Goal Tree: not for strategy only

Readers of my blog interested in the Goal Tree may think this fabulous tool is for strategy deployment only. They may have read that a strategic Goal Tree is valid as long as the business environment does not dramatically change, this means years or even tens of years in some activities. So why should one invest in learning to build Goal Trees for a one-time use only?

If your understanding is that the Goal Tree is a tool for strategy only, it could be my personal interest in strategy and Goal Trees that brought up an involuntary bias. Mindful readers would also have caught that the Goal Tree is a fractal or scalable object, meaning its structure remains the same regardless of the scale it is considered.

A strategic Goal Tree describes the ultimate objective to achieve and the whole structure of Necessary Conditions this Goal depends on. One Necessary Condition for achieving the strategic Goal is very likely to be the Goal of a subordinate structure of the organization like a division or a department. The same replica makes then a Necessary Condition a Goal for a deeper layer, an office or a workshop, down to a process.

This means that strategy deployment alone may well require more than the strategic Goal Tree, rather a kind of orchard of Goal Trees, with many clarifying and improvements as fruits to reap!

Furthermore, a Goal Tree is an excellent way to start the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of a project. It is easy to start with the last milestone as the Goal and work backwards to list all predecessor tasks and the dependencies as they are nothing else than Necessary Conditions to pass the gates (intermediate objectives) all the way from the start to the final milestone.

The Goal Tree proves great as a tool to list all necessary tasks, as I have experienced several times using the Goal Tree at an operational level. It is great to ensure nothing necessary (read important or critical) is left forgotten.

If the value of this use of a Goal Tree is understood, then the opportunities to build a Goal Tree are as numerous as the projects in the organization. And this means a lot, not just one time.

About the author, Chris HOHMANN

About the author, Chris HOHMANN

View Christian HOHMANN's profile on LinkedIn

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