The Project Tree

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Alternative names: 
Level of process: 
Intent or purpose: 
To enable a group to analyze together how the different parts of their plan relate to one another before moving to a timeline.
Used as component of: 
Developing an action plan
Recognizable Components: 
Coordinating various components of a plan
Types of Participants: 
Recommended size of group: 
Optimal amount of time needed: 
2 hours
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
Level of participation: 
Ideal Conditions: 
Potential Pitfalls: 
How is success evaluated: 
Examples of successes and failures: 
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
Setting and Materials: 
Resources Needed: 
Pre-Work Required: 
Have the group create cards, one for each event in their plan. Draw on a very large sheet of paper (two or three pieces of flipchart paper taped together or a length of brown paper) the outline of a tree, including roots, a broad trunk, branches, leaves and fruits. Post the empty tree on the wall leaving enough space for the participants to gather around it.

Ask the group to mount the steps of their plan onto the tree. If there are more than 5 people, divide them into subgroups.

• Roots – Which items need to be accomplished first before the rest can begin.?
• Trunk – Which items are the project’s core activities, and will need to keep on throughout the process?
• Branches – Which are separate lines of work that can operate independently?
• Leaves – Which items make the whole plan attractive and can change as needed?
• Fruits – Which items achieve the goal of the plan, what the rest is aimed to achieve?

As members go along, they may need to create additional cards for project items thus far forgotten.

Have someone describe how the tree lives, starting with its roots and moving out towards its fruits. Group members may add to each other’s descriptions.

Close with the question: What are some things that could help nourish this tree?

How flexible is the process?: 
Follow-Up Required: 
Maureen Jenkins
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