Choosing a Project Focus

Narrow Down Your Project Ideas


This decision-making process is helpful if you have a lot of very different ideas and interests:

  1. Gather enough stickers for every participant to have three. Write each project idea on its own sheet of paper. (If there are some ideas that are similar, consider combining them.)
  2. Place sheets of paper around the room and give everyone three stickers. Instruct group members to place a sticker on the sheets of paper representing the project ideas they like best. The can put three stickers on one idea, one sticker on three different ideas, or any variation thereof.
  3. Once finished, collect the papers and count the sticker votes! If there is a tie, give each member of the group another sticker and allow them to vote between the remaining choices until there is a clear”winner.”
  4. Use that final idea/problem area as the basis for selecting an actual project.



This method works best with group members who feel comfortable saying what they think and having a healthy debate in front of one another.

  1. Post the list of project ideas for all group members to see. They cannot vote more than three times but must vote at least once.
  2. Read the list one item at a time and ask the group to vote for the ideas by raising their hands. Record the number of votes each idea receives. Select the top three ideas with the most votes and repeat the process with only those. This time, give each person only one vote. There should be a clear “winner” once all the votes have been made.




If you are looking for a way for your group to more fully explore the problem areas it is concerned about, and you have a little extra time, try this selection method.

Choosing a Project Focus 2

  1. Create a list of the potential projects that your group members have identified.
  2. Post the list for everyone to see. Tell each member to pick one that they would like to consider more fully and form small groups so they can work together.
  3. Have members take time to consider and research this project idea further. Components of their research should be possible project outcomes, reasons why this problem area is so important to address, etc. Tell the group that they will have to present their argument to the larger group.
  4. Once each group has presented their project idea, move into a vote (similar to the ones listed above) to narrow it down to one group project.
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