Help:Project planning article

From The Collaboratory

Jump to: navigation, search

This is for annual progress reporting and planning by EXISTING Collaboratory projects with APPROVED proposals. Look here to propose a NEW project or get your existing project approved.

Write this article to:

  • Document progress toward your project goals.
  • Plan goals and a time line to guide your team's work for the next year.
  • Develop an annual budget and funding plan for the project.
  • Request an internal allocation of grant or other funds from the Collaboratory.

Goals of the article are:

  • Quality assurance of Collaboratory projects and accountability to partners.
  • Enable the Director to help Groups raise funds and develop other support for projects.
  • Help the Marketing Team to tell the Group's story to partners and potential members.


Get started

The wiki application template will enable collaborative authoring of your report, and the review process. (Note that wiki work is facilitated by a feature of the Mozilla Firefox browser that permits you to open and move between multiple web pages in a single browser session. "Ctrl+t" will open a new tab in the browser, and each tab can be a different page.)

  • Wiki help - Need to learn the wiki mark-up language? Most new users can learn what they need to know in about an hour. Click here to get started, or contact the Manager of the Collaboratory to request some one-on-one help.
  • Creating the Planning Article - To create your Project Planning Article, please use either the on-line or the off-line process outlined below.

On-line form

  • Name your page - The name of your project planning article should conform to the scheme illustrated here: DR:Hand Powered Tricycle Project/07-08 Project planning article.
    1. The first two letters, "DR" in this case, put your page in the namespace of the sponsoring Group.
    2. The portion following the colon, "Hand Powered Tricycle Project" in the example, is the title of your project.
    3. The portion following the title, "07-08 Project planning article" in the example, gives the title of this specific wiki page. Later you may create any number of report articles by changing the text after the slash.
  • Create a link to your project planning article from your Project article.
    1. Click the edit tab and under the "Resources" heading and add [[your page name]] to the list.
  • Insert the wiki template.
    1. Retrieve the wiki template annual project reporting and planning. Select the contents of the gray box with your mouse, copy and paste it into your page, and save.
    2. To complete the page insert content after the "=" signs.

Off-line form

  • Retrieve the form - Download the PDF form here.
  • Complete the form using the instructions located under the help tabs within the form or under the Write the plan section below.
  • Submit the form - Once you have filled out the form, have your project advisor sign the form under Advisor Signature. Your advisor should then forward the form and your project's budget spreadsheet to the Student Director to have him/her attach the budget to the form and upload the form to the wiki.


This report is meant to be a tool for both reporting the previous year's work as well as planning for the next year. As such, the following timeline must be observed.

  1. April - Outgoing student leaders meet with up-and-coming student leaders during one or more sessions of the Leadership Development Class. During these sessions, students should have completed ALL items under the Project update heading, including:
    • Progress report
    • Status assessment
    • Work needed
  2. May - Group Leader submit these partially filled reports to the group's Advisor for review and comments
  3. June - Group Advisor notifies the Director of the Collaboratory when these reports are finished (3 headings) and their location.
  4. August - Group Leader and Team Managers complete all remaining headings of this report upon completion of the Leaders Workshop.

Write the plan

The following explains various sections of the project planning article. Some headings in the form are self-explanatory, but you will want to reference this helps page as you write. Click on "printable version" to the left of this wiki page if you want to print a paper copy of this page. Using the wiki, however, provides links to resources not available off line.

  • Title - This is the title of your project.
  • Sponsors - See these definitions for help.
    1. Group - Name the sponsoring Collaboratory Group.
    2. Client - List any clients and discuss any changes. All application projects have one or more clients, but some exploration and research projects will have no client.
  • Authors
    1. Team advisor - Faculty member or other adviser sponsoring a project. The lead (or sole) author of an exploration project goes here, even if the project has no student team members.
    2. Team leader - Outgoing student leader of the project team.
    3. Team leader elect - Student who will lead the project team next year.
    4. List other student and non-student team members under the appropriate heading.
  • Progress report - Discuss what progress was made in the past year toward goals and deliverables, and whether or not the methods used were successful. Need help remembering what are goals, methods, and deliverables? Visit the project proposal help page.
    1. IF this is the first planning article for this project after the proposal, discuss progress made since you began. Reference actual goals, methods, and deliverables from the project proposal.
    2. IF your team prepared a planning article last year, list the team's deliverables for the previous year and organize your discussion under those headings.
      • Were your methods, the work you did to help meet project goals, effective?
      • What progress was made toward the goals for this project?
  • Status assessment (AS NEEDED) - Complete this section if you are recommending changes to the goals, methods, deliverables or time line of the project.
    1. Discuss any events or new data from the past year that will affect the direction or time line of the project.
    2. State any recommended changes in the global goals, methods, or deliverables promised in the proposal, and why they are needed. Please use the SMART guidelines to develop your statements.
    3. Say how these changes could or will affect the time line for the project. If you are proposing changes to the time line then please include a revised time line.
  • Work Needed - Discuss what you recommend the team accomplish in the next year. Note that these recommendations are a guideline, and may be reevaluated as the future leader plans for the next year. Be specific and use SMART guidelines to develop your recommendations.
  • Annual Plan - List work activities planned for the year to move your team closer to achieving the goals for this project (as stated in the proposal or revised). Click here for definitions of goals, activities, and deliverables. Please use the SMART guidelines to develop your statements.
    1. What ACTIVITIES (methods) will you undertake this year to help meet project goals? If your project is an application, please reference one or more phases of the application development process.
    2. What DELIVERABLES will you generate this year? These are tangible outcomes your project team will generate to advance overall project goals.
  • Time line for the year - Provide a sequence and timetable of milestones for achieving this year's goals and realizing this year's deliverables. Click here for help. Authors familiar with Gantt charting are encouraged to create one, but a Gantt chart is not required. Here is a Gantt chart tool used in the Collaboratory, or you may access Microsoft Project from Frey computer labs. Gantt Project files are best uploaded as a .jpg.
  • Personnel update
    1. What academic disciplines and other skills are needed to complete the work you have planned for this year?
    2. How many student team members will you need this year?
      • Which students are leaving the work at the end of this year?
      • How many additional student workers will you need in the new year, and in what areas?
    3. Will your adviser continue with the project, and if not then what plans are you making for a new adviser?
  • Facilities update
    1. Are there any changes in the space needs of the project?
      • Are you able to give space to another team?
      • If you need additional space, how to you propose to meet that need?
    2. Are there changes in your equipment needs?
      • Is there Collaboratory or other College equipment that you can return for use by others?
      • What new equipment needs do you have to complete your work this year?
  • Don't forget - Verify "yes" or "no" that you have or have not completed the following.
    1. Update your project article on the wiki.
    2. Update your 10 or more "best photographs" of the project work in the Cumulus database.
  • Budget - Please include a link to an uploaded budget worksheet (the Student Director will take care of this once your planning article and budget are approved)

Preparing the budget worksheet

Fill out the Project budget worksheet here


  1. Sign the planning article - The Team Advisor must sign the Project planning article. This is done by putting in four tildes "~~~~" after the name in the "Team Advisor" space in the article. This will leave a timestamp signature that looks like this: Wbellows 14:40, 5 August 2008 (UTC).
  2. Email the materials - Please e-mail your Project budget and a link to your planning article to the Student Director of the Collaboratory. Click here to learn more about decision making in the Collaboratory
    • The Leaders Committee reviews and provides feedback on the plan and budget, and makes a recommendation to the Executive Committee.
    • The Executive Committee reviews and approves the budget.

Approved on 2007 04-26

Leaders Committee: 2007 04-26
Personal tools