Permaculture Project Managment Processes

The Rak Tamachat 10 step Project Managment Processes as used in our Permaculture Consultancy Service is the basis for the Managment of Permaculture Master Planning Projects run at Rak Tamachat and for our clients.

We hope that the process will help our students and others utilize a professional process in their Permaculture Master Planning.

In the Permaculture Master Planning Process, we will use the tools and skills of Project Managment so that we can manage a project which defines a Temporary Event that has “A defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources“.

When we define the term project in our Permaculture Master Plans we are defining a unique

And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.

The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market — all are projects.

And all must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning, and integration that organizations need.

Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.

Permaculture Project Managment Processes

The Permaculture Project Management processes fall into five groups:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing

1.   Project Initiating

The Project Initiation Phase is the 1st phase of the Permaculture Project Management Life Cycle. The Project Initiation Pase involves starting up a new Permaculture Project.

When we start a new Permaculture project we define the projects:

  • objectives;
  • scope;
  • purpose and
  • deliverables to be produced.

You will also at this time need to identify or hire your project team. You may also, depending on the size and scope of your project, need to set up a Project Office and complete a thorough review of the project, to gain approval to begin the next phase.

The Permaculture Initiation Phase is comprised of “six key steps” that will need to perform to properly initiate a new Permaculture Project.

These Permaculture Project Initiation Steps are outlined below in a graphical diagram.

The Project Initiation Phase is the most crucial phase of the Permaculture Project Life Cycle, as it’s the phase in which you define your scope and hire your team.

As Permaculturist we appreciate that only with a clearly defined scope and a suitably skilled team, can we ensure success.

In order to assure your success, we have included the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Design Process Project Initiation Templates. We hope these templates will give you all the tools you need to initiate your new Permaculture Projects.

The Rak Tamchat Permaculture Project Initiation Templates will describe to you the steps you will need to take when initiating your Permaculture project.

The Project Initiation Templates include practical examples, tips, and hints. When you use these templates, you’ll gain a head-start and never have to start-from-scratch.

By following the steps described in the templates, you will quickly and easily be able to create all of the deliverables needed to initiate your new project today.

  1. Bussiness Case Development
  2. Feasibility Study Preparation
  3. Project Charter Establishment
  4. Project Team Appointments
  5. Project Office Set-up
  6. Project Phase Reviews


2.   Planning

In Permaculture Project Managment we use what is known as a Project Management Plan (PMP). The PMP is a formal, approved by the client document which we use in Permaculture to manage our Permaculture Project Execution in line with the Permaculture Master Planning Design Process.

The PMP documents the actions necessary to:

  • define;
  • prepare;
  • integrate and
  • coordinate the various project planning activities.

The PMP defines how the Permaculture Project will be:

  • executed;
  • monitored;
  • controlled and
  • closed.

The PMP is updated on an ongoing basis throughout the course of the project.

One of the most important aspects of professional Permaculture Project Managment is assuring clear and transparent communication with the stakeholders of the Permaculture Project. The PMP allows for the Permaculturist a wat to communicate with all involved parties in our Permaculture Project and share a clear understanding of where the project is and where it is going.

The PMP is NOT a project schedule. A project schedule lists planned dates for performing tasks and activities to meet milestones identified in the project plan.

The PMP should include the following Sections:

  1. Project Scope
  2. Project Constraints
  3. Project Approach
  4. Project Organization
  5. Key Roles and Responsibilities
  6. Project Key Stakeholders
  7. Risk/Issue/Dependency Review
  8. Preliminary Schedule of Deliverables
  9. Preliminary Project Financials
  10. Project Communication
  11. Change Management
  12. Change Management Request Process
  13. Risk and Issue Management
  14. Financial Management
  15. Next Steps

PMP Sections

1. Project Scope

Business Purpose, Objectives, and Goals:

A concise statement of the project purpose, objectives, and goals. This information should come from the Project

Problem / Opportunity Statement:

Problem/Opportunity Table from the Project Charter.


