The goal pyramid is a form of hierarchical goal-structuring. It is used to subdivide strategic goals into operational goals and thus gain better accessibility as well as a higher motivational effect through goal orientation. Generally, a goal pyramid is divided into three to five hierarchical goal levels. The higher the goal level, the more concrete the individual goals. In three goal levels one can talk about, for instance, a strategic main goal, the already more concrete intermediate goals as well as the action goals at the operational goal level.
At the level of action goals, the goals should be formulated in accordance with the SMART principle. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. The SMART principle describes how action goals should be structured in order to have a motivating effect.
1. Formulate the main goal
The (strategic) main goal is firstly formulated. The main goal describes the idea of the reform as well as the ideal state to be attained. It is the orientation point for all the goal levels subordinate to it. The main goal therefore remains abstract and is not directly attainable with only one action.
2. Subdivide the main goal into intermediate goals
After the main goal has been formulated, it is divided into several intermediate goals that concretize the various aspects of the main goal, indicate individual “paths” to reach the main goal and, for instance, address responsible groups of actors. The intermediate goals can also not be reached directly but can be subdivided into (operational) action goals.
3. Formulate SMART action goals (see template)
The intermediate goals are subdivided into individual “work packages” at the level of the (operational) action goals. At the operational level, who should achieve what with which resources by when is precisely formulated. Here it is ensured that the goal can be measured with a reasonable cost and effort and that incentives and sanctions are made transparent.
There are also situations in which the goal hierarchy is developed from the operational level and the strategic goal can be derived from the operational goals.
- Phase 1 – Strategy group:
- Capability to implement: Win reform actors and mobilize them
- Phase 2 – Agenda Setting:
- Communication: Communicate the purpose of the reform (clearly)
- Capability to implement: Formulate the main goal and motivate reform actors
- Phase 3 – Formulating and decision-making:
- Communication: Demonstrate that reforms can be implemented
- Capability to implement: Formulate intermediate and action goals and motivate reform actors
- Phase 4 – Implementation:
- Communication: Ensure that reform progress and successes are communicated
- Capability to implement: Structure implementation with SMART action goals and motivate reform actors
- Phase 5 – Ongoing impact evaluation:
- Communication: Communicate goal attainment
- Capability to implement: Measure and represent goal attainment and motivate reform actors
Storch, Maja. „Motto-Ziele, S.M.A.R.T.-Ziele und Motivation“. Coachingwissen. Denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun? (S. 183-205). Ed. Bernd Birgmeier. Wiesbaden 2009.
Kleinbeck, Uwe. „Handlungsziele“. Motivation und Handeln (4th edition. pp. 285-307). Ed. Jutta Heckhausen & Heinz Heckhausen. Heidelberg 2010.
- Strategic Core Group
- Guaranteeing Implementation
- Agenda setting
- Fostering a desire for reform
- Calculating the chances of success
- Formulating and Decision-Making
- Building trust
- Obtaining majority support
- Connecting with citizens
- Mobilizing implementation actors
- Ongoing Impact Evaluation
- Allowing feedback
- Keeping options open