3. Project Design

What is Project Design?

In the Project Design Stage the Project Manager details how the project will be managed and governed.  The Project Plan is targeted at funders, management and Project Managers.  It is used in all later Stages to manage the project. 
Project Design differs from the Operational Planning Stage in that you are thinking at a higher level about managing the project.  For example:
  • How will decisions be made and who has the authority to do what?
  • If the Implementation Phase must begin in a particular month, then when does the money have to be secured to start the project?
  • What staff training is required and when?

Why Prepare a Project Plan?

The Project Plan gives the big picture of all the components of the project that need to be managed to make it successful.  Identifies tasks that must be completed before other tasks can be undertaken. It helps to identify the full costs and realistic timeframes for doing the project. The project is more fully costed in the Project Plan than in the Feasibility Study and it can be used to support funding applications.
The benefit of a Project Plan: A management framework is put in place to support the successful planning and implementation of the operation.

Who Should Be Involved?

Project Manager:  
  • Prepares the Project Plan, using Subject Matter Expert input where required. 
Subject Matter Expert(s): 
  • Provides input across all specialist areas (e.g. technical, cultural and political). 
Independent Technical Advisor:  
  • Provides technical advice and reviews the Project Plan.  
  • Consulted during the planning process and notified of final plan.