I first heard about the ZOPP approach to strategic planning in 1986 (when my husband Denny became a ZOPP moderator). Then, after I became certified in 1992 I thought it would be a great planning tool for people. So, after a year or so we tried it on ourselves. Then we adapted it to others. Initially, because we respected the rigorous step-by-step ZOPP method and had witnessed its success as a flexible planning
Then, since it had worked for us, we started to do personal planning for friends and friends of friends. Initially we called the method the "Personal ZOPP", but later we changed its name to LOOP to resonate GTZ's Project Cycle Management approach. Then in 2012, we changed the name to LEAP (Life Experience Action Planning) as so many participants said that LOOP did not communicatae the forward momentum they felt when they left the workshop. Since 1992 we have tested, revised and refined the method based on participant/client feedback. And this is how LEAP began.
The LEAP (Life Experience Action Planning) method is based on the ZOPP method which itself derives from a concept called the "logical framework" originally developed in the 1970s by two USAID consultants. The logical framework was introduced in German government projects through the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) in 1983. The German acronym ZOPP stands for Ziel Orientierte Projekt Planung (translated as "Objective-Oriented Project Planning). LOOP applies this project approach to personal planning.
LEAP Has 4 Underlying Principles
There are four underlying LOOP principles Participation, Visualization, Facilitation and the Ten Planning Steps.
- Participation - the "who" of the workshop-the "I" and/or the "we" of the clients/participants who attend-is the first LOOP principle
- Visualization - ideas indicated in pictures and on cards-is the second principle of the LOOP approach. "Visualization" is also often called the "card and chart" technique.
- Facilitation - ensuring that a trained facilitator/coach is managing the process-is the third principle. Becoming a qualified LOOP coach takes training, experience and time. LOOP coaches are qualified because they have: completed their own LOOP plans, completed a LOOP Training of Trainers Course and co-moderated LOOP workshops
- The Ten Planning Steps - a step-by-step process designed to achieve clarity-is the fourth LOOP principle. LOOP workshops guide you through a process in which you visualize a future and then go through ten planning steps to get there.