Variants of the project planning sequence or cycle are widely employed to provide the conceptual framework for investment in developing countries. However, the current models attempt to generalize activity sequences across a range of projects with differing objectives. They also tend to abstract project planning from its institutional context, and to make little allowance for the possibility that alternative approaches to organizational and managerial problems may be available. The article outlines a technique that facilitates the analysis of active-organization patterns. Commencing with the classical tripartite system, a number of standard forms are identified and described. A series of observations are then offered on the organizational choices and control procedures that are available for public sector projects. The paper concludes with some remarks on the relationship between project planning and strategies for the development of indigenous institutional capacity in developing countries.