GOBRADIME is another excellent design framework well suited to permaculture design projects. Below I’ve fleshed out each step to provide a jumping off point for using it in the Team Pulse Design Process.


  1. Goals
    • ACTION: Write down a list of goals and prioritize them. Make sure your goals are measurable. Consider: diversity,
      accessibility, abundance…
    • ASK:
      • What do you need?
      • What do you want to accomplish and why?
      • What outcomes would you like from your work?
      • Are these goals personal or collective?
  2. Observations/Objectives
    • ACTION: Look around you. Notice patterns (natural, personal, social, etc.). Look back at your list of goals and compare it to your observations. Now look again for patterns that relate
      directly to your goals. Note things that will help you develop pointed objectives to meet your goals.
    • ASK:
      • Is anyone else already doing something similar – what can you learn from
      • If you achieve your goals, who/what will benefit?
      • What are potential problems and challenges? Where and when must they be addressed and/or dealt with?
  3. Boundaries
    • ACTION: Locate and establish boundaries – edges, beginnings and endings. Property lines, energy flows, personal limits, legal issues, economic limits… Try to foresee barriers. If
      designing a space, draw up a base map. If creating a social/community project, consider cultural and personal boundaries. Set clear, realistic boundaries and communicate them to yourself and any group you may be working with.
    • ASK:
      • What is our timeline for completing our design/implementation/evaluation/return on investment?
      • What is our fiscal budget? What limitations and allowances do we have within this? Who has control of the purse strings? How do purchasing decisions get made?
      • If we have an investor – How involved are they in the design/implementation/evaluation/inhabitation of the project? What are our terms? What options do we have?
      • Where are the property lines?
      • Who is involved and what is expected of each person?
      • Where is the sun, wind, snow, water flow, sound, wildlife, fire, moonlight, views, neighbors, security risks etc.
      • What are the cultural barriers or nuances, if any, that need to be considered in the design?
  4. Resources 
    • ACTION: Look for what you need, and learn to need what you have. Glance back at your observations, and note what resources you have on-site – biological resources, waste/
      surplus materials, shared resources, and possible sources for others. If you cannot locate all the resources you’ll need at the start, consider accumulating them over time, and phasing them into your project as needed.
    • ASK:
      • What is already here?
      • What do we need that is not here?
      • When will we need it?
      • Do we have to buy it? If so, when? How much (make your estimate, then multiply by 1.5x)? Can we trade/barter for it? Can we grow it?
      • How much time can/will be allotted to any given piece of the project?
      • How can we accumulate resources passively? (i.e. call your local tree service companies and develop a relationship so they dump their wood chips on your property in a pre-designated area, gaining you carbon and saving them tipping fees at the dump)
  5. Analysis
    • ACTION: Pull everything together and start to synthesize (on both a theoretical and practical basis). Several options for analysis include: 1) read through everything and brainstorm a list of tasks and projects; 2) Zone and Sector analysis; 3) Input-Output analysis (look for overlaps between elements).
    • ASK:
      • What are the yields and how can they be improved?
      • Where are the imbalances and how can they be corrected?
      • What work can we avoid doing?
      • What are the best and worst places for everything?… You’ll likely end up refining/reformulating some of your goals at this point.
  6. Design
    • ACTION: Create a multiple-phase design. Consider timelines, task assessments, and prioritization. Go through your base maps, map layers, and lists, and boil them down to discrete tasks that can be accomplished in succession over time. Document it all, so you can go back and see how you’re doing later. Try backcasting (start with what you want the “end” to look like, then reverse engineer how you got there step by step).
    • ASK:
      • What is the end goal of this project?
      • What principles can we use now to steer our design towards success? (HINT** Principles are statements that when followed truthfully MUST result in successfully meeting the goals of the project)
      • What are priorities for implementation? Time-stack your implementation to get Nature’s broad shoulders carrying as much of the load as possible as soon as possible.
      • What is your cash flow model if the design is for-profit? How quickly does it need to be paying for itself?
      • Who is responsible? Delegate explicitly so that everyone involved is clear on their own personal action items and what is expected of them.
  7. Implementation
    • ACTION: This is the time to stop writing and planning, and start DOING. Post your maps and lists in a central location and refer to them often as you begin your work. Take a few notes as you go to assist in later evaluation. Pace yourself – don’t get consumed or burn-out! This step includes delegation – don’t take it all on yourself if you can get help. Consider ideas that come up during the work that might alter your plans/actions, and integrate those that feel right. Use the Team Pulse Design Process to work in measurable, manageable pulses that are organized, efficient and effective.
  8. Maintenance/Monitoring/Marketing
    • ACTION: Find and record successes and problems with the design as you implement the project, so you can work them into the refined design the next time around. Keep notes for yourself – some people like to develop detailed forms to keep track of things, and others just jot things down here and there – whatever works for you or your group. The more data you
      have about your project’s successes and failures, the better you will be able to gain support for it (i.e. grant funding, media support, investment etc.).
    • ASK:
      • What are the correct variables that, when measured, will tell us if we are being successful or not? What measurements do we use for these variables? How often do we measure them?
      • How will we connect with our target market/community?
  9. Evaluation/Enjoyment
    • ACTION: After you have identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges, evaluate your progress. Evaluation is key to a sustainable and realistically evolving plan, and it is of the utmost importance that we each set aside enough time to effectively and productively evaluate our work against our original goals and against the ethics and ideals we have chosen. As you evaluate, you will naturally feed back into step one of the GOBRADIME process – you’ll discover new goals and ideas, resources and boundaries…
    • ASK:
      • What have we accomplished since we last checked in? Always mind the gap! It is easy to get sucked into always having something more to do – consciously schedule time to appreciate all that has been accomplished.
      • What is working? What is not? What can we stop doing? What do we need to start doing? What would happen if we stopped doing X, Y, Z?
      • Do an 80/20 analysis. Which of our efforts produce large yields, and which do not? Which can be pruned to save you time, energy and money? Which deserve additional investment and energy?

That’s GOBRADIME! Use this design framework in the Team Pulse Design Process.


Sources: http://eppg2011spring-summerpdc.wikispaces.com/file/view/GOBRADIME-1.pdf

Food Not Lawns – How To Turn Your Yard Into A Garden And Your Neighborhood Into A Community – Heather Flores

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