Micro screening

By Gerald Rodriguez,2014-05-16 23:53
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Micro screening

    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening


A: The story

    The ”Micro Screening” exercise links the macro screening with the SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), hence being the crucial nexus be-tween these two. It adds quality to the selection process by adding different parame-ters related to economic judgements (market, skill availability, technology, etc.). These judgements are always subjective to some extent, but the variety of parame-ters makes the ”Micro Screening” the most difficult step in the project identification process. In order to avoid too much subjectivity (which might fall back on the respec-tive participants at a later stage!), it is essential during this exercise that the presen-tation of the micro screening results in plenary or in small groups and feedback of co-participants as well as facilitators is incorporated so as to provide room for second thoughts on the most promising project ideas. The participants’ basic knowledge of their pre-identified projects is required for accomplishing this task.

    As the participants have already earmarked up to 10 project ideas during the previ-ous step (”Macro Screening”), the micro screening will become a very lengthy proce-

    dure unless you urge them to further scale down to 3 or 5 projects by taking some new criteria in mind (such as ”availability of appropriate market”, ”access to raw ma-

    terial” and ”availability of technology”) prior to the actual exercise. For this pre-step

    you will rely totally on the participants’ own judgement without any sophisticated scor-

    ing method as applied later.

    The number of parameters selected for the ”micro screening” depends largely on the participants’ intellectual level, their previous exposure to the economic world and the complexity of their respective situation. If applied with existing entrepreneurs who desire an extension or a diversification of their existing businesses, they are likely to respond much more critically to these parameters as compared to a younger rural target group (newcomers) with ”simple” project ideas based on agriculture and their respective limited experiences.

    There are virtually no limits in maximising this exercise through the introduction of additional screening parameters and/or the application of a larger scale compared to that one suggested for the conduct of the basic exercise (scale 0 to 5) in this manual. You may even suggest weighed scores depending on your intimate knowledge of the respective economic situation in a given region. In brief: feel free to adapt the pa-rameters and the scoring method according to the requirements felt by the group of facilitators.

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    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

B: Basic information

Objectives of learning

    Basic objectives to be The participants

    achieved by participants ? select between one and three project ideas which seem

     feasible and profitable from their individual point of view

    while applying the suggested micro screening parame-


    ? apply their knowledge of various environmental factors

    in accordance to their project ideas Additional objectives of a The participants

    higher level depending ? are able to apply this tool helpful in screening ideas on the situation and the which might also be applied for product development current conditions of the and other purposes target group

    Screening of project ideas Uses

    Product development (applying only the tool while using

    different parameters)

    Nepal, Philippines, Uruguay, Brazil with lots of variations Developed in

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    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

C: Further Information

    3 hours Time

    Preparation of rooms ? at the beginning: participants organise their seats in

    four groups while maintaining the overall U-shape

    ? at the end: all seats in straight U-shape formation for

    the individual presentations

    ? four metaplan boards are available Requirements

    1 trainer, 1 assistant Trainers/assistants

    Didactic aids to prepare ? four ”micro screening” tables on kraft paper (see Annex


    Materials for the trainers ? ”definitions of the parameters applied” (Annex 2) for the

    (during the exercise) preparation

    ? ”other suggested parameters for micro screening” (An-

    nex 3) if additional parameters are required Materials for the partici-? ”micro screening” table (for individual exercising) as

    pants (during the exer-shown in Annex 1 copied on a4-size paper for every cise) participant

    Important conditions of ? none

    the room

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    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

D: Learning Process Overview

Step Time Most important contents

    Introduction 15’ Explanation of different parameters and scoring sys-


    Group exercise 45’ Scoring of an identified group project according to the

    different parameters

    Presentation 60’ ? Presentation of the group works’ results

     ? Critiquing and discussion of the presentations Individual work 30’ Individual application of the micro screening table Voluntary individ-25’ Presentation of some individual ”micro screening” re-ual presentations sults

    Processing 05’ Wrap-up of task accomplished and outlook on follow-

    ing step

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    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

E: Integrated Learning Process Organisation (ILPO)

    Step Time Most Important Contents Activities Range of Required Hints

    of Trainer Possible Ac-Materials

    tivities of


    Introduction 15' Explanation of different parame-explaining; listening; micro Participants are organised in four

    ters and scoring system screening groups of equal size (energiser). answering asking

    table on Select an example (project) in or- kraft pa-der to enrich the explanations.

    per Explain the scoring system (0


    Explain the critical success factor

    utilising examples (see Annex 2).

    Have a trial run regarding all pa-

    rameters. Group exer-45' Scoring of an identified group supervising; listening; 4 micro Ask the participants to identify a

    cise project according to the different screening project which they think would be observing; discussing;

    parameters tables on feasible for them as a group. giving help writing on the kraft pa-Distribute the four metaplan micro screen- per boards with the ”micro screening” ing table (kraft

    tables. paper)

    Invite them to apply the parame-

    ters with the scoring scale. CEFE-Manual for Trainers ? CEFE-International 1998 Page 5

    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

    Step Time Most Important Contents Activities Range of Required Hints

    of Trainer Possible Ac-Materials

    tivities of


    Instruct them to do as if the pro-

    ject to be undertaken will be set

    up in the town where the training

    takes place.

    Walk around and provide con-

    structive help to the groups.

