spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Planning Community Toolbox
USACE Castle
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Toolbox Home Link to Planner's Library Link to Project Delivery Link to People Link to Tools Link to Processes Link to Training Link to Search Link to Contact Us spacer
spacer Description spacer spacer

Red divider graphic

ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic

Red divider graphic

6-Step Planning Process

  • About Corps Planning

  • Additional Resources
    • Planning Primer
      The Planning Primer is a condensed version of the Planning Manual. It is an introduction to planning and how it is done using the six-step planning process for those who have no formal training in planning.
    • Planning Manual
      The Planning Manual describes what planning is and how it is best practiced by the Corps of Engineers. It focuses on water resources planning, though the principles, tools and methodologies discussed are equally applicable to other planning functions as well. The Manual walks planners through the six-step planning process used by the Corps and applicable to all the Corps' water resources and other planning functions.
    • Planning Manual Part II: Risk-Informed Planning
      The Planning Manual Part II: Risk Informed Planning documents the state of the practice in risk-informed planning for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Planning Community of Practice. It is a continuation of the original Planning Manual, published by the USACE Institute for Water Resources in 1996.
    • Environmental Evaluation and Compliance within the SMART Planning Framework
      This paper provides a general overview of how the environmental evaluation and compliance process fits into the SMART Planning framework. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) milestones are emphasized. More guidance to follow that is specific to the Endangered Species Act and other agency coordination milestones.
    • Feasibility Study Milestone Tools & Frameworks  Corps Castle
      Feasibility milestone presentation frameworks are available on the PCoP SharePoint and provide a starting point for study PDTs preparing for feasibility study milestone meetings.
    • Scoping Guide for Civil Works Planning Studies
      This guide highlights some of the key procedures, processes, and guidance that a study team should use during the initial scoping phase of a study, which is generally the first 90 to 120 days from the execution of the Feasibility Cost Share Agreement (FCSA). It especially highlights best practices for collaboration during initial scoping, which is critical for a study's success during this fast-paced timeframe when the foundation of the study is being developed. It also outlines best practices for confirming, refining, and adjusting the scope throughout the study. The guide does not discuss the process required in law for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping.

  • Guidance

  • Training


  • Planning Fundamentals: Plan Formulation Strategies and Required Plans (14 September)
    This webinar is part of the Planning Fundamental Series and offered an overview of plan formulation strategies and required plans. Senior Economist Nick Applegate (HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review) and Regional Integration Team (RIT) Planner Nate Richards (North Atlantic Division RIT) discussed the importance of critical thinking and the application of strategies that fit the study area and mission for successful plan formulation. The presenters reviewed different methods and examples for developing and executing effective plan formulation strategies, how the required alternatives in the new Planning Engineer Regulation 1105-2-103 (Policy for Conducting Civil Works Planning Studies) should factor into plan formulation, and common plan formulation problems to avoid.
  • A Decade of USACE Planning Charettes (27 July)
    This webinar provided a history of USACE Planning charettes, how they’ve changed over the years, best practices, and recommendations for improving their effectiveness moving forward. The content of this webinar was developed as part of presenter Jeff Herzog’s (New England District Planner and Planning Associates Cohort of 2023 member) Planning Associates Applied Learning Assignment, which focused on reviewing and recommending updates to the SMART Planning Charette Handbook, last updated in 2013.

  • Initial Plan Formulation Strategies (7 April)
    Mr. Leigh Skaggs, HQ Office of Water Project Review, presented this webinar focusing on Planning Step #3 of the six-step planning process  Formulation of Alternative Plans, and specifically, developing initial plan formulation strategies. Leigh discussed tools and helpful tips for this step, engaging the audience with polls, feedback via chat, etc.

 Corps Castle Item is restricted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CAC required. Document will open in a new window.