The project outline is the last step you have to undergo when you are involved in project design and planning. It provides a summary of the project, sometimes called a project brief, and describes in broad terms the goals and in specific terms, the objectives of the project. It also lists down the activities and strategies to achieve the project objectives, the target outcomes, the project evaluation techniques, project monitoring system to be employed and the proposed budget.
A good project outline is one of the bases for funding approval, therefore it should be concise, well-written and include all the important details in an easy to follow and understandable format.
- The first thing you need to do is write a problem statement. This describes the problems that triggered the need for a project design.
- Follow that up with the goals or aims of the project. The statement should describe the ultimate aim of the project, in broad terms. They will define the expected results based on the objectives that you have set.
- Create specific statements for the objectives of the project. Objectives are the details on what you are going to do to achieve the project goals. This is where you outline the strategies and activities you will employ to eventually achieve the long-term project goals. You will define the changes that will eventuate through the employment of strategies to solve the problems that the project aims to address. The objectives will provide the answers to the problem that was stated in the problem statement. Careful thinking is required when you write the objectives because these are the ones that will deliver measurable and realistic results.
- You should include the ways in which you plan to evaluate the success or failure of the project, with set baselines and indicators in which to measure the results against. The monitoring system should help demonstrate the effectiveness of the project strategies that will be employed and make the project accountable to the donors and supporters.
- A good project outline should include a description of the monitoring system that will be used to oversee the implementation and progress of the project. It should also include a provision for implementing alternative methods should some of the activities fail to deliver the desired results at any point in the project implementation. The monitoring system will check if the project is on schedule, chart its progress and get feedback from target audiences.
- Your project outline should also include a workable timeline in which to implement the project from start to finish and measure results.
- Finally, you should include a proposed budget to effectively implement the project. This should include a detailed breakdown on how you plan to allocate finances, and your contingency measures. The budget must follow the guidelines set by the donors and sponsors.
The outline of your project should clearly define what should be achieved by the implementation of the project, what and how you are going to achieve the aim, ways to monitor, supervise and measure the effectiveness of the project as well as how much you need to launch the project and make it work.