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Module 1: Research Strategy and Planning

Topic 4: Basic research project management principles

The first three topics in this module provided you with some guidance on how to create a research project concept and proposal. This final topic explores the process of planning and managing the research project to ensure its successful achievement. It will examine the different tools and strategies that can help you design and manage your research project, and will outline the key coordination issues you need to address. The topic will primarily focus on the various elements you need to build into your research project plan, but it also provides a broad overview of how these same principles translate into the implementation and evaluation processes throughout your project life-cycle. This topic therefore provides a framework from which the other FRLP modules operate.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this topic you should be able to:

  • Identify simple project management principles applicable to research projects;
  • Apply basic project management tools to plan and control your project;
  • Manage projects to ensure they remain in-scope, within funding limits, and of high quality;
  • Deploy your research team and resources more effectively to achieve the project outcomes;
  • Develop an effective project plan to guide all stages of the research project;
  • Adapt research projects which do not readily fit into a project management framework into a state in which they can be managed readily; and
  • Outline how unstructured research projects can be supported through project management methodologies.

Topic content

4.1 Research project managemen

4.2 Project management process

4.3 Project management areas

4.4 Developing a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

4.5 Employing the WBS in your project planning and management

4.6 Overview of project management strategies: design phase

4.7 Overview of project management strategies: planning phase

4.8 Overview of project management strategies: implementation phase

4.9 Overview of project management strategies: closeout and evaluation phase

4.10 Creating a project plan


There are three activities in this topic – Activities 5, 6, and 7.

Activity 5 is part of Topic 4.2.

Activity 6 is part of Topic 4.4.

Activity 7 – Creating your own project plan
(Complete Activity 7 after you have worked through all the subtopics.)

If you have a project of your own, review the project plan elements listed in Topic 4.12 and consider what would go into your project plan. You can download a project plan template via one of the links below to assist with this.

Project Management Template (MS Word Format)

Project Management Template (RTF Format)

If you do not yet have a project ready to build as a plan, consider the types of issues or challenges that the ‘Hi tech in the outback’ project might need to address in order to develop a plan.

We will explore the template in the Workshop from these two different perspectives, so please come prepared with some ideas and thoughts.

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