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Budgeting an agile, collaborative project

Charlotte Lamb

So far, this phase of My Best Life has been funded by a generous grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. As this is a collaborative project, we expect a significant proportion of our budget for this project to go to partners delivering the work with us.

However, it is difficult to allocate funding to partners when the scope of the work is still being defined. At the same time – we don’t expect partners to work on this without adequate resources to do so!

So, we are breaking various parts of the project down into stages. We have started by developing a brief for the first stage of user involvement. This outlines what this phase will look like, and the various activities within it. Partners will take on parts of the brief, and suggest the resources required to do this. Partner budgets for this stage will be based on this.

This is opposed to setting a budget for the whole project, from the start. Whilst this gives partners more security, and a clearer idea of spend over time – it isn’t possible if you are designing the scope of the work and deciding on the levels of involvement of different partners as you go.

We hope this solution will allow partners to be involved and to plan for this stage – but without us having to set a budget for the whole project just yet. The downside, is that longer term budgeting and fundraising is harder to plan for. But it feels like the best solution for this agile project for now.

Have you had experience of budgeting for an agile, collaborative project? How did you manage the budget?

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(Capt) Mike Smith

The answer has to be ‘with difficulty’, and ongoing for a long term.
Especially when the budget for marketing a developmental project is not quantified, as you so rightly say.
This is especially tricky when the aim of a developing NGO environmental project is specific, essential, broad in scope, but achievable over a long period. And in theory at least fiscally sustainable once up and running.
Getting it started, the first step on the ladder, the ball rolling, achieving aims and outcomes, in our case the virtual circle of ‘SEA PR‘ planet-wide by founding ~ blue SEAS ~ green ACRE ~ introducing low carbon tidal turbine methodologies in energy, transport and environmental biodiversity;
Recovering plastics and microplastics from the seas, water column, and sea bed can largely be achieved by circa 2050 for a relatively low initial outlay of ?– take a guess…ask a question!

It is also too easy to mix metaphors! Could do with some marketing and admin help please.
 also on Wicki; S9L (AVR Group) Mike CEO