Blogs

Scale up agile methods for large projects

The German consulting firm bps  (business process solutions GmbH, Hamburg) uses Goalscape to extend their proven agile project management method for large scale projects. The process, codenamed "Project Turtle", marries classic project management practices with 21st century teamwork. Project Turtle improves motivation, increases team- and stakeholder buy-in, clarifies responsibilities and, above all, fosters outcome-oriented decision-making.

Scale up agile methods for large projects                   Scale up agile methods for large projects

To learn more, download the whitepaper here or flyer here. We have teamed up with bps to support and advise project teams directly in their own project environment, using Goalscape Enterprise.

To request a free evaluation session with a bps project expert to evaluate the benefits for your business, email goalscape [at] bps [dot] de (goalscape [at] bps [dot] de) or call +49 (0)40-3199222-0.

 

 

 

Major Update and New Product Launch

Major Update and 
New Product Launch

New features in Goalscape Desktop and Goalscape Connect version 2.7.2:

  • Goal Panel can be hidden completely
  • Custom Notes fields can be reordered
  • Tag column in XLSX and CSV exports
  • PDF and DOCX exports show the project name on the title page
  • New languages supported: Russian and Polish

Extra new features in Goalscape Connect:

  • Performance enhancements, including shorter project load time on sign-in and refresh
  • New Home tab: more functionality – and it opens in the same browser tab
  • Show/hide the online collaborator list
  • Attachment downloads are no longer browser-dependent
  • Resize Share screen (to display long email addresses)

This Update also includes some important fixes: full details are in the Release Notes.

If you have any trouble installing the Goalscape Desktop updates, just go to our
Download page and follow the Steps.

Now here is the big news:
Goalscape Enterprise is out!

Major Update and New Product Launch

Goalscape Enterprise is the ideal solution for organizations that want to use the Goalscape Connect collaboration features with the highest possible data security. It also includes some additional benefits, like a Gantt chart view and more flexible sharing rights.

Goalscape Enterprise can be implemented as a SaaS application on a private cloud (minimum 10 users) or installed on a corporate intranet (minimum 50 users). For more information contact purchase[at]goalscape[dot]com.


Keep achieving great goals!

The Goalscape team

 

High Performance Strategy Definition

Emmett Lazich
49er Class National Coach for the Australian Sailing Team
Development Director at Goalscape Software

 

Hypothetical Example

OK Goalsetters, here is my follow-up post outlining a simple process for defining a high level strategy plan for achieving your sporting goals. Of course this uses Goalscape to represent visually the goal structure, priorities and progress.

 
The underlying method here (the first 3 steps) is not my idea; neither is it a new or revolutionary idea. In 2010 I first heard this method explained clearly and simply by Bill Sweetenham, a well respected Australian coach and mentor.
 
You can apply this method on your own for your solo projects; and in discussions with your team for shared projects.
  1. Define your next major goal. Come up with a brief, inspirational expression for it. 

    Write this as the main (center) goal in a new Goalscape project.
     
  2. Take some time to define the "essential ingredients" for your main goal. These are the subgoals that you need to achieve in order to reach your main goal – and they are directly related to your performance. You should have between 5 and 7 essentials. Sporting examples include: physical skills, mental skills, knowledge, personal relationships, equipment possession, equipment tuning, physical conditioning.

    Enter these in your Goalscape project as the "level 1" subgoals surrounding your main goal. 
     
  3. Next seriously ask yourself:
    a. What are the real costs of these essentials? Money, time, external help, sacrifices in other areas of your life, etc.
    b. Are your essentials fully in your control? If not, then go back to step 2 and redefine your essentials.
    c. Are you willing to “pay for” these essentials? If not, then your main goal cannot be attained. So revisit step 1 and try again.
     
