In backcasting, participants propose a future event or situation and work backwards to construct a series of steps leading up to it.


Backcasting is a project planning tool, visualising back from when a new service is implemented to consider what activities, policies and strategies need to be in place to effect change.


It is a useful method for creating a visual timeline, which everyone involved can contribute to. Starting at a future date, when a new or improved service is in place and working back to the present stresses working towards a specific goal.


Complete the timeline; starting from future when the changes you want to make are already up and running. Work backwards; what needs to happen between then and now? Use post-its to put in events and milestones which you can move and revise. Colour-code for easy groupings.


  • Sticky notes
  • Black ‘sharpie’ type pens
  • You can use a Backcasting template – but a strip of masking tape with a line and dates works just as well.

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