See the Project Route Map; we suggest you download this and then adapt and develop your own from the beginning of the project. Alongside this and your business/mission plan, start to apportion dates to each element of the project. To do this you can either work forward to an opening date or start with an opening date and work back. Check this out with a number of people to see if it is realistic and achievable.
Most major builds will take about 12-18 months of actual erection on site. But before all that, how many years will it take to fundraise? And besides the fundraising, how long will it take to plan? Develop timelines for the following areas and put them together into a Gannt chart:
- Actual build on site
- Land acquisition, site surveys, planning permissions, legal checks etc…
- RIBA stages – see section 4.4 on Construction Process
- Fundraising landmarks
- Communications landmarks with your ‘stakeholders’
There is lots of software available for producing presentable timelines, or alternatively you can use the simple Excel Gantt Chart download, which gives you a suggested way of structuring a project into tasks. Aside from assigning realistic times to the right tasks, the other essential is that you understand and account for the interconnectedness of the different elements.
Timelines are never set in stone – be prepared for them to flex and change! Be aware that as the project proceeds the implications of change on other tasks can become increasingly significant, and therefore costly, whether in terms of time and/or money. The point of a planning a timeline is, like a good boy scout, to ‘Be Prepared!’