  4. If you make it past step 3, you have the beginning of an executable high level strategy to achieve your main goal. So you can go ahead and define subgoals for your essentials. Define as many subgoals and outer levels as you want, but don't have more than 9 essentials surrounding your main goal – in fact, beyond 7 essentials you can start to lose focus, direction and productivity.
     
  5. Next you will want to assign the relative importance of your essentials, and their subgoals. Importance is simply how much you think a goal contributes to a higher goal.  Goalscape makes this real easy. Just click on a goal and drag its arc-width to whatever you think looks correct!
 
Avoid the temptation to clutter your master strategy plan with operational details like logistics.  You can supplement your high level strategy goalscape with other software tools for budgeting, task management, etc.  Concentrate on your performance, in the moment, in your competitive environment.
 
As time rolls on, you might refine your essentials by gradually reorganising your subgoal structure.  That's fine: just keep it simple.  The overview should be immediately apparent from a glance at the main goal and two goal levels around it.  You’ll know when you have a good plan because you’ll stop reorganising it: it just fits. And you’ll feel great because you now have clear direction and purpose.  
 
When you are building and reviewing your project you can combat complexity by using Goalscape's abilities to focus the view on any subgoal, or hide the detail in outer goals.  
 
To make a searchable plan, use the Notes field in each goal to include all the key information.  You can add further detail by attaching files in any format, including images and video.  Or assign people or context tags to any goal.
 
For team working, Goalscape usage becomes really cool and seriously useful. Upload your high level strategy info Goalscape Connect. Share it to your collaborators. Write chat comments on any goal, and optionally notify others by email. Suddenly you'll find your team is working toward a common agreed goal. You can increase progress made on outer subgoals and visually see the difference.
 
In my previous blog post I wrote that I gravitate toward a clean visual structure. So it should come as no surprise that I find it very frustrating indeed when I see a team of people debating over various solutions without first defining and agreeing upon the problem to be solved.  Diligent use of Goalscape can eliminate all of this frustration. Problem definition is often easy, but too often incorrectly assumed or skipped!
 
 
PS. Goalscape v2.7 is finally being released this weekend. Some great improvements to both the desktop and web apps. Lots of work went into it. Hope you like it as much as we do!
 
 

Gold Using Goalscape

Emmett Lazich
49er Class National Coach for the Australian Sailing Team
Development Director at Goalscape Software

Happy

Sydney 2000 was the first time I coached Olympic Gold Medal winning athletes. Thomas Johanson and Jyrki Järvi from Finland won the 49er class event by a large margin. Back in 2000, I only started working with those boys a few months before the Games. Immediately after it was over, I reflected on what happened and considered what it would take for anyone to reproduce that glorious result.

Raw talent is a huge advantage in this sport; but victory in Olympic sailing requires much more. Imagine a competitive environment where the field of play is more dynamic and less predictable than your 25 other human opponents. You and your partner are both piloting your craft: one person steers, while the other works the engine throttle. If you do not coordinate your body movements perfectly for any change in direction or speed, you will slow down or even crash.

Even when you make all the right movements and decisions, if you are inaccurate with the speed settings for your craft (initial set-up and adjustments during the race), then you certainly ain't winning anything on the big stage.

ESP 2010

So proper preparation takes a lot of effort and attention to detail; and this is not just a matter of ‘checking all the boxes’. Actually I don’t believe it is possible to check all the boxes in sailing, since there are far too many uncontrollables. Yet we certainly need some methodical way to create order out of possible chaos.

So as a rookie coach in September 2000, I knew that a lot of ingredients had fallen into place. I felt very fortunate to be a part of Thomas and Jyrki’s victory.

Bottom marks 2010

I started coaching Nathan Outteridge in 2006; and from 2007 I was also working on what became the first truly solid version of Goalscape.

In January 2008, Nathan and crew Ben Austin won the 49er World Championship. Then they came ever so close to winning Gold in the Beijing China Olympics. People who compete at top level in annual sporting events probably cannot truly comprehend the disappointment we felt, knowing both the years we put in and that we had to work for another 4 years to have another crack at it.  We came away from that losing experience much stronger and much wiser.

