Project Planning

Have you ever wondered how some people seem unflappable when they put on events? Whenever you start a new project whether it is a simple one off or something longer and more complex, planning is the secret of success.

Set your aims and objectives


The overarching outcomes you want from the project


Objectives are the goals you need to achieve in order to meet your aims or the stepping stones to get there

They should be SMART

Setting objectives is a key stage and needs careful consideration

Once you have outlined what you are trying to achieve then you need to think about the practicalities.

Using your SMART objectives start putting all of these considerations down on paper. This is really important – Ideally,  if you fall ill on the day, anyone could pick up your project plan and run the event

When you are planning remember

Impacts – the long term changes that take place within the community

Project Plan Layout

Gantt charts

A Gantt chart (below) illustrates a project schedule. They illustrate the start and finish dates of the terminal elements and summary elements of a project. The example below shows the beginning of this method.

Example of Gannt chart

If you have a date you are working to you would need to work your planning backwards to ensure you have everything in place by the time you need it. This may have implications on your time and resources, whereas if you plan forward the project will actually take place at the time when everything is in place and on a realistic timescale.

You will also need to add some of the specifics to your plan

Task/actionTimescaleLead Personnel Resource/Cost implicationSuccess indicatorsOutcomes/ achievements
What are you going to do – this should be small scale single actionsBy whenWho is responsible to ensure the action is achieved. This does not mean they necessarily have to do it, just that they ensure it is doneHow much money or other resources do you need (including time)How will you know you have completed the actionWhat will the impact of the action be.There may not be an outcome for every action.


Always endeavour to work to a full cost recovery model. Information about this can be found on the Big Lottery website.

Don’t forget to add the time and resources for monitoring and evaluation of your project.


You need to take account of all the resources you will need and how they impact on your project planning. Some of the things you need to take account of are,

Assessing the Risk

Remember “If you don’t know where you’re going you are sure to end up some where else” - Mark Twain