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Project management

In consultation with your supervisor, we strongly advise you to write a project management plan that can be modified during the life of your research project. 

A project management plan will help you define the project, set milestones and deadlines, clarify expectations and plans with your supervisory team, as well as help you stay on track and avoid pitfalls. 

The preparation of a project management plan requires you to think thoroughly about how you expect your project to unfold. This is a very useful planning process that will help you achieve your project objectives on time by utilising the resources you have available to you.

What’s in a typical research project plan?

A project management plan typically includes:

  • the project objectives;
  • the major activities that will have to take place to complete the project and thesis and any deadlines related to these;
  • an estimate of the time that is anticipated to complete each event or activity;
  • as estimate of the time that it is anticipated to complete the research project and thesis;
  • the resources (equipment, money, software) that will be required and the budget available for these;
  • communication processes that have been mutually agreed upon and will enable the project to be fulfilled (e.g. meeting schedules, processes for decision making within your supervisory team); and
  • risks to achieving the project objectives and plans for mitigating these risks (a risk assessment is prepared as part of your Confirmation of Candidature).

It may be useful to identify the date of submission of the bound thesis and to prepare a timeline of events and completion dates, working back from this deadline.

Getting help with your plan

The plan should be discussed with your supervisors to determine its adequacy and reviewed regularly to ensure its continued relevance and achievability.

Project management workshops are also held throughout the year to support you with preparing and utilising your plan.

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