Framework For Planning

The approach and methodology described is the standard starting place for every WTW project that begins with programming, planning or program verification, and elements of this process are used in all of our design processes. The methods can be tailored based on the level of stakeholder involvement in which your organization wishes to engage.


Robust coordination and regular communication between the client’s project manager and the WTW team lead are key for a timely and valuable project outcome.


For higher education projects, we strongly encourage significant involvement of students and student leaders so that the resulting project will enhance the student experience.


Your participants will experience a planning process of inclusion, collaboration, and engagement. Many of the best ideas will evolve during interactive dialogue with key contributors.

Comprehensive Input

A priority of our process is to collect ideas and share the planning process with a diverse group of building users, potential building users, maintenance staff, operations staff, client leadership groups, and community members. Input is collected through several processes and formats, some of which are operated consistently through the whole project and some only at discrete stages.

A Core Committee

A Core Committee

is a decision-making body of organizational leaders. This should be a small group, and it meets most frequently during the length of the project.

A Steering Committee

A Steering Committee

is a decision-making body of organizational leaders. This should be a small group, and it meets most frequently during the length of the project.

Focus Group Meetings

Focus Group Meetings

are work sessions with key stakeholders to both gather initial ideas and collect reactions to proposed solutions.

Open Forums

Open Forums

provide an opportunity to get community input, discuss big ideas, and have your project be transparent to those who are not involved in committees or focus group meetings.



can also be gathered via online surveys, targeted interviews, social media posts, and email blasts.


We find that structuring the programming or planning process around four major tasks maintains project momentum and keeps both the design team and steering committee on track to maintain the project schedule.


Evaluation & Assessment

Our understanding of your project begins with listening to your goals and then doing our homework. Our planning team must get to know the culture & community needs of the population your building will serve. At the outset, we will review any existing program or systems documentation and any long-term strategic plans or zoning that affect the project location.



This phase explores the program requests gathered during the initial campus visits and Steering Committee meetings to find synergies, flexibility, and how much space is needed to support building operations, user needs, and client goals. A preliminary program document will outline the projected space needs to be accommodated, and a program narrative will describe specific systems operations, necessary adjacencies, and best practices for your building type.



During this part of the process, visioning sessions will explore design concepts, massing options, stacking diagrams, program adjacencies, and any other "big picture" decisions that are critical to begin to assemble an Opinion of Probable Cost and construction timetable. This stage could also include picking a building site, locating primary entrances, or developing renovation phasing opportunities. This is the phase most tailored to the specific goals of your project.



When the conceptual plans developed during Visioning have been narrowed down to a final concept and project direction, we will finalize phasing strategies for renovation or swing space needs in the case of planned building replacement.

Upon review and approval of the final direction, we will commence production of a Final Report to document the study and its outcomes. The Final Report will incorporate a narrative with full graphic support of the planning process, as well as facilities assessments, summary finding from meetings and focus groups, a program summary with deficiencies and recommendations, concept alternatives, and the final project direction.


For more information about our services or to take the next step towards designing your project, please contact us!