2. Project Constraints


Indicate key deliverables, requirements and/or functionality that the project is committed to delivering. Information should come from Project Charter.


Indicate key deliverables, requirements and/or functionality that is explicitly excluded from the project’s scope. Information should come from Project

Key Assumptions:

Specify any assumptions that are driving the project approach.

3. Project Approach

Provide a high-level overview of the project approach, including:

  • Whether to build or buy;
  • Whether the product(s) of the project will be delivered iteratively (e.g. phases/releases/tracks, etc.);
  • Whether significant, discrete work packages will be managed as official subprojects.

4. Project Organization

5.   Key Roles and Responsibilities

Project Steering Committee:

  • Represents executive stakeholder interest in the project;
  • Provides strategic advice to Project Sponsor and Business Owner regarding trade-off decisions and issue resolution;
  • Acts as Change Control Board for project change requests.

Actively participates in regular assessment of overall project health discussions and meetings to ensure:

  • Project vision is on track;
  • Approval of Change Requests;
  • The impact to customer/employee experience;
  • On track with budget allocation;

Project Sponsor:

  • Secures organizational support and funding for the project;
  • Defines strategic objective of the project;
  • Participates in project level governance;
  • Makes final, critical project decisions, when needed.

Business Owner:

  • Defines project scope, objectives and success criteria;
  • Provides direction and high-level business requirements;
  • Provides oversight of the integrity of the value proposition throughout the project lifecycle;
  • Provides oversight of project progress and direction through review and approval of key work products;
  • Participates in project-level governance activities;
  • Resolves escalated business issues;
  • Accountable for Business Case;
  • Contract Management;

IT/Technical Owner:

  • Provides oversight of the overall quality of the technology deliverables;
  • Ensures adherence to technical governance processes;
  • Resolves escalated technology issues, including technology resource contention.

Overall Project Manager:

  • Accountable for overall execution, management, and delivery of a project (scope, budget, and schedule);
  • Establishes and facilitates the project level governance team;
  • Provides leadership of project team;
  • Responsible for project artifacts;
  • Plans and manages project activities;
  • Manages project schedule and costs;
  • Tracks and reports project progress;
  • Manages stakeholders;
  • Manages and resolves issues and risks;

Technical Project Manager:

  • Manages IT services regarding the development and implementation of the project
  • Coordinates departmental or cross-functional technical teams
  • Ensures completion of the technical deliverables within the triple constraints
  • Coordinates and aggregates project sizing efforts across IT
  • Manages IT activities and tasks and updates project schedules
  • Supports overall project manager in monitoring and reporting project health and status
  • Responsible for procuring hardware and software

Business Analyst:

  • Investigates and analyzes business problems and manages the discovery and documentation of
  • Facilitates communication between the business and technical teams
  • Responsible for Test Management

Project Team Members:

  • Perform tasks as assigned in the Project Plan

6.   Project Key Stakeholders

Strive to identify as many stakeholders as possible, as early in the project as possible.

7.   Risk / Issue / Dependency Review

Review critical issues and risks already identified. If no mitigation strategy exists, discuss steps being
taken to create one. This is a high-level overview, not a detailed listing of issues and risks.

8. Preliminary Schedule of Deliverables

Add additional tables if the project includes multiple phases, subprojects, etc., that each has their own lifecycle.

9.    Preliminary Project Financials

10.   Project Communication

Project Document Storage:

All project documents will be stored on SharePoint, (include link)

Project Events/Team Availability:

Team events (including availability impacts such as vacations) will be tracked on the SharePoint site (at Project Manager’s discretion)

Project Tracking:

Critical project milestones, resources, signoffs, governance activities, risk/issues/change requests will be tracked

Outlook Distribution Lists:

(if any)

11.   Change Management

Even positive change needs to be controlled if the project is to meet its objectives on time and within budget.

