ZOPP Methodology


ZOPP is the acronym for the German expression “Zielorientierte Projektplanung” or objectives oriented project planning. It is a planning methodology (a set of instruments and procedures) for addressing the planning function in the process of managing a development project through its life cycle.


Here is the cycle of this method:


1. Participation Analysis

As a first step, a comprehensive picture of the stake- holders (interest groups, institutions, individuals, etc.) affected by the project/ problem context is developed.


2. Problem Analysis

On the basis of available information, the existing project / problem context is analysed, i.e. the major problems are identified and the main causal relationships between these are visualized (problem tree).


3. Objective Analysis

In the objective analysis the problem tree is transformed into a tree of objectives (future solutions of the problem), and the objective tree is analysed.


4. Alternative Analysis

The purpose of the alternative analysis is to identify possible alternative options, assess the feasibility of these and to agree upon one project strategy.


5. Project Description

Once the project strategy has been chosen, the main project elements (overall goal, objective, expected results, activities) are derived from the objectives tree and transferred to the “project planning matrix”.


6. Assumptions

For each level of the causal hierarchy of design elements (from input to overall goal) external conditions and factors are defined that will have to be in place for the project to succeed.


7. Indicators and Means of Verification

Quantitative and qualitative performance and impact indicators are defined that provide a simple and reliable means to measure the achievements and results, to reflect the processes that led to them, and to observe the changes in the project context.


Source: Project Management Handbook, A Working Tool for Project Managers;