Goals are the backbone of your organization’s strategy. They are the small pieces of the strategy that each person or team owns. In this article we are going to cover everything you need to know about creating your goals. This article will focus on creating goals in a ‘bottom up’ way – in other words, creating your own set of goals that will align back to the strategic plan. If you’re the owner of the strategic plan, and want to set goals in a ‘top down’ way, you probably should check out this article instead.
To start creating your own set of goals in Cascade, go to the “My Goals” page, which is located under your name in the top left. In the top right hand corner you will see an “Add Goal” button. This short video will walk you through the goal setting process.
The first tab of the goal designer is simply an overview of what a goal is, and where it sits in the strategic plan.
When you create a goal in Cascade, you will be asked how that goal ‘contributes’ to other things that are happening in the organization. The Contribute tab in the Goal Designer will present you with a list of suggested Goals to which this one could align and contribute to. The list will depend on who you are, where in the system you are, and what type of Goal it is.
For example, if you create an organizational goal, the Contribute tab will display Focus Areas for you to align to.
If you’re adding a goal from the Planner, you will see the Organizational Goals and your direct Manager’s Goals.
If you’re adding a goal from the My Goals page, Goal Hub or anywhere else, if you:
- Have a Role in the top 2 levels of the org chart, you will see the Organizational Goals and your direct Manager’s Goals.
- Have a Role outside the top 2 org chart levels, you’ll just see your direct Manager’s Goals.
You managers goals will include all goals they own or co-own. NOTE- if you’re at the top of the org chart, and have no manager, you’ll see nothing for your managers goals.
If you can’t find the goal that you want to contribute to, you can use the search engine to find that goal. You can contribute to as many goals as you like – just keep clicking on the goals you want to contribute to.
It’s important to try to contribute to at least one other goal when you create your goal. Otherwise, your new goal will be viewed as being ‘unaligned’ with the organization’s strategy.
The goal tab is where you’ll input the description and target of your Goal. You’ll need to enter an action and details such as, ‘Provide best in class customer support throughout customer life cycle‘. The title of your goal should be 1 sentence at most, if you find your goal requires additional information, the More Details text box at the bottom of the page can be used.
A start and end date will also need to be added, this allows the system to track your goals progress, and helps ensure you stay on track and keep focused on your deadline.
You then have the option to add in a target, an initial value, and set when your goal is complete.
Your target is the value you are trying to reach for your goal. E.g. $10,000. Once you add in a value, you’ll notice an extra set of options appear. The drop down menu next to the target is where you can add your unit of measurement for your goal, for example- dollars, complaints, or people.
The other set of options you’ll notice, is to help the system understand the way you’re tracking your goal. This will allow the system to 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%”.
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.
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.
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 your 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 target and deadline is reached’.
The tracking tab is where you can customise your tracking curve. You’re able to do this using 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 add 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 selecting from the drop down menu how many Milestones you’d like to increase the current amount by, and then clicking the ‘add’ button. You also have the option to edit the Milestones directly from the graph, by pulling the Milestone points up or down.
The final tab on the Goal Designer allows you to categorise and classify your goal, allocate a budget and restrict visibility if necessary. You have the option of three goal types:
- Strategic Horizon
- Business Line
NOTE- these goal types may appear different if the terminology in your framework has been altered.
You’ll be given the option to allocate a weighting to your goal. This will range from ‘Not Weighted’ to “Top Priority’.
‘Time Allocated’ will allow you to determine how much time per week you should spend on the goal. The text box displaying ‘ 0 / 7 days per week’ will display a cumulative amount of the time allocated to each goal, so you are able to easily identify how much time you’ve already allocated to other goals.
Creating goals for other people
There are 2 ways to create goals for other people in Cascade, and the way you choose will depend on what you’re trying to achieve.
Creating sub goals for other people
Once you’ve created your own set of goals, you might want to add sub goals underneath your own goals, that you assign to other people. For example, you may have a goal to ‘Sell more chickens’, and you now want to create a sub goal of that which is ‘Create our marketing plan for selling more chickens’.
To create sub goals underneath yours, you need to enter the goal hub for your own goal. Once there, click on the ‘Add Sub-Goal’ button towards the bottom of the screen:
When you click the button, the usual goal designer will appear, with the addition of an extra tab: Assign. Assign is where you select who you want to give this sub goal to. Note that by default, all of your direct reports will be listed – but you can assign sub goals to anyone. Simply search for the name of the person you wish to assign the sub goal to, and they will appear in the list for you to select from.
Also note that you can assign sub goals to yourself too. In this instance, you will simply be responsible for delivering both the parent Goal and the Sub Goal.
Creating the same goal for many people
In some cases, you may even wish to create multiple copies of the same goal for lots of different people simultaneously. For example, you may want to create a goal for everyone in the organization to ‘Attend staff social events: 5’. This would be a perfect candidate for using a functionality called ‘parachuting’. To do this, go to the My Team page, and click on the ‘parachute goal’ button:
When you create goal in this way, the ‘assign’ tab will allow you to add as many recipients for the goal as you like (again, use the search engine function if you can’t find the name of the person you want to create the goal for).
Note that when you parachute a goal, you are creating multiple copies of the same goal – these goals will all be independent and need to tracked separately!
Cascade allows you to create a new goal is Cascade by cloning an existing one. To clone a goal you will need to click the clone icon, either inside the goal hub on the My Goals page or on the Planner.
Once you click this button a Goal designer window will open giving you the option to change for the pre-existing goal information. The word CLONE will automatically be inserted into the beginning to the goal title to avoid confusion.
You will be given the option to clone any Sub Goals attached to the goal, The owner of the sub-goals will be default to the user selected to own the parent goal. Or if you are Cloning a Organisational Goal the Sub Goals will be assigned to their original owners.