The Goal Tree

Goal Tree, The Goal Tree, Future State Engineering

In our previous blogs we talked about Current and Future Realities. The Goal Tree, which is the topic of this blog, ties everything together.


The Goal Tree explained

The cornerstone of a Goal Tree is a Logical Thinking Process that is linked to the Theory of Constraints. It can be described as a tool to outline all the necessary components to achieve the goals, from objectives called Critical Success Factors (CSFs), to its Necessary Conditions (NCs). All components of a Goal Tree are linked together by a logical relationship. This relationship is based on the following formula: “in order to have… we must have…”. 

The very top of the Goal Tree holds the Goal that correspond with the statements: “What to change to”,How to change”, and “In what sequence”. On the next level, Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are outlined. They are the top objectives that are mandatory to fulfill in order to achieve the Goal. Under each CSFs, there is a variable number of Necessary Conditions (NC). Because the Goal Tree is built on necessity logic, all the NCs are to be fulfilled in order to achieve the Goal. In other words, if one of Necessary Conditions is not fulfilled, the Goal cannot be achieved. 

Find the visualization of the Goal Tree below:

Goal Tree, The Goal Tree, Future State Engineering


Effective goal set-up

In order to reach the defined Goal most effectively, the managers should closely work with each other and the front-line workers. This will help the managers to understand the logical links between each components of the Goal Tree on a deeper level, to access the current situation more quickly, and to define NCs more precisely. As the team works on the Goal Tree, the understanding of “Where to go” and “How to do it” should be very clearly defined and actively based on a logical relationship between actions and purpose.  

Based on our experience, when companies start working on improving their business, the actual work on a Goal Tree is not limited to simply writing down a list of actions and requirements they think should support such improvement. This is done based on their experience and current paradigms developed through education and experience. Very often this process does not go very far, thus is not successful by any means. What they are lacking is a Fundamental System and a Formal Approach where current paradigms are challenged, and various components of the organization are taken into account and are built into a logical action plan that actually works.  


Measuring performances: KPI’s

Another problem the organization can encounter is “measuring the performance” of the Critical Success Factors. It is a complex and continuous process that determines the level of achievement of Goal All the data obtained during this process is crucial when decisions on what measures to use and the strategy and tactics to apply are made. 

Performance with reference to CSFs are measured by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These KPI should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive. Determining the correct CSFs and KPIs is the foundation of any High Performing Organization. These KPIs, though, are very specific to each situation and each organization; however, they must be carefully selected to induce employees to take action to improve the overall performance of the organization, and not to promote sub-optimization.

Some of the common “branches” of the Goal Tree when performing an analysis on an organization include: Demand and Capacity Planning, Order Execution, Employee Morale and Satisfaction, Quality Improvement, etc. These are the basic areas where the companies most likely would need improvement in a systematic and logical way the Goal Tree provides. 


To sum it up, Goal Tree is a great logical tool in building a strong systematic plan where goals and necessary conditions are tied by necessary logic. Experts like Future State Engineering have knowledge,  tools, and experience to assist you on this road to success!

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