Answer questions and get your score

Multiple-choice questions were developed to address the primary needs, issues and concerns of a variety of stakeholder groups. Each question's answer choices are equally weighted in a scoring range of 1-5, then averaged – This is your POP Score. Your POP Score is then rounded up to give you a recommended POP Level of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 – one representing the most minimal public outreach effort and five representing the most robust and extensive level of public outreach.

Your recommend POP Level should be considered the guiding framework for the intensity and methodology of public involvement for any project.


Determine where your project falls on the Collaboration Continuum

Ask yourself, “What is my end goal with this public outreach effort? To notify and inform the public, coordinate and engage the public, or collaborate and involve the public?” Review the Collaboration Continuum below and determine which category best fits your project’s needs:


Check POP Score for accuracy in Typical Project Descriptions

Knowing your POP Score, a corresponding level of need can be determined by referencing the POP Level Typical Descriptions. This page describes common attributes of projects at each POP Level, and offers a “gut check” before you continue on in the POP process.

This allows the user to refine decisions about the most appropriate POP Level for your project. For example, if you land on a POP score of 2.2 the POP tool automatically rounds up to a POP Level 3. After reading the typical project description, you feel like you project is less complicated and this description doesn't exactly fit. Because the POP Score fell on the low end of the POP Level 3, you read the POP Level 2 description and discover that this more accurately describes your project, so you proceed with Level 2 recommendations. Public involvement and outreach is a dynamic process. Adjustments are often required over the life cycle of a project, with corresponding changes in approach, strategy and tasks. Given this, be aware that a project may move from level to level as it evolves from phase to phase, or even within a single project phase. You can never complete the POP questions too often. If it feels like your project has grown less or more complicated, re-answer the questions and see where you come out.


Review Recommended Tools and Techniques

You know your POP level but how do you actually conduct the outreach? For each track and POP Level, the Recommended Tools and Techniques page provides customized lists of possible tools and techniques that when done right, have proved successful at effectively involving the public.

It is not expected that a project will exhaust the entire list of outreach tools for its particular track and POP Level. It is recommended that users work with their project team to determine which tools and techniques are most appropriate for your project and public, and track the success of those over time.

Planning for and executing appropriate strategies to communicate with the public and collaborate with stakeholders is critical in the success of any project that impacts the public or generates public interest. The Collaboration Assessment Tool (POP) is a free tool designed to help guide project teams as they determine what level of public outreach their project warrants and what tools and techniques will be most effective.

The POP is designed to help any project team with collaboration and public outreach guidance, regardless of the subject matter. To achieve this, questions, answer choices and recommendations are very general. If interested in a customized POP for your organization or agency, or professional training on how to effectively use public involvement within your organization, please contact the TLG POP team.

Utah Department of Transportation POP

The UDOT Project Outreach Planner (POP) was developed to help project teams determine the level of public involvement needed on various projects. The POP allows staff to quickly and easily quantify a recommended level of public involvement for a range of transportation impacts. Through a series of customized multiple-choice questions, the POP guides the user to a POP Level of 1 through 5. Each level provides recommended budget estimates, staffing needs and appropriate tools and techniques for various types of transportation impacts.

Idaho Transportation Department POP

The ITD Public Outreach Planner (POP) allows project teams to determine the appropriate budget, staffing needs, tools and techniques to execute an effective public involvement process as part of early transportation decision making. The “Live” POP lives entirely online and allows the user to quickly and easily navigate from the homepage to the appropriate worksheet, through the supporting documents and ultimately the ITD Guide to Public Involvement where they can learn more about the various tools and techniques suggested for their level of effort.