How To Plan A Project ~ This is one of those blogs that I write every so often that explains the thinking behind being organized. It isn’t necessarily about how to do a specific project but it is about a very important topic and that is the thought process that goes behind organizing and planning a project. Hope this shows you how to plan a project to help make things easier!
Planning is essential to any type of project whether it is a DIY, craft or an organizing task. Often times, more time and energy goes into the planning part rather than the follow through part but being well planned is so worth it.
I have shared some recent craft and organizing projects including How To Make A Votive Candle Holder Gift For Mother’s Day, How To Organize And Store A CD Collection and How To Make A Runner For A Bedroom Dresser. But what I haven’t shared is the planning and preparation that went on behind the scenes and what took place before the actual project got started.
I have been a teacher for many years so I can confidently say that I am an expert at planning. I learned very early in my career that there is nothing worse than not being well planned or being ill prepared for a lesson. A smooth running lesson where all of the students are engaged and attentive can quickly turn to chaos if I forgot a key instruction, resource or material needed to carry out the instruction.
Similarly, a project at home can quickly turn into a frustrating experience by being more work than it needed to be or by taking a lot longer than originally anticipated. Not being well planned can be an annoying time waster and a guarantee for a project not being completed successfully or not at all.
The Solution For How To Plan A Project…
The solution is pretty basic. Be well planned and well prepared prior to starting.
When planning any type of project I like to work from a planning system similar to that of a teacher’s lesson plan. It is just a framework for ensuring that I have covered all of the necessary details. The framework that I follow is pretty easy and something that we are all familiar with. It is the 5W’s!
WHY am I doing the project?
This is important to think about because the why gives you the reason for doing what you are doing and asks the questions to help you achieve your goal.
Questions to ask yourself are: Why am I doing this project? What is the purpose? What outcome am I looking for at the end?
WHO will work on the project and who is it for when it is completed?
This is important to think about for several reasons. Perhaps you plan on doing everything yourself or perhaps you need to solicit some help whether it is from family and friends or paying someone who is more of an expert than you are. It is also important to be aware of who will benefit from the completed project.
Questions to ask yourself are: Can I do everything by myself? Do I need to outsource some of the work? Would I benefit from help from family or a friend? Who will benefit?
WHEN will I work on the project and what is the estimated time to complete it?
This is important to think about because depending on the size of the project you will need to reserve time to work on it.
Questions to ask yourself are: How long do I predict it will take? How much do I think I can get done in the time I allocated? Can I get the whole thing done in one session or will it take more than one session and is so, how many?
WHERE will the project be worked on?
This is important to think about because you want to make sure that you not only have the appropriate location to carry out the tasks but also the appropriate amount of space. You don’t want to get started and find out you don’t have enough room or the space you are working in isn’t conducive to what you are trying to do.
Questions to ask yourself are: Do I have enough room? Can I leave things out until the project is done? Is the light and venting going to work?
WHAT are the required materials? What is the cost? What are the instructions?
This is the most important to think about because it entails planning for the needed materials and resources, the cost and the instructions for completing the project. It is also equally important to plan for how the project will begin, how it will continue and lastly how it will end which is usually the cleanup and putting away the materials that were used.
Questions to ask are: What are all the materials and resources? How much will the project cost? Where will I get all of the needed materials and resources? What are all of the steps before, during and after the project? Do I have the know-how to complete all of the steps?
There are probably other things to think about but this is a good starting point and base to work from.
I have created a framework that I use when I am planning for a project. I don’t always write down everything in this project planner but it is a great way of making sure I have thought of all of the details in my mind before I get started. Here is a photograph of the planner and here is the PDF form of the Organizing Project Planner for you to download.
So that’s it! It is really nice to have a project planner to work from just to make sure that you have thought of everything before, during and after the project is completed. It just makes things simpler and helps ensure the success of whatever you trying to accomplish!
I love planning and organizing. Here are other articles you might find useful to help you with your planning…
How do you plan for your various projects?
Do you have any strategies and ideas that work for you?
Thanks for stopping by and I would love to touch base with you through your comments!