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Create a Project Plan

Get organized, understand your strengths, and start identifying what you’ll need to come up with innovative solutions.


Suggested Time

60-90 Minutes

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pens, paper, Post-its, calendar


Design team

Process Phase

As you set out to solve your challenge, you’ll need to create a plan. This gives you a chance to think through all the logistics of your project, and even though they’re bound to change as things progress, you’ll be in much better shape if you can plan for what’s ahead. Reflect on your timeline, the space you’ll work in, your staff, your budget, what skills you’ll need, trips you’ll take, and what you’ll likely need to produce. Getting a good handle on all of this information can keep you on track.


  1. A good place to start is with a calendar. Print out or make a large one and put it up in your workspace. Now mark key dates. They could be deadlines, important meetings, travel dates, or times when your team members are unavailable.
  2. Now that you’ve got a sense of your timeline, look at your budget and staff. Do you have everything that you need? If you foresee constraints, how can you get around them?
  3. You’ll need to get smart on your topic before you head into the field. Who should you talk to now? What will you need to read to be up to speed?
  4. Answer questions like: When should my team head into the field? Will my team make one visit or two? Will our partners be visiting? Plan for all of this. Will we need to physically make something? How much time, money, and manpower will we need to produce it?
  5. Your project plan will change as things evolve, and that’s perfectly OK. You can always amend things as you go but make sure that you’re really thinking through your project before you start.