Goal tree: what is it and how to build it?

Raising a son, building a house and planting a tree is a list of life goals that everyone knows. Today we will try to fulfill the third point. And not in the direct sense of it. Let’s create a goal tree. Ideally, in the future it will help to solve both the first two tasks and the third, but in its real sense.

What it is?

A goal tree is a fairly common method for achieving goals, which is mainly used in management. To use this method, a person needs to “grow a tree” of his goals. To do this, they should be distributed according to the levels of significance. It can be said that this is the definition of plans in the form of a tree drawing.

came up with it Russell Lincoln Ackoff, a scientist from the USA, and it happened back in 1957. The idea of ​​the American turned out to be so successful that it is still widely used today. In fact, this is a method of planning cases, only the schedule is compiled in the form of a tree. Its trunk is the main goal, and branches are simpler or less significant tasks.

When creating it, graphic images are used. Moreover, the tree in such a figure will be upside down.

Thus, the trunk is at the top and symbolizes the main goal. And from its top, our other tasks “grow”, as if forming the crown of the tree of goals.

Pros and cons


Structuring information in the form of a tree of goals will help to cope with the tasks set more effectively. By “planting” such a sprout, you will immediately see what problems you have to solve, what you will need in order to climb to the top, what additional resources may be required.

In this way you can even determine the time it will take to implement your plan. However, this will be a very approximate value. But you can easily figure out how one of your actions affects another, how the complexity of performing one task depends on another. Tracking relationships will help not only to implement ideas in business and create successful projects, but also to solve personal problems.

The disadvantages can hardly be attributed to some laboriousness of the method, because to build our tree of goals, you will have to try.

How to build?

The technique itself is very easy to use. You just need to follow a few key rules. And this will make your life easier, help in self-realization, and maybe even allow you to find happiness. So, let’s get down to the task at hand.

The circuit is very simple. The main thing is to make it right. First, we define our main goal. It will become the support, the essence, that is, the trunk of our tree. But in order for the trunk to become strong and powerful, it needs branches — other tasks that surround it will form a crown. In another way, they can be called subgoals that must be achieved in order to eventually begin to implement the main idea. Each such branch can have its own «sprouts».

One of the design rules is to thoroughly “draw” each process. To create a tree, you need to scrupulously describe each of its branches, and then your mission will certainly become feasible. This technique will show you all of your upcoming actions that will need to be taken to achieve your plan, and will also help determine the resources that you will need to use.


Consider needs and resources


A goal tree is created to solve very complex tasks or implement large-scale projects that require a clear action plan. Sometimes it is difficult to estimate what this or that goal will cost us. In this case we will clearly depict the requirements that each problem places on us, and we will be able to determine what we need to implement it, what we already have at our disposal, what additional forces and means will be needed.

Specify

When creating a tree of goals, form your ideas clearly. Be sure to determine what the final result should be. To do this, write on what grounds it will be possible to call your task completed, how you will feel when this happens, what events will indicate the fulfillment of a dream and the achievement of a goal. Set a due date for the work.

Break the task down into steps

To save time and effort, divide your intentions into several stages. The first, of course, will be the main goal. Next, distribute the subgoals along the “crown” of your tree. Then describe what you need to implement them. You must write out all the resources you need. Only then will it become clear how to solve the main problem.

For everything to work correctly, you need to define each step. If your scheme does not get one or another stage, all efforts will be in vain. When at least one small branch is missing in the goal tree, this leads to its “withering”. Only if you specify everything you need to implement your plan, the plan will work. If it turns out that you intentionally or accidentally missed something, then everything will go down the drain or not.

Compliance with the structure of the enterprise


Imagine that your enterprise is a tree. Each of its departments is a separate branch that helps to support and strengthen the trunk. Everyone should have their own specific goal, a clearly formulated task. If the load between units is distributed correctly, then your tree will definitely stand firmly on the ground.

An imbalance will lead to catastrophic consequences.

Decomposition method

For more efficient work, the decomposition method is often used. With him the main task is broken down into several less complex and less time-consuming to perform.

Another variant — build a kind of staircase from small tasks leading to the top of your tree. Which method to use, you need to decide based on the specific situation. In each individual case, one or the other option may be more effective. The main thing is to correctly assess the available resources and correctly distribute them to solve the tasks.

Construction examples

As we already know, the goal tree can help not only in the implementation of business projects, but also in solving purely private tasks. For example, let’s take a situation that is faced, perhaps, in every family. Namely, the problem of the child’s admission to a higher educational institution. The applicant’s goal tree will consist of a trunk (the main task is to become a student of a certain university) and branches (resources available for this and a list of additional ones).

First you need to determine what is already available on the items:

  • the level of knowledge gained in secondary school, USE scores;
  • the presence of connections in the educational environment;
  • financial capabilities of parents, other relatives who can provide assistance.

Next, you need to analyze the state in which these resources are located, and begin to search for «fertilizers», that is, the creation of subgoals. Let’s start from the very beginning — if the knowledge that the child receives in the classroom at school is not enough for admission, additional classes are needed. You need to find a person who has sufficient knowledge and the ability to teach a child. Most likely, he will not do this for free, so it is necessary to find funds in the family budget to pay for the services of a tutor.


Besides, you will have to radically reshape your child’s schedule and set aside time for extra classes. From here, new shoots “cut through”. For example, to find a tutor, you can use your connections: remember, maybe your old friend still teaches at MGIMO? In case of a shortage of money to pay for the work of a tutor, you need to think about where you can get them. This may be a loan, and the search for additional sources of income, and the opportunity to ask for financial assistance from friends or relatives.

Of course, if your child intends to go to study at the Ivanovo Textile Institute, all this is unlikely to be required. There are enough universities in Russia where you can enter with an average level of marks. If this is your goal, then the tree created to achieve it will be different. Among the subgoals will be the collection of necessary documents, certificates from a doctor, and so on.

If your goal is Moscow State University or a prestigious university abroad, then your tree will turn out to be more cumbersome, but, you see, it will be more difficult to grow it, but much more attractive and interesting for each member of your family. This most often requires not only a bright mind, but also a tight wallet.

You can also achieve financial well-being with the help of a goal tree. So, our trunk (main task) is financial well-being. Its branches (subgoals) are the main and additional earnings, the possibility of earning income through investments in banks, the purchase of securities, playing on the stock exchange or the lottery.

It all depends on how «strong» your trunk is.


If your main idea enter the Forbes list, then there will be no less branches on your tree of goals than pages in this prestigious magazine. Its branches will accommodate additional education, a change in professional activity, the search for “the right people” in the industry you are interested in, moving to another region or even to another country, and so on.

If you just need to find an extra couple of thousand rubles for financial well-being, then the branches of your tree will look different. The list of sub-goals in this case would include finding extra or overtime work, buying a lottery ticket, visiting a rich aunt, and so on.

In both cases, the goal tree will certainly help you. Remember, the main thing is to accurately formulate your desires, carefully analyze your capabilities and find additional resources to realize your dreams.. And then you will certainly raise a son, build a house, and plant a tree near him, reminiscent of the tree of goals that once helped you fulfill your desire.


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