Applying Morphological Analysis to Enhance Project Outcomes

Projects often face issues that are both multi-dimensional and non-quantifiable when the subject area of the work is susceptible to complexity in its potential scenarios.

At such a time, groups involved in developing projects may wish to consider General Morphological Analysis (GMA) as a direct answer to the problems such complexity creates.

For those not familiar with GMA, Wikipedia gives a broad identification at, and more information on what GMA comprises is also available in a document hosted at

Perhaps the best way to learn about how it can contribute to project development is to access a 7-minute video at This gives a case study and shows all the key elements that allow teams to address project issues in a form that could make a significant difference to the outcomes – and ultimately the impact of the work that is so crucial in the evaluation of project proposals.

As a company active in European project development, Searchlighter works in partnership with Strategic Foresight Partnership (SFP), the company who did the case study’s work described in the video. The principal role of the specialists at SFP has been to facilitate Subject-Matter Specialist workshops, employing the unique non-quantified modelling method defined by GMA.

In this context, SFP create suitable templates for project work, having led Work Packages at either end of the project process. These Packages involved Conceptual Models to establish the foundations of each project, and Qualitative Models to test the outcomes towards the end.

1. Conceptual Models
 – These WPs at the beginning of each project, brought together the relevant competencies. The method involved creating a conceptual model of the project’s total problem space using GMA, and mapping out all the interconnections or relationships between the different parameters.
This served to bind the problem area and to place everyone in the same space with a common conceptual model. The projects returned to this model periodically as a reference to what was being done, and were refined when new discoveries were made about the problem.

2. Qualitative Models – 
These WPs took place at the end of each project, again creating non-quantified models with GMA but this time presenting those aspects of the results of the project that could not be meaningfully rendered as quantitative models.

Should readers be aware of projects where GMA has been, or might be, applied to enhance their work, please do comment or send me a private message.

Leave a comment