GROUP THE OUTCOMES IN CLUSTERS
Group the outcomes into short-term, medium-term and long-term clusters.
Get your participants to read the outcomes and determine which cluster they fit into. As the facilitator, you can be taking the post-its and arranging them into the clusters as the participants call them out. If your participants aren’t confident to speak in front of a group, get them to put their post-its on the whiteboard, wall, table or floor and ask them to cluster them as a whole group.
You may also want to cluster them into groups of similar ideas, or into other types of clusters such as geographical or relevance to different stakeholder groups.
IDENTIFY LINKS BETWEEN THE OUTCOMES
Which cluster leads to which cluster?
Which outcome leads to which outcome?
Draw connections between linked clusters.
Does evidence exist for this link or do they need to find it?
For example, there is evidence that reading to a child more leads to improved relationships and increased cognitive development of the child.
REMOVE THE OUTCOMES THAT ARE NOT NEEDED FOR THE LONG-TERM CHANGE
Go through each outcome and determine whether or not the group thinks it is needed for the long-term change. Also do this with the list of activities. If the group decides that it is not needed, edit or remove it from the list.
For example, in a parenting program, it is good that the parents make friends in the class, but that is not necessary for the long-term goal of the child arriving at school ready to learn.
CREATE A TIMELINE
Take the remaining outcomes and spread them out horizontally on a timeline.
IDENTIFY THE PRIORITY OUTCOMES
Use the Golden Thread to identify the priority outcomes i.e. the outcomes that are the most important for achieving the desired impact and what activities lead to those outcomes.