Your individual project is a major piece of scholarly research and/or design work. A considerable importance and weighting is attached to it. Because of this it is essential that you have a clear awareness of what is expected from you and what you should expect to gain from your project. The work will usually be undertaken in phases. The first phase should cover the introductory and familiarity stages of the work. The specification and objectives of the work must be agreed with your supervisor and should also be done in the first phase. The agreed project specifications and objectives should have timelines attached to them because as a professional you will be required to meet deadlines both in work objectives and in report submissions. It is essential therefore that you realise the importance of adherence to deadlines in all aspects of your project. By the end of Phase 1, you must have a clear understanding of the nature of your project, what you are doing, what the purpose is, and how you will conduct it. This will certainly involve the review of some relevant literature. An understanding of what you will be doing and how it will be done will allow you to carry out a Risk Assessment of the project work.
Further critical and detailed review of literature and implementation of the work are carried out in Phase 2. For experimental work, it is important that you prepare any relevant design and order any materials and components that you will need for the project work very early.
The writing of the dissertation takes place in Phase 3. Obviously, there will be overlap between these phases.It is important that you keep a project logbook and ensure all your project activities are recorded in the logbook with the date of the activities. This is a standard practice in research and industry. Your logbook is for your own use and should provide a record of your thought processes and all activities related to the project, including ideas that were subsequently discarded. You will find the contents of the logbook useful when preparing your dissertation.
(Source - University of Aberdeen School of Engineering Project Guidelines for Students)