Advanced tracking

Overview

In this article we are going to look at the Advanced Tracking functionality in Cascade. Advanced Tracking is an optional type of tracking which allows you to create and track more complex types of goals. The following video will give you a quick overview of how the feature can be used:

Advanced Tracking

There are two options when tracking goals in Cascade- Simple Tracking and Advanced Tracking. Simple Tracking is ideal for project based goals – situations where the tracking is a simple percentage completion.

For goals with more complex tracking needs; anything from tracking a metric to inverse targets, Advanced Tracking is the option for you.

The Advancing Tracking option is comprised of three areas:  The target, initial value, and setting when your goal is completed.

Your target is the value you are trying to reach for your goal. E.g. $10,000

Your unit is what you are measuring, for example- dollars, complaints, or people.

Your initial is the value you are starting the goal with. This will default to zero, but this can be altered to suit your specific goal. Often when you start a goal you may be working from a particular baseline; for example, you may want to reach 1000 active clients, however, you signed 500 last year, so your initial is therefore 500.

Another example may be an inverse target, where your initial is larger than your target, as you wish to achieve a reduction of something. For example, it may take you 14 hours on average to respond to support requests, and your goal is to reduce that to 7 hours.

Once you’ve entered your initial, target, and unit, you’ll be asked a follow up question to help the system understand the way you’re tracking your goal. This will help determine the goals status (‘Behind’, ‘On Track’, ‘Overdue’ etc). For example, if your goal is “Deliver revenue of $10,000”, reaching $10,001 is positive – as you are happy to have made even more money, and hitting $9,999 is not positive, as you have not hit your target.

There may be some instances however,  where you’ll want the opposite of this. For example, if your goal is “Reduce the number of customer complaints to 100 complaints”, in this instance hitting 101 complaints is bad, whereas 99 complaints would be a positive.

Another scenario which may occur, is when you want to reach a target exactly, and neither overachieve or underachieve. An example of this is “Maintain employee attrition of 5%”.

Setting Completion

The next step is to let the system know when your goal is complete.

Some goals are complete once the target is reached e.g. “Sell new product 9000 units” – once you’re units are sold,  the goal will be marked as ‘Complete’.

However, for certain goals, reaching the target won’t always mean a goal is complete. For example, any maintain goal e.g. “Maintain employee attrition of 5%”- hitting 5% does not mean your target is reached, the end date of the goal should determine its completion. This is why you are able to select ‘goal is complete when you’ve reached your target, and end date’.

Tolerance

In this example, it is bad to reach a value both higher or lower than the set target. If you’re goal requires this kind of strict tracking, where you need to be maintaining an exact value, you’ll notice an extra option appear- Tolerance value. Tolerance is a set value that allows a user a certain amount of leeway on the calculation of the  goal status. Goal status is determined by how much progress has been made in the goal period, versus how much progress should have been made according to the tracking curve.

You will always see how much your goal is ahead or behind in the goal hub. If a tolerance has been set,  goals are allowed to be a certain percentage off before they are marked as ‘Behind’.

User’s with the System privilege have the ability to set a universal tolerance value for the entire organisation, however, when a goal, such as the example above, is created, where bad is selected for both over achieving and under achieving the target value, the user will have the ability to set their own tolerance value, which will override the universal tolerance value set for the organisation.

Setting Milestones

Milestones allow you to divide your metric into smaller parts and set deadlines for each part. Milestones are very useful for breaking your target into smaller pieces

If you choose to set Milestones, by default, Cascade will break your target into 4 even milestones over your goal’s time frame. This is just a default which can be edited to suit your particular goal. You have the option to add as many milestones as you wish, by clicking the ‘add Milestone’ button.

 

You can change the time frame and the target of your milestones on the right hand side, or alternatively, you can drag the points on the graph.

Cascade gives users the option to change the label ‘Milestone’ to another term you may wish to use, e.g. Quarters or Months. You can also edit the semantics of the milestone numbering. For example, if you wish to create milestones to track each quarter of your financial year, you can create 4 milestones and name them ‘quarter’. The first milestone would be Q3 (as it is the first quarter of the financial year) so you are starting from 1 and the resets at value will be 4 (as there are only 4 quarters in a year). The system will then automatically create Q3, Q4, Q1, Q2 as your milestones.

Whilst setting up your milestones, you may want to start from scratch, especially when you are first starting out. If you wish to do this, you can reset your milestones by pressing the ‘reset’ button. This will reset your milestones  to the same number of milestones each with an even timeframe and target value.

Updating your goal with milestones

Updating the progress of a goal with milestones, functions the exact same way as goals without milestones. Simply use the slider when in the goal hub to update the goal. The progress you add will be allotted to whichever milestone time frame you are in when the goal is updated.

Updating historic progress

Sometimes you won’t be able to log into cascade and update a goal the exact day that the progress was achieved – when progress is added after it is achieved, it can skew which milestone the progress should truly belong to. That’s why Cascade has the ability to update historical progress. historical progress can be found by simply the clicking the    Icon.

To add historic progress, simply select a date and add a progress value and save. This will add that value to your goal as if it was added on that date. You’ll be able to see all your data points on the progress graph, and you can also change any historical values by dragging the points up and down.

Viewing Milestones on Dashboards & Snapshots

Milestones created on Goals  can be displayed on Dashboards, or in the Snapshot Reports.

To view Milestones on Dashboards, the ‘Goal Widget’ will need to be selected. Once the widget is on your Dashboard, you’ll be able to start typing the name of the goal.  Once the goal with milestones has been found, you’ll need to select the ‘goal progress’ widget content.  Your milestones will automatically display in the widget.

Viewing Milestones on Snapshot reports can be achieved in a similar fashion, you’ll need to select ‘Milestones’ from the available options. Simply  click the ‘show advanced’ button, and under ‘Columns’, you’ll see a “Milestones’ check box. Simply tick this box, and press generate.

When not to use milestones

Milestones are great for breaking your target into smaller pieces, but not your entire goal. All Milestones are required to have the same unit and milestone label. For scenarios where you want to break your goal into smaller pieces with different units, have different owners, or want a lot of detail, sub-goals may be a better option. Your goal can still be tracked by the targets of your sub-goals by using the various auto-tracking sub-goal options.

Setting Goal Status Tolerance

Tolerance is a set value that allows a user a certain amount of leeway on the calculation on goal status’ in your organisation. Goal status is determined by how much progress has been made in the goal period, versus how much progress should have been made according to the tracking curve. A goals tracking curve is linear by default however, the curve can be altered by the milestones you set.

 

You will always see how much your goal is ahead or behind in the goal hub. If a tolerance has been set,  goals are allowed to be a certain percentage off before they are marked as ‘Behind’.

For example, your goal is to achieve revenue of $1 million by 31/12/2017, and your goal began on the 01/01/2017, you’d need to earn roughly $274 a day to be considered ‘On Track’ (presuming no milestones have been set). Although, in reality, revenue isn’t earned in an even, consistent amount, daily. That is why Cascade allows the strategy privilege users to set a global tolerance value for their organisation. This way, if the tolerance for the organisation has been set at 10%, any user who’s goal completion is within a range of 10% of the progress required to stay ‘On Track’, the goal will still display as ‘On Track’.

 

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