How to get from Goal Tree to action plan – Part one

The Goal Tree is a simple looking tool, great for focusing on the purpose or Goal and aligning all contributions toward the organization’s goal. As often with simple looking tools, its principle is simple but its construction and use can be tricky.

How to get from Goal Tree to concrete action plan is one of these possible difficulties.

Many Goal Trees can grow wide and tall, especially when beginners go into many details of Necessary Conditions (NCs) without trimming out the trivialities. Once this kind of Tree depicted, what to do with all these NCs?

From Goal Tree to action plan

My proposal is to make all boxes’ statuses visible by using the Green/Amber/Red color code.

  • Green is ok, objective permanently achieved, condition under control
  • Amber is to be improved or stabilized, e.g. objective not permanently achieved
  • Red is not ok, missing or far below under objective

To learn how to color-code the boxes, check out >this post<


Once the statuses are made visible, the priorities become obvious:

  • Ignore the Greens, they’re already ok
  • Turn Ambers into Greens
  • Turn Reds into Greens, into Amber first if gap is too wide
  • Give priority to Ambers, as they may be easier to solve or straighten
  • Start with the lowest NCs in the branch

Watch me explain in this video:

For each item you choose to work on, fill the action plan. If the problem to solve has some complexity, use an >A3 report< to structure the problem solving, then fill the action plan.


A3 example

Once problem solved and solution sustainably proven, adjust the box’s status and color.
Iterate with next priorities.
When the tree is all green, you’re done!

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