Objectives are the most important part of Cascade - they represent 'the impact you’re trying to have' and are the main components of any strategic plan. For example, some objectives may be - Increase website traffic, achieve NPS 25, reduce churn rate, target 2m revenue in Q2, and so on.
In Cascade, the term Objective refers to the items inside your Focus Areas. Objectives can exist on their own, or they can contain other components, such as:
- Projects (these have actions nested under them!)
- Contributing Objectives
While onboarding, soon after you sign-up, the first step we ask of you is to create a few objectives. Though it is advisable to get started right away, you can also skip adding objectives at this point in time, and do it later. Adding objectives in Cascade is intuitive, straightforward, and is accessible from almost anywhere in the workspace! Get some inspiration from our blog to know more on strategic objectives and initiatives.
From the Add objective sidebar:
Click on the top-right corner of any of the pages, and click Add objective. The Add objective sidebar opens.
From there, fill in the details:
- Name your Objective - Just name your Objective something that gets across what you are trying to accomplish.
- Set a Start Date and End Date - set a timeline for your Objective. The Start Date will default to today, but you can set it in the future or the past. The End Date is just as flexible - it just has to be after the start date.
- Assign the Owners and Collaborators - the owner will default to you, since you added the objective. You can add collaborators, who'll be able to work on the objective and update it.
- Set the Strategic Contribution - this Contributes to area will determine where your Objective fits into your plan - where it contributes to the strategy. You can pick the plan it fits into, and the Focus Area(s) it falls in. If you think that this objective can be linked to another objective to impact the success, then you can link by selecting the plan in which the objective is defined, and search and link to it.
- Create the Success Criteria - these are sub-items that will determine what is required to make your Objective successful. There are a few options for the success criteria. They can be Projects, Measures, Actions, or Contributing Objectives.
Click Save, and the Objective sidebar opens.
From the Planner page:
You can add an objective
- or, by selecting an existing objective from another plan or owner
Click + Add objective inside an existing Focus Area.
Add an Inline Objective
Name your objective, and click Save. The added objective will be added inline, and will look like this under the focus area.
You can edit the title, owner and date inline by clicking on the Pencil icon, owner and due date fields respectively! You can add comments, click the three dots to edit the objective from the Edit Objective sidebar (Check out The 'Sidebar' article to know what's done there!), or click Add success criteria to add a project/measure/action/contributing objective to keep working on this objective!
Add an Existing Objective
If there is an objective that's already added in your workspace, which you too need for your plan, then you can share (duplicate) that objective. For example, there is a Sales Plan which has one of its objectives as "Hire a new Sales Lead in APAC", and you're coming up with a "Q2 Growth Plan" which has a focus area "Expansion in APAC", and its objective also needs to be "Hire a new Sales Lead in APAC"- in this case, you can search for that existing objective, and add to your plan.
Click Add existing objective - My objective library opens.
Either type and search for objectives, or filter by owner or plan, and choose the objective from the list, and click Add objective.
The objective and its associated success criteria will be added to the focus area. You can still add your own projects/measures/actions/contributing objectives to this shared objective. Since this is a shared objective, whenever there is a progress made, it'll reflect in all the places where it's added.
When there're shared objectives in your workspace, you can find how they're horizontally aligned across plans from the alignment score in the Alignment page.
You can view all the objectives that're assigned to you under the My upcoming goals section of your Home page!