Project Planning Tool + Rubric

//Project Planning Tool + Rubric

Project Planning Tool + Rubric

Project Planning Tool + Rubric

One of the biggest challenges people tell us they have had in developing an idea is in knowing how to get started. Then, once they have an idea, what to do with it so its gets developed, prototyped and implemented.

One of the biggest challenges people tell us they have had in developing an idea is in knowing how to get started. Then, once they have an idea, what to do with it so its gets developed, prototyped and implemented.

To help simplify the development of an idea or solution, Idea Lab has developed a project planning tool that documents the steps, tools, start and end dates for each step. Completed in advance of a project, this plan helps communicate the work that would be required. Referenced after its completion, it provides a retrospective for learning and improvement.

ZIP Idea Lab Project Planing Toll + Rubric

1. Start with the Problem.

The basis for most projects is a problem. Albeit loosely defined at this point, most problems are identified as something is wrong, missing or that needs to be better than it is today.

On the top of this Project Planning template is a placeholder for the problem statement: How might we…? We start with what we know, adding our problem statement to the document as we describe it today.

2. Make a plan.

The Project Planning at Idea Lab accounts for each step in our Design Thinking process: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test and share. Within each step we account for the tools used to complete the work required.

For instance, the Empathy step usually consists of items that help discover (current) research, uses observation to view the people involved in the problem, and engagement with the same people, like surveys or interviews. Each item would be represented on its own line.

Using a simple GANNT chart approach, we assign color blocks in to each item in a step of the Project Plan. Some items will take short amounts of time, others longer. This approach to project management accounts for those variances, as well as dependencies. We can also include estimated hours for each, as well as costs. Cumulatively, we can estimate the total amount of time and costs associated with executing a plan, in advance for consideration and approval.

Project Worksheet

ZIP Idea Lab Project Worksheet

TIP: Planning is complicated. This Project Worksheet leads you through the process. Answer questions, make notes and collaborate with your team until you figure things out THEN draft your plan.

ZIP Idea Lab Project Planning Rubric + Calculator

Rubric + Calculator: Evaluating a Project Plan

Although a project plan may appear to be completed, it does not mean it is a good project plan. If the right tools are not selected, in the right order, the plan may fail. The project may take longer, cost more or, may not solve the problem.

View Sample Project Plans

This Project Planning Rubric + Calculator evaluates a project plan overall, as well as by step in the process, and generates a score using the built-in calculator. The base score provides feedback as to how complete the plan may be, as well as its efficacy. Download this tool, or make a copy to your Google Drive, to evaluate a project plan in advance, and to evaluate updates. The better the plan, the more efficiently the project will be executed.

3. Execute the plan.

Each part of the plan has a start date and an end date, In most cases, when something ends then something else begins. If something does not end on time, then the next thing cannot start on time. Since so many of the parts are dependent on each other missed deadlines can impact the delivery of a project.

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Have Questions? Just ask!

The Idea Lab is committed to helping people generate new ideas and solving problems. If you have a question about how we do what we do, just ask.
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By |2018-09-25T17:49:40+00:00August 22nd, 2018|Resources|Comments Off on Project Planning Tool + Rubric

About the Author:

Kevin Popović is the Inaugural Director of the ZIP Idea Lab and the Zahn Chair of Creativity and Innovation. He is also the Founder of Ideahaus®, a creative communications agency, an accomplished entrepreneur, educator, speaker and published author.