An Action in Cascade is a specific activity that someone is doing to work towards the completion or realization of an Objective. For example, if your objective is "Scale digital advertising", then your action will be "Hire a marketing expert to scale the digital world". Another example, if your objective is "Ensure satisfied customers and long-term customer loyalty", the action or task will be "Ensure customer distribution experience". You can also have a couple of actions nested under Projects!
You can add a new action:
- From the relevant Objective's sidebar, click + Add success criteria > New action to add an action in the Sidebar view!
- From the Planner page, click + icon under the relevant Objective, and click New action to add an action inline. You can then fill in the details from the Edit action Sidebar.
- From the Success criteria tab of the relevant Objective's Goal hub page, click + icon and click New action. This'll add the action inline, and you can later edit it from its sidebar to add more context.
Name and Description:
- Name your Action something that specifies what actions or tasks you are going to do to achieve the outcome that you wish for. Though there's no character limitation, keep the title concise and use the Description field to provide additional context with rich text, bullets, embedded links and videos.
- Set a Start date and End date, which will set a timeline for your action. Its recommended to set the dates not exceeding the range of the dates of the parent objective! Based on the due dates, Cascade calculates the expected progress/target for the action, thereby determining its health!
Owners and Collaborators:
- The Owners field automatically defaults to the one who creates the action, and if you wish to change, click the owner profile icon, and from the drop-down list, choose the user you wish to assign the ownership to! Please note that, while you can assign ownership to Viewers, their role does not let them to do anything on the action but just review and leave comments on them.
- From the Collaborator area, you can add or manage collaborators, who will be able to work on the actions. Like the name suggests, they collaborate on the actions, i.e., add or edit actions, add the existing users in the workspace to the actions, change owners, due dates and targets, add risks and relationships and so on. However, if you wish to restrict their access only to the goals that they collaborate on, then you can assign them can view access from the Share modal. See Plan Permissions for details.
Tracking actions' progress:
You can track an action either manually, via milestones, checklists or by integrating with Jira or other applications. Choose the tracking type to determine how you wish to track the progress of your action!
- Manually: Use this option if you wish to track your action manually. You can just scoot the manual slider to update the progress from a 0% to 100%!
- Milestones - Define milestones if your tasks or items need to be in a particular order, weighted or prioritized differently than other items and are time bound. By definition, a milestone represents a percentage of an Action to be completed that has been connected to a specific date. Click Add milestones. By default, Cascade will create three Milestones for an Action, but you can add extra, if you want. Hover the mouse between the milestones to add one from the + icon. The health and progress is tracked based on the dates, and the values in percentage (though it is not mandatory to fill in these fields, it is important to have this data to track progress.). You can scoot the slider in the progress bar to update progress of milestones! Click the X icon to remove a milestone or click Remove milestones to remove all the milestones.
- Checklists- Use checklists if you wish to complete your tasks in no particular order where every task or item is weighed equally. By definition, a checklist represents an activity or a group of activities or tasks to be completed by a specific date in no particular order. You can have a couple of checklist items to be completed on the same date, and you can also back-date your checklist items (the date range must be within the parent objective). Click Add items. By default, Cascade will create two Checklist items for an Action, but you can add extra, if you want. The health and progress is tracked based on the completion of the items - select the check-box of the item you completed, and the progress gets updated! The overdue items will be highlighted in red! Click Add item to add any checklist item at a later point in time. You cannot manually scoot the progress bar to update progress on checklist items! Click the X icon to remove a milestone or click Remove all items to remove all the checklist items.
- Integrations - You may be tracking your various tasks across a number of tools, like Jira, Trello, and so on. Our smart integrations will allow you to connect to any app to bring your data from almost anywhere, and visualize them all in one place, here in Cascade! Using Zapier and Power Automate integrations with Cascade gives you the freedom and flexibility to connect your SaaS tools with ease, so you can plan, manage, and track all your goals in one place! See Collaborate and Automate with Integrationsfor details.Note that, at this point in time, you can only bring in the percentage of completion of tasks varying from 0% to 100% from other apps into Cascade. Please contact our technical support team if you wish to bring in custom fields, texts, dates, etc., from your applications into Cascade.
Expected Progress for "Manually" tracked actions:
- Under Expected Progress area, set a period or day(s) to determine when you will update the progress.
- Depending on your choice of updating the progress on an action, you can choose weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually, and based on this, you can further select the day of your choice to make updates! This data is required to calculate the expected progress.
- If the Send update reminders based on the expected progress schedule check-box is selected, then the owner of the action will receive notifications both in-app and mail to remind them to make progress updates! See Set-up Reminders for Goal Updates for details.
Update Schedule for actions tracked by "Milestones" or "Checklists":
- From the Schedule dropdown list, set a period or day(s) to determine when you'll update the progress of your actions.
- Based on the cadence that you set, the owner of the action will receive notifications both in-app and mail to remind them to make progress updates. See Set-up Reminders for Goal Updates for details.
