Add Relationships
  • 28 Jul 2023
  • 4 Minutes to read
  • Contributors

Add Relationships

Article Summary

This feature is available for all tiers. However, you can define only "contributor" relationship between objectives in "Free" and "Premium" tiers, while defining secondary relationships like blockers, dependencies, risks, leading indicators between any entities are available only in "Enterprise" tiers!

You've built your plans, laid out the projects and actions with milestones, fixed targets to achieve, and all of the pieces of your strategy is mapped out! You need to start executing so that you're working towards the outcomes and the vision that's set. And, to help you with this execution web that's spinning inside your organization, we're letting you add relationships to the initiatives! Highlight those blockers, contributions, dependencies, risks, and leading indicators for all stakeholders. In Enterprise tiers, you can add relationships to objectives, measures, projects or actions, while in Free and Premium tiers, you can add only "contributor" relationships between objectives!

Adding relationships

  • enables an organization to map out how their goals are connected and impact one another,
  • visualizes the alignment of objectives across plans in a dedicated view,
  • and, in future, will allow granular filtering and drilldown into any part of the strategy to surface meaningful context for decision-making.

Relationships allows you to see how initiatives are connected and impact each other. For example, which functions are a dependency or a blocker on each other, which business units drive the most important leading indicators of success, which are contributing to each other, and so on. Using relationships, you can have:

  • alignment - understand how your work is aligned and how is it performing
  • observability - dedicated view of alignment of all the objectives
  • adaptability - foresee impediments and optimize the efforts
  • flexibility - define relationships between the moving parts of strategy
  • efficiency - prioritize critical initiatives and drop misaligned and duplicated projects
  • and, guided decision making with accurate and data-driven information.

How to add relationships?

An admin or someone with "edit permissions" on the plan in which the relevant objectives, projects, measures or actions are housed can add relationships!

Open the Edit Sidebar option of the relevant objective, project, action or measure, and from the Relationships tab, click Add relationship.

  1. Select a relationship- From the dropdown list, select the relevant relationship.
    You can assign a "Contributor" relationship only between two objectives, and a "Submeasure" relationship only between two measures! At this stage, except for contributor relationships, all the other relationship types are "contextual-only" and do not transfer health or progress!
  2. Swap - Click to reverse the direction of the relationship.
  3. for/to - Choose the relevant initiative or entity to which you need to map this relationship.
  4. (Optional) Description - Enter some context or narrative, if you wish to!
  5. Click Create to save the relationship.

The relationship is saved, and you can see the details in the Relationships tab of the relevant entity's Sidebar. Note that, this will be reflected in both the entities' sidebar!

From the Relationships tab, click

  • Add relationship, if you wish to add a new relationship and click Save for the changes to get reflected.
  • the three dots, and click Edit to edit the relationship, or click Delete to delete them!
At this point, this information cannot be pulled into reports or dashboards!

Relationships for "Free" and "Premium" tiers:

You can add only "Contributor" relationships between objectives! Admins or those with edit permissions can add those from the Relationships tab of the Objective's sidebar!

Open the Edit Sidebar option of the relevant objective, and from the Relationships tab, click Add relationship.

You can swap the direction of contribution, give the relationship a description, and click Create to add a contributor relationship. Once saved, this relationship will be displayed in the Relationships tab of both the impacted objectives. The health and progress are transferred between the contributor objectives!

This objective will also be displayed in the Planner page beneath the parent objective as a contributing objective! Also, when an objective is added as a contributing objective (as a success criteria), it'll be displayed in the Relationships tab with a "contributor" label!

In case of projects, actions, and measures, only secondary relationships (blockers, dependencies, etc.,) are available, and if you wish to add those, you need to upgrade to Enterprise tier!

View contributing relationship in Alignment page:

If you've added contributor relationship between objectives or added contributing objectives as success criteria, then you can view the alignment and contribution in the objective alignment map. Hover the mouse over the objective rows, and click icon or click View alignment from the three dots, or navigate to Alignment > Align > Objectives tab to see the visualization. See View the Alignment of your Objectives for details.

If you wish to see all the relationships mapped out with an objective, click the icon to navigate to its drill down view! See The 'Drilldown' View for details!


What is the difference between shared objectives and objective contribution relationship?

Shared objectives means multiple plans or teams working towards the same goal, implying duplication. However, objective contribution means there is a flow of health and progress between two objectives implying hierarchy!

Do relationship types have any functional impact on each other?

In their current form, relationship types are mutually exclusive and intended to be used independently. For example,

  • Blockers, risks and dependencies are distinct concepts.
  • The inverse of a blocker is not necessarily a dependency.

However, the behavior and logic of these relationships may evolve in future!

Does the ‘risk’ relationship type have any overlap with the risk feature?

No, not at this point in time! These features have no bearing or integration with each other!

How does the concept of direction work for relationships?

Relationships are unidirectional (i.e. have an explicit direction), i.e.,:

  • For objective contribution, health and progress flows in a single direction.
  • For secondary relationships (dependency, blocker, etc.,), association flows from one entity to another entity.

Below scenarios are blocked:

  • Circular referencing - something looping on itself and enforcing direction (block creation of relationship in opposite direction)
  • Duplicate relationship - creating same relationship again

Why do I not see the "contributor" type when I add a relationship from project?

The "contributor" relationship can be defined only between two objectives and is not supported for the rest of the initiatives!

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