In August 2012, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen from Australia won the 49er class Olympic Gold medal. Again by a large margin. And in the four years before the Games they had won 3 World Championships (they were 2nd in the other one). For me as their coach this was a totally different mission and journey. 

Drop gybe 2010

In early 2009, Nathan teamed up with Iain. For the following 3½ years, our every plan, action and thought was considered in the context of the London 2012 event.  This is where Goalscape came to my personal rescue. 

Firstly, Goalscape allows me to define clear, simple philosophies and strategies that enable me to stay focused and do all the important things.

Secondly, everything significant that I must know or do is stored in a Goalscape. Everything, in every different area in which we need to excel.

Information overload is a big problem in this job. Goalscape helps me stay on top of this: It is my visual index to knowledge, data, history and essential performance related ingredients.

I cannot show you a real example of our campaign strategy goalscapes because they are private and valuable intellectual property. Instead here is an example goalscape that I use to help guide myself when I need to make tough decisions.  In the next week or two, I shall post a followup blog outlining the simple process for creating a sport strategy goalscape.

EL. Coaching Philosophies

In 2009, the online project sharing function of Goalscape was not ready, yet I desperately needed to share certain Goalscape projects with Nathan and Iain. The obvious solution was for me to use Goalscape on their behalf.  I produced simple goal map views to help them to be effective at dealing with the present, while maintaining awareness of where they want to go.  For the remainder of the campaign, we continued to operate like this: using Goalscape for our high level performance strategy and for tracking every little milestone in the 4 year Olympic cycle.  Below is a goalscape from Marcus showing progress made for one category of skills.

 

MB. Boat Handling with progress

When using a Goalscape view (of our high level strategy) as the basis for periodic performance review meetings with team management and support staff, a pleasant surprise was how brief and happy these meetings were. We could complete our reviews in 45 minutes, while other teams typically needed 2 or 3 hours. Follow-up work was quicker and easier too. During the session I'd update the relevant goalscape or goal, so the write-up was done instantly and everybody left the meeting knowing what they had to do next.

After these meetings, I was occasionally told how highly organised we were. That was such a lovely compliment considering that using Goalscape felt like taking an easy shortcut.

Not all data or problems fit right into the Goalscape format. I still make very extensive use of spreadsheets to store and crunch numbers for quantitative work. And for short and/or sequential presentations, slides work just fine.

I gravitate toward a clean visual structure. It is my primary learning style for understanding, remembering and communicating complex information.  Obviously not everything is hierarchical; after using Goalscape for a while though, it's surprising how often a hierarchical structure does fit.

Today I'm making more use of Goalscape for presentations. I find it works well when the subjected being taught is too big and/or the discussions too dynamic for a set of sequential slides. With Goalscape I'm better equiped to let audience feedback drive the session more, so I focus better on what people want to learn. 

Goalscape is still evolving. We are working on usability and presentation enhancements, easier sharing of goals with new users and accessing goals on tablets and other mobile devices. All of these changes will increase Goalscape’s value – and of course cement it as a key component in my coaching workflow.

Time for the next challenge

Goalscape adopted by ISAF

International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announces Goalscape Software as Performance Partner under the Connect To Sailing initiative!

 

ISAF Goalscape logo

 

As an ISAF Connect to Sailing Partner, Goalscape is delivering the software and templates for the Learn to Sail Training Programme. This will help coaches and sailors to understand and communicate about the exercises and performance levels required at every stage of their training.

The package will be rolled out through ISAF's Member National Authorities, their Coaches and the ISAF team of Nominated Experts. In addition, Goalscape Software will pay more than 30% of all revenue from sales through ISAF directly to Connect to Sailing to foster the development of strong grass roots sailing globally.

Full story on the ISAF website here: http://www.sailing.org/news/32241.php.

