Goal Types


Cascade provides great flexibility for you to create your own tags to classify and categorize your Goals, and you can also use any of our pre-populated examples.

Admin - Goal Types 20160426a

Check out this short video about how Goal Types work and what you can do with them:

What is a “Goal Type”?

Goals are highly flexible. They allow you to capture a huge range of activities, targets, outcomes etc. in a simple, consistent framework. This flexibility means that you’ll want to be able to label your Goals with different tags, to help you view and report on the different types of objective you have created.  Goal Types are these tags.

You can set up the Goal Types to be mandatory or optional, and multiple or single-option selection, to support different business needs. So whether you want to apply a formal classification such as a balanced scorecard, an organisational category specific to your business or industry (e.g. a line of business or product area), or a more general breakdown such as geography (e.g. national or world regions, countries, states), Goal Types give you that flexibility.


How to change your Goal Types

Select “Design Framework” on the left-hand side of your Strategy Planner, and you’ll see the Goal Type editor. In the editor, you can change things at group level, or at item level. In the example b, “Scorecard” is the group, and “Financial” is an item.

At the group level, you can:

  • Name or rename the group.
  • Add a new item.
  • Decide whether it is compulsory for someone creating a Goal to select an item from this group.
  • Decide whether they can select one or multiple items from this group.
  • Enable or disable this group – if you disable it, the group will not appear when people are creating or editing Goals.

Admin - Goal Types Editor Group 20160427a

At the item level, you can:

  • Name or rename the item.
  • Create a description of the item.
  • Enable or disable the item – if you disable it, the group will not appear when people are creating or editing Goals.
  • Delete this item. This will remove it from the list, and from any Goals to which it was attached (including archived Goals).

Admin - Goal Types Editor Items 20160426a

Re-purposing a Goal Type group or item

When you rename a Goal Type group or item, those changes will appear on any Goal to which the item is already attached, and in any new Goal or edit Goal screens from now on. So, if you change the item “Financial” to “Budget”, any Goal that was tagged as “Financial” will now be tagged with “Budget”.
Therefore, if you are completely re-purposing a Goal Type group or item, e.g. you don’t want to use “Balanced Scorecard”, you’d rather have “World Region”, then you must delete the old items (“Financial” etc.) and create new ones (e.g. “Americas”, “APAC”, “EMEA”). You can rename the group itself as usual, as this is only a label.


Pre-Populated Goal Types

Balanced Scorecard

Many organisations already utilise a balanced scorecard approach for grouping their activities, initiatives, and objectives. Balanced scorecards are well suited to larger organizations who wish to ensure a balance between key Focus Areas.

Find out more: “Balanced Scorecards” on Wikipedia

The Goal Types could be configured as below (the default), but you can construct your own scorecard to meet your business needs:

  • Financial
  • Customer
  • Process
  • Learning & Development

McKinsey’s Strategic Horizons

Strategic Horizons provide a high level categorical of goals against short, medium, and long term outlooks, incorporating the concept of whether something is part of your current core business, an emerging opportunity, or is still in the exploratory stage for the future.

This framework is well suited to product and service organisations, and those for whom innovation and medium/long term growth are key focus areas. Note that Cascade already has functionality to map Goals against time, providing some insight similar to the Horizons framework. However by using this as a Goal Type, it will place a strong emphasis on the need for balanced horizons, and provide the ability to view and report specifically on them.

Find out more: 3 Horizons Article

Goal types would be configured as:

  • Horizon 1 – Short
  • Horizon 2 – Medium
  • Horizon 3 – Long

Other Options for Goal Types

This is not an exhaustive list, it just shows a few different possibilities. Others include geographic areas, lines of business within the organisation, product areas, etc.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Your organisation may already have a robust set of KPIs against which you wish to group Goals. This may be particularly appropriate for service delivery organisations. The exact KPIs will depend on your business, and some Goals will always fall into the ‘other’ category, however an example set is below:

Goal Type items might be:

  • Customer Service Score
  • Customer Net Promoter Score
  • Market Capitalisation
  • Staff Retention Rate
  • Other


Goals can also be defined in terms of who or what they are designed to benefit. Whilst there is some overlap with a balanced scorecard approach, not-for-profit organisations may find it useful to express goals in this way as it creates a tangible link between employee activities and the causes they are serving.

Goal Type items might be:

  • The Environment
  • The Community
  • Each Other

Goal Origination

Sometimes it can be useful to group Goals based on where they originated, thus painting a picture of the type of organisation you are running. For example, to help measure how proactive vs reactive you are, how top-down your management culture is, etc.

Goal Type items might be:

  • Annual Operating Plan
  • Customer/Client Feedback
  • Manager Directive
  • Self Directive


If you want to create a tighter link between your goals and the values of the organisation – i.e. you want to be able to explicitly show how a goal aligns to one of your values – you can do this using Goal Types. Simply create a Goal Type called ‘Values’ and then set a Goal Type item for each one of your values. People will then be able to specify how a goal links to a value (or multiple values if you enable this option on the Goal Type).