Change Management helps a project team ensure successful delivery of the business case.

Example Statements:

This project will conform to Rak Tamachat’s standard Change Management Process:

Different aspects of the project will be subject to change control during different phases:

The following signatures are required for the following aspects of this project:

Scope Changes:

  • [Name]
  • [Name]

Financial Changes:

  • [Name]
  • [Name]

Timeline Changes:

  • [Name]
  • [Name]


12.   Change Management Request Process


13.   Risk and Issue Management

The information below is static. Issues are documented and expectation is that these are reviewed on a regular basis with the Business Owner, project team and other key stakeholders as appropriate.

14.   Financial Management

Financial Baselines:

End of Planning:

Financial estimates are baselined in the Planning Business Case. The expectation is the estimate will be plus or minus 25% in terms of accuracy.

End of Execution Design sub-phase:

Financial estimates are fully baselined in the Execution Business Case. The expectation is the estimate will be plus or minus 10% in terms of accuracy.

Status Reporting:

When financials are reported on in the monthly status report, the last project financial baseline is what is used when determining colors. The color guidelines should be used as a reference.

15.   Next Steps

Add activities and Milestones that are coming up in the near term and would be of interest to the audience
for the Project Management Plan.

  • Activity 1
  • Activity 2


  • Milestone 1
  • Milestone 2

3. Resource Analysis in Permaculture Design

Permaculture as a Design Science utilizes many forms of Design Analysis to assure that all aspects of a Permaculture Master Plan Project are given adequate thought and resource allocation. At Rak Tamachat we have broken the down the analysis of our resources that are used to derive our yields into 10 Distinct Areas of Permaculture Design Analysis. These areas form the basis of our design analysis as used in the Rak Tamchat Permaculture Consultancy Service and are offered here to help our students and others wishing to make Professional Permaculture Master Plans.



0.   Introduction to Resources and Yields in Permaculture Design

Zone Analysis in Permaculture Design

Sector Analysis in Permaculture Design

1.   Functional Analysis in Permaculture Design

2.   Economic Analysis in Permaculture Design

3.   Patterns Analysis in Permaculture Design

4.   Sun Angle Analysis in Permaculture Design

5.   Microclimate Analysis in Permaculture Design

6.   Niche Analysis in Permaculture Design

7.   Water Harvesting Analysis in Permaculture Design

8.   Plant Species Analysis in Permaculture Design

9.   Animal Species Analysis in Permaculture Design

10. Community Dynamics Analysis in Permaculture Design



0.   Introduction to Resources and Yields in Permaculture Design

In Permaculture Design we focus on the identification of the site and locally available resources that can be used in our Permaculture Designs. The resources that are available to us allow us as Permaculture Designers to create interactions between different elements and resources. One way we like to look at this at Rak Tamachat is to think about inputs and outputs. The input and output analysis model help us identify what is used as a resource or input in one system and comes from the output or waste product of another system.

We know as Permaculturists that there is no waste in nature. As such, nature uses the output or waste of say a cow (manure) as the input or resource of the compost pile. We do not see the cow manure as a waste product that when accumulated is described as a pollutant (the only way to measure pollution is in parts per million / quantity, thus the solution to pollution is dilution).

What is seen as Resources in Permaculture Design?

  • Any energy entering the system:
    • sun;
    • wind;
    • rain;
    • life;
    • technology.
  • The Designer must integrate these:
    • energies into useful reserves to be used by the system.
  • Design ‘use points’ to route resources and recycle them.

Designers, please note:

Information is only a potential resource till it is put to use.

Types of Resources

  1. Those which increase by modest use;
  2. Those affected by use;
  3. Those which disappear or degrade if not used;
  4. Those reduced by use;
  5. Those which pollute or destroy other other resources is used.
  • Categories 1 to 3 are produced in natural systems
  • Categories 4 and 5 are produced by urban/industrial development


What are yields in Permaculture Design?