 

Goalscape Software on social media

Follow Goalscape on Twitter and Facebook

We are using social media for smaller news items and for informal communications.  You can follow @goalscape on Twitter and Like our Facebook page, then you can find out what we are up to next, see how other people are using Goalscape and post your own messages.


Facebook page screenshot

 

Enjoy the journey!
 

Goalscape Video Competition

Win an amazing "money can't buy" experience and a year's Goalscape Connect subscription

We are looking for short videos (about 90 seconds) of our customers demonstrating how they use Goalscape. The best ones will appear on our website and will earn their authors a FREE 1-year Goalscape Connect subscription.

There are
a couple of examples here: Video 1, Video 2.

The author of the best video will also win a "money can't buy" prize: an expenses-paid trip to a 2012 world cup sailing event*, including a ride with world-class sailing coach (and Goalscape co-founder) Emmett Lazich.

Goalscape Video Competition

How to enter
Create a 90-second video showing how you use Goalscape.** It can be about anything: life goals, business projects, sports campaigns... or even how you organize your social activities!
 

Take our Survey
You can also win a 6-month subscription to Goalscape Connect simply by taking our 3-question survey. This is your chance to let us know what you think of Goalscape - and to have your say about how we should improve it. All respondents will be put into a draw and we will randomly select five winners.

 

All winners will be notified by direct email and we will publish their names in our next Newsletter.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 


*Continental travel and 4-Star hotel accommodation will be covered by us.


**Just use screencast-o-matic (it's free!); or you can try Camtasia or Screenflow (Mac only). Please upload your video to YouTube (or any other video-sharing site), make your video public and send the link to support [at] goalscape [dot] com (subject: Video%20Competition) (support [at] goalscape [dot] com), with 'Video Competition' as the Subject.

 

"Why the Visual Overview is Vital For Success in Sport, Business and Life" by Marcus Baur

As a professional sailor I desperately wanted compete at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I had already done quite well and had won a few national regattas; but had not had much success at top level. The Olympics is a serious challenge and I was no likely candidate. But I just loved sailing the exciting new boat that had been chosen for the next Games; and I was fanatically determined to sail against the world’s best sailors on one of the most beautiful stretches of water anywhere: Sydney Harbor. So I set out on the journey with my sailing partner, neither of us having any idea what a roller-coaster ride it would be.

49er sailing shot

The challenge before us was complex. The 49er was a new class of boat that hardly anybody could handle and we had very little experience to build upon. We also knew we would have to take our racing skills and our physical fitness to completely new levels, as well as learning to sail the boat. And on top of all that we had organize everything ourselves and raise the money for what to many seemed like a 4-year holiday. Of course the reality was a lot of hard work with long days and plenty of ups and downs. It was intense, but very rewarding because we were really focused on our shared dream goal – and we loved to sail the boat for hours at a time, day after day.

We had incredibly long to-do lists, so it was frustrating and stressful trying to fit in everything we had to do each day. I knew that if we were to reach our goal, we had to approach this challenge in a better way. Setting the right priorities is easier said then done when entering uncharted territory: there always seemed too much to do and resources were scarce. But the clock was ticking, so we had to prioritize if we were to achieve anything at all.

What I needed was a visual map to show the entire structure of the challenge: every goal and subgoal. I wanted to fly over the landscape of goals and get the view from 30,000 feet: seeing all the goals at once and the connections between them. What’s more I had to track our progress in every area so I could always see exactly where we were in order to decide what to do next.

So I came up with the Goalscape goal map. A multi-level pie chart seemed to be the best way to break down the huge challenge into specific goals and subgoals in every area. The circle represented the fact that our resources were limited: when we spent time, money and energy in one area, we could not spend it anywhere else.

My first goalscape chart covered only the boathandling area, a specific part of sailing that is particularly important in the 49er class.

