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What is your POP Level?

This allows the user to refine decisions about the most appropriate POP Level for your project. For example: You land on a POP score of 2.2, and 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 you project and you therefore proceed with Level 2 recommendations.

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

Project managers and teams should remember that collaboration 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 worksheet too often. If it feels like your project has grown less or more complicated, re-answer the worksheet questions and see where you come out.

POP Level 1 (Score 0 - 1)

The likelihood of political scrutiny is low, and only a few agencies must be coordinated with. The project is likely to be brief in duration with a limited geographic reach of interest (neighborhood, portion of town, rural area). The public is likely to have little interest or be supportive of the project’s results, with little likelihood of controversy. Few, if any, direct impacts are expected to specific stakeholders.

POP Level 2 Score 1.1 - 2

Likelihood for political interest is low, and only a few agencies must be coordinated. The geographic reach of interest is likely to be confined to a single city, large neighborhood or section of a county. The project is either brief in duration with some stakeholder interest, or is more lengthy in duration but with little to no interest. Historically, public interest is either low, or the public has been supportive of similar projects. Care should be taken to reinforce the positive relationships that exist with various stakeholder groups.

POP Level 3 (Score 2.1 - 3)

Political considerations are moderate, and the number of agencies requiring coordination begins to rise in this level. The project will last several months to over a year and interest may span more than one community and require other agency coordination. Given the longer project duration and the rising level of impact, potential for controversy also begins to rise. Public interest levels also increase, as well as the likelihood for lead agency or project detractors.

POP Level 4 (Score 3.1 - 4)

There is a high level of anticipated political interest and multiple agencies will require coordination by and with the project team. The study/project scope likely covers multiple municipalities and a larger geographic region or is concentrated within an urban environment. The project is likely to last over one year and the number of stakeholder impacts is significant. Given the above factors, the likelihood of controversy is high and the public interest will be high and may be primarily negative.

POP Level 5 (Score 4.1 - 5)

Political impliPOPions associated with this project are considerable, with policy-level decision makers taking personal interest in project outcomes. Corresponding agency interest is also high, with many government, agencies and special interest groups needing coordination and involvement. The project scope is large, with an extensive interest or project area, and duration is likely to span years rather than months. The likelihood for controversy is high, given the high stakeholder interest and potential for negative lead agency perceptions.

Now that you have zeroed in the appropriate POP Level, review Recommended Tools & Techniques