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Goal Model Mapping

Logical chains of cause - effect

The map shows the chains of cause and effect between the assets we use, the things we do and the goals we achieve. In simple terms, it’s the link between means, ways and ends.

Some networks are very simple, others are complex. They overlap with our other networks and the networks of those around us. 

The network consists of:

  • Drivers – the influences that make you act
  • Goals – the results with a purpose that you want to see
  • Benefits – the things you believe have value
  • Outcomes – measurable results that lead to benefits
  • Conversion – changing an asset to make it more relevant, e.g. refine ore into metal, sell metal to make money
  • Assets – things that are useful and relevant to what you want to achieve
  • Solution - the total set of assets and results being considered

Goal Model Map (BDN) showing benefits dependency

The Goal Modelling Map is one of the key tools to help you make decisions in a complex world. It is a tool that shows the linkage from the solution, through business activities, outcomes and benefits to the organisation's overall drivers. It confirms that the system you intend to introduce will actually provide the results you are seeking. Any feature that isn’t linked to a benefit is obviously of doubtful value. Features with many or vital links can be picked out for special attention.

Starting on the left, you ask ‘Why?’ to make the connections, ‘Why use this tool?’

Starting from the right, ask ‘How?’ ‘How will I meet my goal?’  

The best way to build the map is to use Post-it notes on a blank wall. You can move the notes about as you think through the logic of the connections. Once you are happy with the layout you can draw in the links between the notes. The big advantage of this method is that you can see the whole picture. If you use a mindmap or drawing package then you have to scroll about or shrink the picture so far that you can’t read the boxes.   

More detail on how to build the Goal Modellling Map

Here’s a simple example, the Goal Modelling Map for this site.


Goal Interdependence

Our goal modelling networks connect or overlap with those of other people.  

This site is an example of overlapping chains. Our drivers led to the creation of this site. Yours have led you to stick with us so far. Our chains have connected briefly  

All these overlapping networks form a continuous chain. We have to set boundaries, start and end points that define the limits of our own responsibilities.

More detail on Goal Modelling

Now you've seen how the tools and techniques will help you make decisions, it's time to see how widely you can put them to use.

Practical Applications