Chapter 6. Identify Project Goals with Goal Mapping

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Identify Project Goals with Goal Mapping

Someone shared a dashboard they’d designed. I asked, “Why did you make this dashboard? How does this dashboard help the organization?” They didn’t know. I asked, “How do you know what’s good?”

It’s tough to make good decisions if you don’t know the project’s goals. This leaves teams rudderless and adrift. They paddle the boat, and don’t go anywhere specific. You can help your team navigate better when you identify the project’s goals.

Any time someone asks why, your team should agree on the goals and on what goals are most important. In this chapter, we’ll look at how a goal map can help you think about and align your team on one set of prioritized project goals.

I use a goal map as a part of formal discovery and kickoff workshops. I also use an abbreviated, conversational version when I join random meetings for unfamiliar projects. We’ll look at the workshop version first and then talk about how to adjust the approach for more informal settings.

How Goal Mapping Works

Goal mapping uses a common approach to generate and prioritize a list of items (Figure 6-1):

  1. Individually, everyone generates what they perceive as the project’s goals and then shares their goals with the group.
  2. Working together, everyone groups all goals by similarity. These are “themes.”
  3. Working together, everyone agrees on a name for each theme.
  4. Working together, everyone prioritizes the themes from most important ...

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