By centralizing and streamlining the documentation process with a sophisticated AI assistant, your team can focus on more strategic tasks while keeping everyone informed and aligned with the project objectives.

Working together on documentation allows for different perspectives to be included, which can increase engagement and alignment. 

ClickUp Brain role-specific writing assistant feature
Choose from various organizational departments to get role-specific content based on your needs

Check out the top document collaboration software!

2. Start early and document often

Documenting a project early and often is important because it guides the work with the right context. 

Project members can avoid wasting time trying to figure out why certain decisions were made or how something was supposed to work. 

And if you’ve ever waited until the last minute to document your time, tasks, and statuses, you know firsthand the mental energy it takes to get it done! (We’ve all been there.) 🙋

Bonus: Team charter templates!

3. Update existing templates whenever necessary 

Project templates are useful tools for teams to quickly and efficiently start up new projects. They provide a standard process to follow and a reusable framework for the project, taking out the time and effort of setting up the project from scratch. 

However, as time goes on, industry standards, customer needs, and internal procedures are constantly changing. This means that project templates need to be updated regularly to ensure they remain efficient and relevant. The result? Teams can maintain their workflow and quickly launch into a project with minimal setup time!

Write a project plan using a template from the ClickUp Template Library

4. Add visuals whenever possible

Adding visuals to project documentation helps stakeholders and team members understand the content by making it more engaging, easier to comprehend, and more memorable. Visuals have the power to convey a point quickly, allowing for more efficient communication of complex topics. 

They also help to break up large blocks of text, making the content more readable. Visuals can be used to explain relationships between different pieces of data and elements, creating a deeper understanding of the context. 📊

5. Archive completed projects

Archiving projects is important for a few key reasons:

  • It allows us to refer back to past solutions that may be applicable to current or future projects
  • It serves as a record of our growth and project success, helping us to recognize our strengths and identify areas for improvement
  • It creates a shared understanding of the goals and objectives behind our processes, helping everyone on a team work more productively
  • It provides an efficient way to compare old and new versions of the same project and see how the design has developed over time
  • It offers actionable insight into the development process of a project

Long-Term Benefits of Project Documentation

Project documentation is an essential part of any project, providing not only a record of the project’s progress but also important information for future decision-making and planning. 

An indispensable archive of all the decisions, changes, and discussions associated with a given project allows teams to have past reference points to draw upon, making it easier to track progress, address technical issues and avoid costly mistakes in the future. 🔮

Edit project documents in ClickUp Docs, Chat view, and List view
Send project status reports and plans using ClickUp Docs and tasks

Here’s what your team can look forward to with high-quality documentation: 

  • Increased process efficiency: Project documentation provides a reference for future projects, enabling future teams to understand the purpose and context of the project and avoid having to reinvent the wheel
  • Enhanced knowledge retention: Through documentation, team members are able to share their expertise with each other and pass on their knowledge to future teams, helping to ensure that important skills and knowledge aren’t lost over time
  • Improved collaboration: Project documentation helps facilitate better communication between teams as all relevant parties have access to the same information, allowing for more informed conversations between team members
  • Increased accountability: Documentation helps create a chain of responsibility and accountability, which helps prevent confusion and that accountability remains clear when members come and go
  • Improved team morale: Documentation improves overall team morale, as it helps with communication, collaboration, and accountability, which makes it easier for team members to work together
  • Improved workflow: Well-structured, up-to-date project documentation can help streamline workflow by providing an easily accessible source of information for project teams
  • Better staff onboarding: Project documentation allows for faster onboarding of new staff as they can quickly become acquainted with the project and its progress by studying the documentation
  • Reduced errors: Documentation provides a single reference source that can be used to ensure all teams are working from the same information. This reduces the chances of errors caused by misunderstandings or discrepancies between versions of a project
  • Increased visibility: Documentation such as a business agreement or contract provides access to information that is up-to-date and accurate, thus increasing the visibility of the project and its progress for stakeholders

Bonus: Writing Tools & AI Text Generators

Project Documentation Made Easy in ClickUp

Project documentation is essential for teams to stay organized, on-task, and successful. With ClickUp, teams can streamline their project management and workflow processes, giving them the power to stay organized and be more productive. ⚡️

No more wasted time trying to track down scattered files and documents caused by multiple sources. Everything is accessible on one platform. Get started with ClickUp for free!

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