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Planning the Project

In this stage, you gain clarity on the task at hand and define the precise activities needed to carry it out.

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Define Goals and Objectives

Identify Stakeholders

Define Activities

Define Goals and Objectives

First, make sure goals and objectives for the recovery process are clear. The recognition, the initial diagnosis, and the detailed diagnosis steps of the recovery process should have contributed greatly to everyone’s understanding of the goals and objectives. The recovery plan should finalize a consensus on these points and commit it to writing. The recovery plan should also define the goals and objectives for major initiatives (i.e., sub-projects) intended to contribute towards financial stability.

When defining goals and objectives, be sure to understand the criteria people are going to use to evaluate the project’s success. It is critical to know what people expect from the project. Recovery leadership is important for shaping expectations.

Identify Stakeholders

“Stakeholders” are those impacted by the recovery process and/or who can contribute to a positive outcome. Stakeholders also have expectations for what the recovery process will accomplish. If those expectations are not met, the recovery effort may be deemed a failure.

Stakeholders analysis is a key part of the recovery process and is described in more detail in Step 2 – Mobilization.

Define Activities

Use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to describe the tasks to be completed and the time required to do them. A WBS divides the major tasks into successively smaller tasks. Once it becomes impossible to subdivide tasks further, timeframes are assigned to tasks.  Here is an example of a WBS for long-term forecasting using GFOA’s MuniCast.

Here are some pointers for developing a WBS in the Planning phase of a project.
  • A WBS usually has between three and six levels of detail.
  • Don’t focus too much on the sequence of tasks. Sequencing will be addressed later. The WBS is used to build a framework for the project.
  • A good WBS will allow you to estimate how many people and the skills you will need for the project.

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