Lesson
Part of: Opportunity Framing

Introduction to Opportunity Framing

BOOKMARK
[bws_pdfprint display='pdf' text='Download PDF']

Opportunity Framing is a structured planning process to help consider all aspects of an idea, initiative, or project. This includes considering multiple perspectives and aspects to approach the project in the most thorough manner.

The process brings together some of the key best practices from the broad discipline of Project Management. Through a systematic and facilitated process involving vision setting, success factors and identification of actors and risks, the process helps key decision makers converge into a single “Roadmap” providing a solid basis for the project team to move forward towards a successful outcome.     

Context to WRI’s work

Cities are places at the intersection of human activity, technology, and the natural environment. In cities, multiple systems of provision converge: Energy, Water, Buildings, Waste, Mobility, Food, Health, and Education; as well as economic systems, including businesses and jobs. The interconnections and interactions between these systems is vital for achieving inclusive, resilient, and low-carbon cities.

To make the most of such interdependencies, cities need many different actors who are part of complex stakeholder ecosystems – public, private, civil society, academia, development agencies, and more – collaborating towards common goals. To a large extent, tangible progress towards more sustainable cities will be determined by the ability of actors to collectively identify challenges, prioritize action, and co-create solutions.

The Opportunity Framing process helps WRI engage actors to reflect the strategic points of any initiative: its goals, opportunities, and the identification and mitigation of risks. The process helps cities identify value and facilitate decision making leading to value capture in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. 

Opportunity Framing was first introduced to WRI in 2003 by the Shell Foundation as part of their support to the Metrobus BRT project in Mexico City.  At the time, Opportunity Framing was a process that was widely used in the energy sector as a critical and mandatory part of the development of large energy infrastructure projects.  Since then the process has been adopted (and adapted) more widely by different organization across many different sectors. After Metrobus, WRI has used Opportunity Framing for many different projects to support the design and implementation in the urban mobility sector and beyond.