IAF Methods

Opportunity and Threat Grid OD-7

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This can be part of a strategic planning or a project planning process.

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  • To examine the uncertainties and risks as well as the opportunities of an organisation's future or of a project
  • To create an understanding of the risks and opportunities and the group's ability to influence them.


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • The Opportunities and Threats grid in large format, e.g. four flipcharts together. Printing them ahead of time might be easier.
  • Markers and Large Post-its or sheets of paper.
  • Copies of the Opportunity and Threat Grid for each person on A4 or letter size paper



Setting: space for two teams to work in the same room.

Types of participants: The stakeholders in a project. it is important to include the whole value chain in the planning process.

Ideal conditions: Conduct in a project planning phase as close to the project environment presentations as possible

Pre-Work Required: Forms need to be prepared.



  1. Put up the Threats and Opportunities grid.
  2. Give "grounding presentations" on all aspects of the project.
  3. During Grounding Presentations ask people to write down on post-its opportunities or threats (one per post-it) and then place them on the poster.  An alternative way is, instead of doing this during the presentation ask participants to do this at the end of the presentation. If threats and opportunities are not captured during presentations or there are no presentations, then do a brainstorm of them.
  4. "We are going to look at opportunities and threats related to the project. This will take about one hour."
  5. During other sessions you might want to suggest to people that threats and opportunities will emerge. Ask each team to have one person to collect these as the session goes on. They will capture them and post them on the chart.


1. Divide the group into two teams one for threats and one for opportunities.

2. Each group will be doing essentially the same thing. First collect all of the cards for your part of the process.

  • a. Read through the cards.
  • b. Clarify and group the post-its into common areas.
  • c. Create short headlines like titles for each cluster.
  • d. Plot the headlines under Ability to Influence Impact and Impact on Un-risked Value of the opportunity. Each Team will be working with a 3 x 3 matrix. (See 3 x 3 Matrix for more information.)

3 Are there any questions?

4. When the teams are done ask them to report. After each report ask the following questions:

  • a. Are there any questions of clarity?
  • b. What seems right on?
  • c. What needs to be altered or suggestions?
  • d. Go to the next report.

5. When the reports are completed and the changes made, check with the group if the grid is one that they can live with.


Go to the next step in the process.


1. The grounding presentations are a series of presentations about all of the aspects of the project.

2. If the team is having a hard time placing a title or headline it is likely that it is too broad or too abstract. They should go back and look at the cards and make two or more headlines from them.


Follow-Up Required: Next workshop

Usual or Expected Outcomes: A clear understanding of the threats and opportunities of the project and those captured in a chart.

How success is evaluated: Consensus or agreement about the threats and opportunities impacting the project


Derived from: unknown

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