Ever started a project but got lost along the way to completion? Had a great idea for an event that never gained momentum? Maybe your idea changed course midway and the results were confused or disappointing. For any project or event, it’s important to be clear on your purpose for the work, the outcomes you hope to see, and the process you’ll use to get there-- before you get going. You’ll find it easier to stay the course and share your vision with others, especially participants and contributors.
At Mozilla, we often use a tool called POP, which we learned from the brilliant folks at Rockwood Leadership Institute. POP stands for Purpose, Outcome, Process. To create a “POP” is to define and document these three elements for an event or project. We recommend you do this for your event at the very beginning of the planning process.
Here’s a sample POP created for this very document you’re reading now.
A POP is usually one page or less, and it shouldn’t take long to complete, especially if you already have a good idea of what you’re planning. Don’t feel like you need to include every single tiny process step in the POP-- you can document those later (see Roadmap, below). You’re only listing broad steps here. It’s GREAT if you can do this with a collaborator or stakeholder or two, to get their insight and investment from the start.
Once you have your POP, here's how to use it.