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As soon as a Structured Solution is proposed, it enters the first phase of development, the Discovery Phase. This is the first in a series of phases each goal travels the journey from inception to completion.


This phase aims to determine all the ways in which the proposed idea could be successful. In other words, a basic understanding of what needs to happen for an idea to be made real.

To do this, it’s important to consider the resources that would be needed to implement the idea, and then speculate where those resources could be found.

Once a list of potential resources is compiled, you can begin to look for ways to access them. This is also an opportunity to look at what work is currently being done, and who the major players might be. Some resources will be relatively simple or may already exist in a community. Others may be extremely challenging to source.

When resources are particularly difficult to obtain, it may be necessary to get creative with how to go about getting them.

An initial set of resources and conditions are formally presented as a proposal.

Anyone aligned with completing the goal can evaluate the proposal and provide feedback and expertise. This phase is ongoing throughout the project.

New data and feedback gathered along the way may uncover the need to speculate additional resources or solutions.


With a completed proposal in hand, participants engage with the community to build support.

This process lays the groundwork for the project outcome and begins to identify the key stakeholders who might be available for partnership and participation. It is also open-ended and exploratory.

Participants conduct research and identify, resources, partnerships, and legislation necessary for completion of the idea. This may involve identifying financial and professional resources, physical assets, and potential legal challenges.


Now that resources and pathways are in place, the implementation of the project begins – Actions identified in the Discovery Phase are underway.

Like the previous stage, this phase involves acquiring resources that arise inside of contingencies.

It is not always possible to predict what resources will be needed to complete the task, and so it is important to be prepared for the unexpected.

There is also always a risk that something unforeseen will happen. To mitigate this risk, the group will need to perform contingency planning, where it identifies potential pitfalls and strategies for dealing with them.


A project is declared complete once all the conditions that satisfy an outcome have been met. The responsible groups celebrate the shared achievement!

The celebration is both an acknowledgment to the community, and an opportunity to reflect on what was effective and what was not.

The group will need to evaluate the success of the idea, both positively and negatively. Factors such as how well the idea was received by the public, and how many new projects have been launched as a result will help measure the ultimate success of a Structured Solution.


After a project is declared complete, it is important to consider the impact that achieving a goal has made and will have on the future.

Conditions that require ongoing maintenance or monitoring can be incorporated into a project’s legacy phase. There may also be ongoing relationships with other projects in the network, and it is possible to trace the connections to see the actual difference the project is making in the world.

The Structured Solution framework organizes and displays all the conditions that are estimated as necessary for any goal to be complete.

Structured Speculation differs from many project management strategies because it is not attached to any singular critical path to the goal. Rather it imagines the realm of conditions that are plausibly necessary for something to exist and what it would take to get there from where we are today.

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