What are logical models in modern projects for?
When entrepreneurs are planning a new business project with a product or service that was not previously on the market, or non-profit organizations are taking on a new program, they are not always clear about the goals of this event. As a rule, the goals are to sell a certain quantity of goods and get the desired profit in a business, or to attract a certain number of participants in a non-commercial project. In applications for grants, NGOs often write that their goal is to hold a certain number of events with a specified minimum number of participants. But is this the goal?
Of course, if we are talking about business in a previously existing niche, this approach is quite applicable. But all the old niches have long been divided, and the era of startups has arrived. Startup involves the creation of a qualitatively new product. And this means that it requires the formation of hitherto non-existent habits of the consumer. Remember how smartphones changed our habits. Ten years ago, we could not even imagine that the morning would not begin with a cup of coffee, but with watching the tape on social networks. New strategies of behavior were formed not only among users, but also among companies. They began to massively create not only websites, but also all kinds of mobile applications.
For non-commercial projects, changing certain areas in society is all the more relevant. It is important not just to hold a series of lectures or round tables, but to change public opinion, cause a qualitative shift, force organizations and the state to act differently, change their policies. Yes. This is hard. But returning to the issues of financing non-commercial projects, the sponsor needs exactly this, and not a set of even remarkable activities. What to do?
Logical results of your project
In the process of planning a project, it is customary to talk about its results, measure them with indicators, talk about success or failure of measures. But how often do you think about the results and consequences beyond the number of customers and sales? Let’s divide the project results into three levels:
Short-term results are the immediate results of your actions for 1-2 years. How many people will visit your events, how many people will buy your goods right now – this is the closest result of your activity. For non-commercial projects, such results can not be considered the goal as such. But for calculations they are needed. Be sure to describe the number of events held, and the size of the audience of all segments.
Medium Term Impact. These are not just the same indicators calculated in 3-6 years. These are the changes that will occur in people’s behavior, in their habits, knowledge, opinions, fears during this time. Your task is to think about it. You never predict exactly the level of sales or your demand after 5 years: the market is too volatile. But for the marketing of your project, it is vital to understand what habits, consumer skills you want to change. It does not matter whether it is a question of using your mobile application, or the habit of being checked by a doctor for cancer after your educational lectures. But answer the question: how exactly do you want people to change their behavior? Be sure to consider different segments of the audience and remember that the pace of change they may be different. It is very unlikely that your project will provide growth rates for the same 10% among all segments of the participants. They may also have different deadlines for achieving their goals. Check: these goals should be formulated precisely in terms of changes, dynamics, and not statics, that is, something should increase or decrease.
Long term effects. The most interesting and most relevant question for non-commercial projects: what changes in society, in the work of its institutions, organizations, perhaps entire governments, do you want to bring about? How do you plan to influence society? For what big purpose are you doing all this? What do you want to get, maybe in 10 years?
And here you have to be upset: at least it is very difficult to plan and predict the future, but even long-term effects should have SMART goals. SMART is a commonly used acronym for the theory of goal setting, which requires that goals meet five requirements: specific — clearly and simply formulated, but meaningful; measurable — measurable in specific units of measure in an accessible way; achievable – real, achievable; relative – uniquely related to the project and its result; time bound – defined in time, not deferred to “someday”, but achievable within the life cycle and the funding period of the project.
When writing down the goals of all three levels, you will certainly ask yourself: what kind of people’s problem does it solve? Do they need it in principle? Will they say “thank you” for this? And by all means consider your ability to influence these indicators: how much can they really change as a result of your actions?
Building a logical model
Your planning and marketing will be much simpler and clearer if these three types of goals you do not write out, from left to right, but from right to left. First ask yourself the question: what impact on society you want to have in the long term, and afterwards, figure out what your mid-term and short-term results should be. After that, it will become absolutely clear to you what actions and in what quantity you need to take in order to get these effects. And after that you can easily plan what resources you need for this. Doing these calculations, do not forget to evaluate the target audience: who they are and how many of them. At the same time ask yourself: are all segments of the target audience taken into account in the goals set?
Draw all the relationships between resources and necessary actions so that you don’t forget anything. And be sure to describe the external factors that may cause risks, as well as assumptions that help you generally conclude that these actions will lead to specified goals. Think also, and which strategies can lead you to the desired results. Perhaps the chain of action may be several. Among them it is necessary to choose the most economical and risk-free, and be sure to provide an alternative.
Very good check: if it turned out that you need so many resources that you cannot find them, it means that you set goals at the very end that are too optimistic, they are not achievable. Change them until the project becomes real. But do not simplify the task to the extent that it will become completely uninteresting.
Theory of changes of your project
As a result, you will have a logical model of the theory of changes in your project. It is visual and easy to demonstrate to partners and sponsors. But the most important thing is that you can easily see from it what the key goal of your project is, what policy your marketing campaign should follow, how to quickly navigate and make adjustments in case of failures on the way. Of course, it makes no sense to carve it in stone, but do not change it with every failure. Change the strategy, the chain of actions, but not the whole model, while it is possible.