Making projects can seem hard to assess to begin with, but it doesn’t have to be so. With a few easy tools you can make an assessable plan where all people involved can obtain a clear overview of the project.
I have therefore, with inspiration from different courses I’ve attended and own experience in planning, created this simple project-planner template.
It can be very helpful and a nice base for creating and kickstarting a new project or establishing a new idea to use a project-planner.
It can make the project more simple, manageable and will keep you on the right path. It can also conduce to the common communication about the project.
To maintain the motivation in your team it is also important to create a common understanding and idea-community in your group. After fulfilling the project-planner it’s clear to see the purpose and the goal, and everybody will be on the same page.
The following is a description of all of the boxes from the project-planner template so you and your team can print out the template and start your own project. The template can also contribute to nice discussions and a democratic process if your team work together on fulfilling it.
You want to change something that challenges you or someone else around you. It comes from a frustration. You think something is missing. In this box you describe why the project is carried out and the intentions behind it to make the purpose of your project clear.
Think big. What is your vision for this project. What will it change? A good vison expresses a wish for a change. It is motivating and is clear about describing a future condition.
This is the specific goal. Describe what your project will work towards. All the other steps of the project-planner will support to reaching this goal. Will you arrange a workshop, build a playground, start an organisation or whatever it could be.
It can be a good idea to check if your outcome is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based.
Be very specific about who you want to address, help or affect through your project. The target group is the individual or group who will be directly affected and benefit from the outcome of your project.
Stakeholders is people who affects or will be affected by the project. In this box you can write down all the different persons or groups who could contribute in any way to your project. Collaborators, people with useful knowledge or resources. It could also be people who could have interrest in the project. It can be very useful for your project to work together or involve relevant stakeholders.
Consider this as the ingredients you need to add to the recipe to make it succesfull, complete it and solve your challenge. Think of all of the materials, actions, knowlege, costs and other resources that you will need to complete your project. Try to think about what you need and how you will get it.
It is definetly allowed to look at other projects, find inspiration and copy the bits and parts that fits in to your project. Try to look for similar projects or ideas. Maybe it would be interesting for all parts to collaborate.
Barriers and risks
It’s important to be aware of the barriers or constraints that your project faces. There will always be limitations in time, money, space or other rules that should be considered.
You can also write down possible risks and unpredictable conditions, such as weather, people’s reaction, number of participants. These uncertainties can both be good and bad. Try to think about what risks you possibly could face, how to handle it, and how to reduce the risks.
The to-do part is not directly a part of the project-planner template, but it can be very helpful for your project to create a list with all of the tasks that needs to be done to reach the goal of your project. If you manage to describe your actions very clearly, it will be much easier for your team to complete the tasks and keep the process under control. It will also raise the motivation of the people involved if the tasks are as concrete as possible and easy to handle.
There is many ways to create the list of actions/tasks. You can write it on a paper or use a online event planning checklist. I like to make it big and visual, so the tasks are available and clear for everybody. You can be more or less detailed about the date, the person who will carry out the tasks and material needed.
The taskes will usually be about what you should create, who you should contact, about organising, fundraising and/or producing something.
Good luck with your next project!