Any surplus over and above the system needs is considered a yield.

Types of Yields in Permaculture Design

Product Yield

Products derived from the system by the system (surplus):

  • fruit;
  • eggs;
  • hay;
  • fish;
  • etc…….

Energy Yield

The energy that is conserved, stored and generated energy surplus to the system:

  • pond;
  • passive solar heating;
  • wind mill;
  • etc…….

Invisible Yields

Health, values and ethics

Designers, Please Note:

The Designer’s Role is to:

  • Store;
  • Direct;
  • Conserve;
  • Reuse;
  • Convert….. Energy through Design to Yield Surplus.

Systems Yield

The sum total of surplus energy:

  • produced by;
  • stored;
  • conserved;
  • reused; or
  • converted by the design.

Energy is in surplus once the system itself has available all its needs for growth reproduction maintenance.

Designers, Please Note:

The true accounting of yield takes into consideration both upstream costs (energy) and downstream costs (health).


The Role of Life in Yield

Living things, including people, are the only effective intervening systems to capture resources on this planet and to produce a yield.

  • The modern paradigm (consumption and sale of energy) is energy demanding;
  • Permaculture attempts to create energy producing systems.


Broad Strategies that create Yield in Permaculture Design

Farm Strategies that create Yield in Permaculture Design

Strategies for Extending Yields through time:

  • Different fruiting times
  • Energy conservation for late use
  • Long life yielding species
  • Long Term Natural Capital
  • Storage
  • Trade

Understanding the Maximum Product Yield?

The Big Pumpkin” fallacy – Food on steroids

A better approach – crop mixes and fail-safe systems that maintain constant value as subsistence

  • High food value per volume;
  • Increasing Product Yield;
  • Genetic selection.


Yields and Resources

The way to obtain yield is to be conservative with resource use.

The aim of Functional Design in Permaculture is to obtain yields or provide surplus resources.

Designers, Please Note:

Yields are obtained by successfully harnessing resources and connecting them functionally to elements that produce yield.

Diversity in Permaculture Design

  • Diversity itself does not guarantee stability or yield;
  • The diversity of function is the key;
  • Multiple functions bring order and develop resources.

The diversity of resource management is essential to system stability, resiliency, and yields.

Designers, Please Note:

Complexity in the sense of Powerful Interconnections is what the Permaculture Designer is trying to achieve in Sustainable Food Systems.


Key Principles and Policies of Resource and Yield Managment:

The Principle of Enough

Ethical management of resources is essential to life systems.

The Principle of Disorder

Any system or organism can only accept the quantity of a resource which can be used productively.

Designers, Please Note:

The oversupply of a resource becomes a form of chronic pollution.

The policy of Resource Management

A responsible human society bans the use of resources which permanently reduce yields of sustainable resources


Mollisionian Permaculture Principles as related to Resource Managment and Yields Management:

  • Work with nature, rather than against the natural elements, forces, pressures, processes, agencies, and evolutions, so that we assist rather than impede natural developments.
  • The problem is the solution; everything works both ways. It is only how we see things that make them advantages or not (if the wind blows cold, let us use both its strength and its coolness to advantage). A corollary of this principle is that everything is a positive resource; it is just up to us to work out how we may use it as such.
  • Make the least change for the greatest possible effect.
  • The Yield of the system is theoretically unlimited. The only limit on the number of uses of a resource possible within a system is in the limit of the information and the imagination of the designer.
  • Everything gardens, or has an effect on its environment.

Master Plan Portfolio Development Assignment

Make a list of resources available in your system … How will you catch store conserve direct and use these resources

What yields will your system have what yields would you like to have and what resources are required to produce those yields.


Zone Analysis in Permaculture Design

What are Zones in Permaculture Design?

Zone are areas where elements are placed according to how often elements need us or how often we need elements.

Zones are determined according to the frequency of use.

They are visualized on your design map in site-specific shapes and locations.

