What is a Project? Planning a Project by Smart Idea Store


Once you have established outcomes for your project, the next stage is to plan your project so that you can schedule a timeline and budget for the tasks that need to be undertaken to reach those outcomes.



The outcomes that you desire from your project will allow you to identify and plan the tasks required to reach these outcomes and determine if and how the project should proceed, whether these outcomes are milestones in a single project or a series of smaller projects where the outcomes determine whether the next stage in the project is justified.


The planning and scheduling of the tasks can be co-ordinated using our Gantt chart or you can search the internet to find a project management chart or use one you have previously used.



A realistic assessment of the time required to complete each task, with some redundancy for delays or unexpected complications will help your project progress smoothly, particularly if there are resources required.



Your project may have tasks which require resources, which may be other people’s time, facilities or services.


These also have to be integrated into your project planning as any time delays may have significant repercussions to your project.  For example, if you have been allocated time in a rapid prototyping facility to make early stage replicas of your potential final product, a delay in finalising your design may delay your project by several weeks as you wait for another slot to get time at the facility.



An unrealistic assessment of the cost of the project may lead to the project being stopped, whilst you source additional funding to complete the project.  It is always best to base your costs on either known rates, such as an estimate for works, or from previous experience and then to add a percentage (between 10% and 35% depending on the complexity and your knowledge of the project requirements).



Determining the cost, time and resource requirements for your project will help determine the viability of your project, any work or resources that require to be sourced before the project begins or that need to be prioritised in the plan to ensure the project runs smoothly.


The next stage is to determine the tasks that need to be undertaken to achieve the outcomes of the project so that cost, time and resources can be defined.


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