However, you'll be notified even if their health is "Achieved" or "Exceeded" to enable you to still make updates to let everyone know if you're keeping well on the goal!
- Contributes to area will show the plan and the objective or project your action belongs to. Click Edit and choose the relevant objective or project from the list if you wish to move the action either under a different objective or project of the same or different plan.
- Or, click Move from the three dots against the action title, choose the relevant objective or project within the same plan or a different plan, and click Confirm. The action will now be displayed as a success criteria under the chosen objective or project.
When you save the Action, you’ll have a progress bar that tracks the progress and health of the action. Hover the mouse over the progress bar to know about the actual progress, milestone details, and expected progress. In case of manual or milestone tracking, you'll see a manual slider that you can scoot around to track your progress. Every time you update that progress, you’ll get the chance to attach a quick and concise update as well, which will also get displayed in the Updates tab. And, if you wish to give a detailed update, you can do it from the Updates tab.
All those actions assigned to you will be listed under the My upcoming work section of your Home page. You can view them in a single execution view from the Kanban board to prioritize your work and execute seamlessly! See the article on The 'Kanban' Board for more details!
|Tracking progress "manually"||Tracking progress with "milestones"||Tracking progress with "checklists"|
Edit Action from its Sidebar:
When you edit an action from its sidebar, you can provide additional context that you wish to add on to the action. These can be:
- (Enterprise-only) Types added to the actions to define their category of work. See Add Goal Types: Advance Strategy Model Customization for details.
- (Enterprise-only) Custom fields defined for the actions and saved in a template. You can populate data against those from here. See Apply Templates with Custom Fields to Plans for details.
- (All tiers) Risks added to the action along with its impact, likelihood, and mitigations. See Add Risks for details.
- (Enterprise-only) Relationships between actions, or objectives, measures, and projects. See Add Relationships for details.
See the article on Sidebar for more insights into the functionalities offered within it.
Can I add custom fields to actions?
Yes! You can define custom fields for actions and apply that template to the plan. But this will apply the custom fields to all the actions in that plan!
When to define milestones and checklists for actions?
Checklists work well for simple tasks that are weighed equally and are not date bound. These give you the flexibility to do things out of order if you need to and can be quickly checked off as they are completed. Milestones are best used for larger projects/initiatives where each task or item needs to be completed in a specific order and the individual tasks requires sizing/estimation, i.e., when one item is weighted more heavily than the others towards the overall completion!
If you wish to track each sub items or sub tasks by assigning different owners, then our recommendation would be to create a project with actions and assigning those actions to different owners!
I want actions to be called as tasks, is that possible?
Yes, you can customize the alias name the way you want. But only the users with Admin privileges have access to change that from Admin > Strategy model.
Will I be notified based on the date set in my checklists?
If you've set the proper cadence in the Update schedule list to reflect the date in your checklist item, then you'll be notified that an update is due!
Can I change action into an objective or project?
Once created, you cannot change it into any other entity type. At this point, you need to delete it and create it as an objective or project from scratch!
Are actions under projects different from the actions under objectives?
Yes! While actions nested under the projects contribute to the health of the projects, those under objectives contribute towards the objective's health!
I want the actions to be updated on a quarterly basis!
From the Update Schedule or Expected Progress (in manually tracked actions) section, choose the Period as Quarterly and also select the day in which you're most likely to update progress! Depending on your choice of updating the progress on an action, you can choose weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually, and based on this, you can further select the day of your choice to make updates! Once that's set, you'll be notified that the update is due!
Where can I see the actions assigned to me?
You'll see all the actions that you own and collaborate in the My upcoming work section of your Home page. Click Go to Kanban board in that section to view them in a Kanban board!
I moved the card of my action to "Wont do", but it still shows up as "On Track"!
Health and status are two different entities! The status in the Kanban board is not dependent on the health of your action. If you do not make any updates to that action, its health will subsequently change to "Behind" or "At risk" with time, but the status in Kanban board as well as in the sidebar will remain at "Wont do" till you move the card to some other status!
How do I move an action under an objective to a project?
Click Move from the three dots against the action title, choose the relevant objective or project within the same plan or a different plan, and click Confirm. The action will now be displayed as a success criteria under the chosen objective or project.
Alternatively, edit the action from its sidebar, and in the Contributes to section, you'll see that the objective is displayed. Click Edit against the objective, and from the dropdown, select Project and choose the relevant project from the list and click Save. The action will be moved from the objective to the chosen project! You can also choose a project in a different plan, if you know the details!
In case of moving an action from a project to an objective, you need to select Objective from the dropdown and choose the relevant objective.
Where can I see the updates made on an action?
Build an Objectives table in a Report, and select Last update as one of the table columns, and you'll see all the quick updates made while updating progress (scoot the progress bar manually in the Details tab) and also the detailed updates made from the Updates tab!