Decoding Different Terminologies of Objectives!
  • 19 Jul 2023
  • 3 Minutes to read
  • Contributors

Decoding Different Terminologies of Objectives!

Article Summary

We've different objectives in Cascade - "Shared objectives", "Contributing objectives" and "Nested objectives", but what you need to understand is that these're all just different terminologies that're used to describe how those objectives relate to a plan and other objectives. You can view how all these objectives align and are related to each other in the Objective Alignment Map (See View the Alignment of your Objectives for details).

Shared or linked objectives are those that are shared across plans and contribute to the plan's success.

  • They allow collaboration of different teams to work on the same outcome sharing the same success criteria.
  • Here, the relationship is between different plans
  • Note that, when an objective is shared, the associated success criteria are also shared and available in the plans that they're part of!
  • Use them when you're collaborating on the same objective from different plans, and only when its ok for others to see those success criteria too!
  • For example, an objective "Net positive impact on the environment" can be shared between the Corporate Plan as well as the Operations, Supply chain, and Manufacturing Plans!

Contributing objectives are those that are linked to a parent objective and contribute to the parent objective's success. 

  • They connect the efforts of different plans or teams and establish one-to-many relationships that impact health tracking!
  • Here, the relationship is between these two objectives in the same or different plan.
  • There is a transfer of health and progress between the connected objectives.
  • These're same as the objectives that're added as contributors in the Relationships tab of the objective's sidebar.
  • Use them when an objective is linked or contributing to the success of another (parent) objective, thereby rolling up the progress and impact health tracking!
  • Objectives can contribute to an unlimited number of objectives, so contribution is a flexible way to connect different objectives together in the strategy.
  • For example, the objective "Total revenue in sales" in the Sales plan can be contributing to the objective "Achieve ARR of 20m$" in Corporate Plan or Revenue Operations Plan.

Nested objectives are those that are broken down from the complex high level objective and added as a success criteria to the parent objective. Objectives broken down in this way aggregate health up the hierarchy. 

  • They break down the work of a single team within the same plan, while supporting health tracking. This keeps the work visible and self-contained to that specific plan and team.
  • Here, the relationship is between the child and the parent objective.
  • These objectives cannot be shared or linked to any other objectives or plans.
  • Be judicious about the number of nested objectives. Instead add them in a separate plan and link them to the parent objective as a "contributing objective".
  • Use them when you want to break down your parent objective to more focused and actionable outcomes which can be executed by specific individuals.
  • For example, an objective "Explore usage of AI and ML in operations" can be a nested objective for the parent objective "Use technology advancements to improve operations", irrespective of the plan or focus area it resides in!


Can nested objectives be shared to other plans?

No, nested objectives must inherit the plan and focus area of its parent objective.

Can a nested objective also be a contributing objective?

Yes. But in this case, you can just add them as a contributing objective rather than a nested objective to avoid siloing work into a single team.

How many levels of nesting of objective nesting is supported?

Though you can add any number of objective nesting, we recommend you to be judicious and limit the number of layers to avoid the plans becoming too deep and siloing work into a single team.

Can a shared objective be added as a nested objective?

If the high level objective is a "shared objective", then, from the Contributes to section, you need to first unlink the plans and focus areas with which they're shared, and then go ahead to choose the relevant objective under which it needs to be nested! But, once nested, they cannot be shared. So, the best practice in this case, would be to add that objective as a contribution to the relevant objective, thereby still having it shared across plans and focus areas!

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