Heritage groups have a lot of great project ideas, and making sure these projects are as good as they can be is a vital aspect of Heritage Manitoba's mandate.
Key points to consider for good project planning include:
- What are the discrete parts of the project? Break the outline down as finely as possible.
- Identify which are small and which are large aspects of the project.
- Suggest workloads for each part, along with skills required (analysis, writing, negotiating, construction, etc.).
Roles and Responsibilities
- Define who will do what kind of work on the project.
- Make sure people understand their role, as well as the roles of others.
- Make sure they know who they are reporting to if that is an aspect of the project.
- Make sure people who are supervising parts of the project know their roles.
- Who needs to work on the project? Is it a one-person job? A few? Several?
- Do the people have the necessary skills? Do they need some additional skills? Can they get those easily?
- If more than one person is involved, do they understand what each other is doing? Where they fit?
- Will they be paid? Are there different pay rates? Do people understand that?
Workers and Supervisors/Monitors
- Define who will do work and who will monitor the work. Define who will review the final outcome.
- Make sure this structure is communicated to all involved.
- Make sure that monitors or supervisors have the necessary skill set, especially for personal communication and diplomacy.
- Determine from the detailed outline where there will be costs for the project.
- Does the project require specialized skills that should be paid for?
- Are there production costs?
- Are there promotional costs?
- Determine sources for funding of the project, or for certain aspects of the project.
- Are there local resources for this funding, like business support or a local foundation?
- Is the project eligible for funding via the Province's Heritage Grants Program, or the Thomas Sill Foundation?
- Who will fill out the applications required by these organizations? These institutions require specialized communication and budget information – who will do that?
- Who will undertake the accounting and processing that may be required? The group? The municipal office (a common approach for grants)?
- Who will liaise with these organizations and institutions for ongoing support?
- Are there guides, samples, apparatus, tools, materials, etc., that will be needed for the project?
- Is there a cost associated?
- Do members of the group have the skills to use these resources? Do they need to hire someone who has these skills?
Schedules and Tracking
- It is essential that a schedule be developed to identify key junctures of the project.
- Who is responsible for the schedule?
- How is communication undertaken with people working on certain parts?
- What happens when things get behind schedule? Who steps in?
- Besides the ultimate goal of the project, it is common for there to be a few intermediate strategic goals as well.
- Are goals being met? Who decides this?
- If intermediate goals change, how is that dealt with?
- If there are products that result from the project, these should be assessed for acceptability.
- Who determines if the product is acceptable? There usually should be a few people involved in this process.
- Are there standards or resources that can help determine success?
- Do the products need to be distributed (booklets/tours)? Who is going to do that? Who keeps tab of stock and finances (if that is applicable)?
- Does the result of the project need to be promoted? Via posters or local television/radio? Via the local newspaper? Does it need wider promotion?
- Who from the group will do this work? If there is "official" communication required for this aspect of the project (press releases for example, talking points), does the group have those skills?
Review of Results/Impact
- Once the project has been completed it is important that a review be undertaken to determine how success is measured, and if there are observations about the processes that could be noted for other projects.
- The whole group should reconvene for this part of the exercise.
- It is important that aspects of facilitation, as noted in the Group Planning entry, be considered for the exercise.