Subscribers to my blog or regular visitors may have noticed my deep interest in this powerful logic tool called Goal Tree. I have already posted numerous articles about it and have a special section here to share my experience: the Goal Tree Chronicles.
With this post I’d like to offer a more direct insight, straighter to the point, when it comes to formulate or refine a Goal and then deploy the Strategy for achieving it.
5 good reasons to build a Goal Tree for Strategy Deployment
The 5 (good) reasons to build a Goal Tree for Strategy Deployment are:
- Refine your Goal
- Define how to assess progress towards the Goal
- List all Necessary Conditions to achieve your Goal
- Evaluate what Necessary Conditions are not yet fulfilled
- Share your findings and align the contributors
Refine your Goal
Your Goal may be clear you claim. Well, maybe at least for yourself. But chances are your Goal is more an intuition than a carefully crafted and compelling statement.
The Goal is key to success, and for achieving the Goal all efforts from all stakeholders must be aligned to fulfill all Necessary Conditions. If the Goal Statement lacks clarity, chances are the initiatives will go astray, conflict among themselves and scarce resources will be burnt up on meaningless actions.
Suggested reading: What is our goal?
Define how to assess progress towards the Goal
As a leader you have no time nor probably interest for following up all numerous petty details of all action plans. Instead you must look for a simple dashboard giving a sense of progress toward the Goal. This is done through the Critical Success Factors (CSFs), which among other things, are the last and terminal outcome before achieving the Goal.
If the CSFs are well-chosen and backed-up with a pertinent KPI, the monitoring of the progress towards the Goal is simplified. The good news is that CSFs should not be more than 3 to 5, which makes the check of this simple but sufficient dashboard quick and easy.
Suggested reading: How to define Critical Success Factors?
List all Necessary Conditions to achieve your Goal
Having the structured list of the nested and interrelated must-have conditions to achieve the Goal is like the high-level Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of the project. I emphasize “must-have”, which are definitely not nice-to-haves. With this WBS, everyone knows the Goal and what must be achieved to achieve the Goal.
As a Leader you are not expected to build the Goal Tree yourself, but have it built by your subordinates with your high level inputs (Goal and Critical Success Factors). Yet it is advised to:
- have some deeper insight into the Necessary Conditions to achieve your Goal than just the CSFs
- know how to “read” a Goal Tree and to scrutinize one
and therefore have built or participated in the building of your Goal Tree.
Suggested reading: what is a Necessary Condition?
Evaluate what Necessary Conditions are not yet fulfilled
Some Necessary Conditions are already in place. No need to waste time on them. Resources must be focused on the not yet fulfilled Necessary Conditions (NCs). Therefore it is recommended to discriminate the NCs status and give priority to those missing or not fulfilled as well as to work on those which are not constantly fulfilled. I propose a 3-color code for this purpose.
Suggested reading: how to assess Necessary Conditions status?
Share your findings and align the contributors
A Goal Tree is several tools in one. It is a great communication tool. It shows the whole structure of the Necessary Conditions to achieve the Goal and the status of these NCs. It becomes clear to every stakeholder what must be achieved to achieve the Goal and in what order. What is not on the Goal Tree is by definition not necessary.
Suggested reading: Why the Goal Tree is more and more relevant