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Project planning


Project plans are about how your organisation will achieve a specific goal e.g. to develop a new IT system or run a community event. They set out how you plan to get things done and cover the stages, tasks, responsibilities, resources, timeframes and logistics.

Worth knowing

Project plans should fit in with your organisation’s strategic and business plans.

What’s included?

Basic project plans can cover what you plan to do, who will be involved, a budget, how you will monitor your progress and a timeline. Depending on the complexity of your project you will also need to provide details about contingencies, interrelated parts of the project, responsibilities and how to measure the results.

Questions worth asking

  • Who will lead and implement the plan?
  • Which parts of your plan depend on other parts of your business planning or other plans?
  • How will you respond if a new opportunity comes along or something goes wrong?
  • What resources will you need (funds, people, equipment) and when?
  • What other people and organisations do you need to consult, obtain agreement and buy into your project?
  • How will you monitor your progress?
  • How will you report on your progress?


  • Use your strategic plan and business plan as a reference point (if you have one)
  • Make sure that you have carefully considered needs and all practical options
  • Identify stakeholders and think about how their input may improve your plan
  • Build in time for reflection and be prepared to revise your plan if things change
  • Pay extra attention to possible risks and bottlenecks
  • Remember that the plan is a guide, not a rulebook
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