By placing our components according to the degree of need or use, we save ourselves time and energy.

Our sites should fit our natural movements, work with our nature… not against it…  lessen the work we need to do.

So we place what we use most closest to us, and what we use the least, the furthest away…of course this will vary according to different site constraints.

Zones are about organizing elements so as to conserve energy most efficiently.

Zones of Usage in Permaculture Design:

  1. Zone 00: You
  2. Zone 0: Your Home
  3. Zone 1: Visited Every day
  4. Zone 2: Visited Almost Every day
  5. Zone 3: Visited Every Couple of Days
  6. Zone 4: Semi-Wild
  7. Zone 5: Wild

1. Zone 00: You

Use: all the time!

Area: Your body and personal bubble. You and your relationships

Components: Physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental bodies

Life Systems: digestive bacteria’s and microflora, neurochemicals, hormones, enzymes and blood cells

Techniques: nutrition, exercise, relationships, contemplation, massage, professional fulfillment, and love

Water: Drink 3-4 liters of pure drinking water a day

Functions: physically strong and resilient, emotionally centered, mentally clear.

Goals: Maintain overall health and self- awareness.

Designers, Please Note:

The term “00” is not as per Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual. It is included here for general reference. To learn more about the reasoning behind not using it please see this critique.

2.   Zone 0: Your Home

Most used space! This is where good natural house design comes in.

What are the components you want in your home, or attached to your home?

What sort of plants do you want?

What techniques will you use to create components or achieve goals?

What water systems will be active in your home? Greywater recycling? Rainwater harvesting?

Use: almost every day and night

Area: living space

Urban Area: living space

Components: home kitchen, sleeping areas, communications, toilets, storage, relaxing, etc…..

Plants: herbs, indoor plants for purifying air, aquaculture, worm farm, recycling station, compost pre-station, etc…..

Techniques: relative location, indoor gardening, sustainable technologies, food preparation, plumbing, electrical, natural building, etc…..

Water: indoor or underground water storage, etc……

Animals: pets to provide companionship and eat food scraps, etc….

Functions: to provide a warm, safe, healthy space for living, eating, and sleeping, etc……

Goals: conserve energy, save heat, produce some food, store food, process food, provide all energy needed from within the system, etc……

3.   Zone 1: Visited almost every day

Those components in our design that need continual observation, frequent visits, work input, complex techniques (pruned gardens, fully mulched, chickens, culinary herbs) These need to be placed very close to hand or we waste a great deal of time and energy visiting them.

Use: daily

Area: space immediately surrounding the home

Urban Area: yard

Components: small greenhouse, trellis, patio, bird feeder, workshop, storage shed, bathroom, cold frames, worm and compost bins, small compost station, propagation areas, stone wall, shade-house, nursery, etc…….

Plants: herbs, salad greens, flowers, soft fruit, dwarf trees, low shrubs, etc……

Techniques: intensive planting, sheet mulching, dense planting, espaliering, abundant planting, polycultures, guilds, functional pathways, etc….

Water: rain barrel, small ponds, grey water, etc…..

Watering: intensive irrigation, etc…

Animals: wild birds, rabbits, poultry, guinea pigs, soil organisms, beneficial insects – small animals help with weeding and maintance, etc…..

Food Shed: home garden, greenhouse, etc….

Energy Shed: energy captured and stored on your property, etc…..

Functions: microclimates, daily food, and flowers, social space

Goals: reduce energy and water needs, harness natural resources, create a harmonious place to love, live and work.


4.   Zone 2 – Visited almost every day

Use: Visited almost every day

Area: A bit further than zone 1…

Urban Area: walking distance ‘pedosphere’

Components: barn, tool shed, shop, wood storage, smokehouse, large compost, small orchard, chicken coop, beehives, main crop beds, terraces, small ponds, hedges, trellis.