    Presenta-60’ explaining; presenting; all 4 Invite the listening participants to ? Presentation of the group

    tion meta-plan critique the presentations based works’ results answering; listening;

    boards on their own judgements. arranging ? Critiquing and discussion of critiquing; with the the boards Tell them that critiquing is a form the presentations discussing micro one after of constructive feedback meant to

    screening another in improve the scoring of the differ-

    tables front of the ent parameters while taking dif-

    filled in participants ferent views into account.

    in U-shape This part of the exercise is the

    most important one because it’s

    here where the participants get

    the final grasp of dealing intelli-

    gently with the parameters and

    the scores.

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    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

    Step Time Most Important Contents Activities Range of Required Hints

    of Trainer Possible Ac-Materials

    tivities of


    Individual 30’ Individual application of the ”Mi-explaining; listening; micro Explain that now that they have work cro Screening” table screening grasped the idea of scoring along answering asking ques-

    table for different parameters they are questions; tions,

    every par-supposed to screen their own pro-distributing working indi-ticipant jects identified during the ”macro the hand-vidually (handout) screening” exercise. outs

    Voluntary 25’ Presentation of some individ-discussion listening, individ-Invite some individual participants individual ual ”Micro Screening” results leading; ual ”micro (volunteers) to read out their scor-asking ques-

    presenta-screening” ing results for their different pro-listening tions

    tions tables of ject ideas.

    volun-Encourage them to present so

    teers” that they can receive valuable

    feedback. Processing 5’ Asking for feedback regarding explaining listening flip chart Participants get the chance to ex-

    the exercise they have just un-press their emotions regarding dergone. this exercise (difficult, helpful,

    problems in scoring, etc.).

    Wrap-up of task accomplished Ask them to verify in the evening and outlook on following step: at home if the scores allotted ? Last steps accomplished really correspond to their neutral (macro screening; micro judgement or if some wishful CEFE-Manual for Trainers ? CEFE-International 1998 Page 7

    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

    Step Time Most Important Contents Activities Range of Required Hints

    of Trainer Possible Ac-Materials

    tivities of


    screening) thinking has been applied (great

    danger!). ? Lead over to the SWOT

    Explain that the next step will analysis

    definitely tell if the projects with

    the highest scores are really the

    most promising ones while taking

    their own scopes and limitations

    into account vis-à-vis the envi-


    Inform them that the same groups

    will continue their work during the

    following step, the SWOT Analy-


     Generali-Not required as such


    Synthesis See list of articles referring to

    this subject

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    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

F: Hints for preparation, typical situations and dangers

Watch out that the participants are already organised in four groups before starting

    this exercise. They are supposed to sit next to each other in four groups while main-

    taining the usual U-shape in order to make sure that all of them can capture the im-

    portant explanations delivered during the introductory phase.

    The different parameters are usually grasped with much ease. Nevertheless,

    the ”critical success factor” is the one giving a headache to some participants. Be

    well equipped with some examples (see also Annex 2 but prepare for more). Those

    among you who are familiar with the ZOPP approach might remember the ”killing as-

    sumption” – the ”critical success factor” is quite similar to that. In case, this assump-

    tion (such as peace in the region!) will not come true, the project might fail. Pay at-

    tention that the participants don’t cite ”critical success factors” which are not likely to occur. There needs to be a certain probability in order to be quoted as ”critical suc-

    cess factor”. Some colleagues are convinced that the four ”micro screening” tables could be re-

    produced by the participants on Kraft paper in order to save some time during prepa-

    ration. Finally, this time will be lost because one or two participants per group will be busy drawing the lines of the table while the others start discussing already (or they

    simply wait!). It is a fact that you gain time if you prepare these tables yourself (and it looks better, too!).

    During the group exercise, you are supposed to be with the different groups while

    giving additional hints and information. It’s during this phase that the participants will finally learn applying this tool. If you fail here, you cannot expect excellent results

    during the individual work phase.

    Similarly, the critiquing phase is crucial for the exercise’s success in terms of leading the participants to rethink certain assumptions and judgements in the scoring. Other

    participants might have tried to put similar projects into practice as compared to

    those presented by their colleagues. Their advice can bring these colleagues back

    on track as there is a tendency to overrate the project one likes very much (or for

    which certain preparatory works have been done so far!). But the objective is to cri-

    tique. If the projects pass that exam, then the participants are better prepared to con-

    front any problems at a later stage.

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    4.2.2 Screening Micro screening

G: Variations

1) Alternative uses and objectives

    The same form of a table utilised with a number of parameters may also be adopted if the participants will have to undergo product development exercises. The columns stand for different parameters such as creativity, uniqueness, solidity, durability, etc. whereas the lines will be filled with the different products to be compared (or the dif-ferent parts of a product) so that at the end the entrepreneur will get a clear picture which one of the products under comparison fits best with the customers’ needs.

    2) Minimising/Maximising

    There is ample room for maximising this exercise (watch out that the time required is also maximised considerably) in terms of adding more parameters; see Annex 2 for some examples which might be altered according to your intimate knowledge of the economic situation in the region where this training programme is applied. You may likewise like to add another scoring dimension by applying weighed ratings, i.e. the raw material issue is rated more important than the technology issue so that the latter will get only 10% of the total weight of all parameters applied whereas the raw material gets 30% (or even more; according to the situation). In this case, the ”micro screening” exercise gets a mathematical bias. Introduce these refine-

    ments only when you are sure that the target group is able to do it without major problems.

    3) Substitutions


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