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Use these project summary and project description templates to explain and share details about your projects with your organization

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What is a project description in project management?

In project management, a project description is a high-level overview of a project. Unlike a project summary, a project description provides an overview of a proposed project. The description will explain a project’s purpose, how it’s intended to be run, and what will be achieved. Put simply, a project description provides the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a project before you get started.

What is included in a project summary?

A project summary is an exhaustive overview of a project. It summarizes not only why and how the project was run, but also discusses the results and their implications. A project summary might include:

  1. Original project purpose and background
  2. Project process, steps, and stakeholders
  3. An objective conclusion of whether the project succeeded or failed
  4. An assessment of what factors incorporated to the project’s success or failure
  5. A discussion of what was learned during and after the project, alongside actionable takeaways for future projects
  6. A brief conclusion to wrap up and lead into any next steps

You can support a project summary with quotes, testimonials, tables, or charts — they will support the conclusions reached in the project summary.

How do you write a short project description?

  1. Identify the impetus for the project and discuss why it is being pursued
  2. Explain the expected outcome or impact from the project with a goals section
  3. Discuss what steps are involved in the project to see it through from inception to completion
  4. List out the team members and stakeholders involved in the project, alongside their roles
  5. Note what the expected budget will be and how it will be divided
  6. Speak to any concerns, restrictions, or constraints that need to be addressed before or during the project
  7. Conclude the project description and point readers to the best place to follow the process of the project as it happens

You can use this free project description template to save time when writing a project description. Simply click the link above and go to “File,” “Make a copy” to work on your own, editable project description template.

What are some examples of a project summary and description?

This example of a project description was made using this project description template.

A fictional company needs to describe its proposed website redesign project. A timeline is laid out, in addition to an identified team and the expected ROI. Note how the summary includes concerns over an outdated website design, which sparked interest in the project.

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