Plants: staple and canning foods, small orchards, fire retardant

Techniques: Heavy mulching, cover crops, seasonal pruning, drying and smoking food, staking of plants, free-ranging poultry, high diversity of plants

Water: well, pond, irrigation, swales

Functions: home food production, market crops, plant propagation

Goals: intensive production, cycling energy




1.   Functional Analysis in Permaculture Design




4. Systems Planning

In Permaculture Design the major focus is on creating integrated systems which are used to move energy throughout the site. The purpose of the integrated system design is to funnel energy from the sun, wind, water into plants and animals.

This allows the Permaculturist to utilize ecological principles such as trophic levels. Trophic Levels are the position that an organism occupies in a food chain – what it eats, and what eats it.

Permaculturists understand that in nature there is a natural “economy of energy” that ultimately rests upon solar energy.


Restricted in Permaculture usage to any system that provides or conserves sufficient energy, over its normal life expectancy, to build and maintain itself, and to give a yield surplus to those requirements. Essentially, any system which amortizes its costs in energy terms.

At Rak Tamachat Permaculture Consultancy we have worked to build out a portfolio of sustainable systems that can be drawn upon in our Permaculture Master Planning. This allows us to pick the most appropriate systems for any given site based on the sites needs and the needs of the client.

Sustainable Integrated Farming

Principle 6. Inputs to Outputs

At Rak Tamachat we follow the ZERI (Zero Emissions Research Initiatives) Sustainable Development Thought Processes. We know the five kingdoms of nature produce no waste and we strive to replicate nature in our systems.

On the Rak Tamahcat Tree of Life which is used to help graphically demonstrate the Permaculture Principles, we can see the Rak Tamachat Icon for Inputs and outputs.

In Permaculture Design we use a design technique of integrated our energy flows by focussing on the inputs and outputs of each system.

The outputs of one system (waste) become the inputs of the next system (resources).

Energy Flow Diagram of a Model Integrated Permaculture Farm


Generalized Total Integrated Permaculture Farm System

(Energy Inputs ==> Energy Flows / Stores ==> Product Outputs)

Total Integrated Permaculture Farm System Inputs

  • Solar Energy capture in Biomass;
  • Solar Energy capture with Solar Panels;
  • Solar Energy capture with Poly-tunnels / Greenhouse;
  • Solar Energy capture with thermal mass structures;
  • Wind Energy capture with Small Wind Turbine;
  • Wind Energy capture in Biomass of Trees;
  • Water Energy capture with Rain Water Harvesting in Tanks, Ponds, Soils, Biomass, Animals;
  • Water Energy capture with Micro-Hydro from Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting on gutter downspouts;
  • Water Energy capture in Biomass of Plants and Animals;
  • Geothermal Energy capture with ground/pond loop geothermal heat exchange;
  • Recyclable Organic Materials from Resturants, etc…. brought to the farm.


Total Integrated Permaculture Farm System Energy Flows

Solar Energy Capture in Biomass

  • Grass Pastures energy capture in Biomass flows into Animal Systems
  • Diverse Annual Crops energy capture in Biomass flows into People Systems
  • Diverse Annual Crops residue/processes waste flows into:
    • Animal Systems;
    • Composting Systems;
    • Mushroom Systems;

Total Farm System Outputs

  • The surplus of Energy from Solar, Wind, Bio-gas Electrical Generation;
  • Surplus Pure Water Run-off from Rainwater Harvesting Program;





Below is the listing of the Rak Tamachat Sustainable Systems:


1.   Energy Harvesting Systems

2.   Water Harvesting Systems

2.   Soil Fertility Systems

4.   Plant Systems

5.   Animal Systems

6.   Natural Building Systems

7.   Food Preservation Systems

8.   Recycling Systems

9.   Transport Systems

10.   Urban Systems


1.   Energy Harvesting Systems








Wind Power

Hydro Power






5. Base Maps Creation

6. Phasing / Budgeting / Scheduling

7. Project Implementation

8. Monitoring & Control

9. Project Closing