Hand-drawn boat handling goalscape

 

The boat is so difficult to sail that many international champions from other classes spent most of their time upside-down – and quite a few of them quit. My goalscape displayed ALL the maneuvers we needed to perform during a race. On the goal map we gave the most important maneuvers (those that contributed most to our success on the racecourse) the biggest slices.

For each maneuver the goal was to perform it automatically without thinking about it, so that we had all our brain capacity available for strategic and tactical decisions. And on each goal we marked our progress by filling in its slice, so we could literally see our skills improving all the time.

We soon realized that this system could also be used very effectively in other areas like fitness, gear testing and tuning for speed, or planning our logistics and financials.

Hand-drawn fitness goalscape Hand-drawn equipment goalscape Hand-drawn speed goalscape Hand-drawn logistics goalscape

 

Actually being able to SEE the challenge like this certainly helped us to be better organized and to improve faster in our sailing: we climbed to the top of the world rankings and qualified to represent our country at the Olympic games. So we achieved our first major goal!

As we progressed through our campaign, we had been re-evaluating our goals: changing the relative importance of each to match the requirements of the next phase. By the time we arrived in Sydney we were set on winning a medal.

49ers in Sydney Harbor

 

In fact we led the Olympic regatta until the 6th race, when we started to succumb to one of our weaknesses (I am not going to say what that was!). In the end we finished 5th, which was respectable – but it was not what we had aimed for. Even in defeat though, Goalscape helped a lot when we analyzed what went wrong. It clarified how under the prevailing conditions one weakness had led to another.

After that experience I was certain that the Goalscape concept needed a computer implementation to achieve its full potential. Drawing goalscapes by hand was slow and tedious: it could not deal with the evolving challenge and its rapidly shifting priorities. And I already had lots of detailed information in different formats (like notes and diaries, spreadsheets, even video files) that I needed to access for different goals. So the idea of Goalscape as a visual software tool grew in my mind. Soon I was just as determined to create it, as I had been keen to master the 49er. Fortunately I was able to assemble a great international team to join me on the project.

Designing a solid, useful, simple and beautiful piece of software proved to be as challenging as competing at the Olympics. After a lot of hard work (and a couple of false starts!) we launched our first public version of Goalscape in late 2009. Today it's a complete, mature visualization solution: this is what the boat handling breakdown looks like now:

Goalscape boat handling downwind medium

 

I only wish I could have had this back in 1997 when I first set out on my Olympic quest!

Goalscape’s real power lies in its unique ability to display in a single image the key success factors of any challenge:

  • Specific, inspirational goals
     
  • Clear relative priorities
     
  • Continual evaluation of progress

Its unique visual, prioritized work breakdown, together with the facility to collect detailed information about every goal, means that Goalscape is perfect for understanding, presenting and managing any challenge. And because it’s dead easy to use, it never gets in the way of the “real work”.

All top sportsmen and coaches (and many progressive businessmen) now use a structured, goal-oriented approach. They know that goals are essential for motivation, commitment and focus; and that shared goals produce cohesive teams with a common purpose.

Goalscape provides a single clear picture of the entire goal structure. So it not only helps leaders to define goals and plans, it is also the ideal way to communicate those goals and plans to everyone involved, then track progress and agree any changes required as circumstances change.

Goalscape - Build an exceptional business

 

Unlike other, less structured, visual tools, Goalscape is not just for brainstorming. Users can still "jot down" their high level goals and work out the subgoals needed to achieve them; but then they can set their priorities and allocate resources, building a complete project plan, down to the finest details.

The application has already spread rapidly in the sports community and is being adopted by some very large companies. One of its major benefits to such organizations is that they can take a standard model and adapt it to suit specific requirements.

Similarly, corporations (and consultants) can take a standard industry, business or project model, adapt it to suit different goals and situations, then make detailed plans (with roles, responsibilities and timescales). They can take it to any level of detail, including agreeing specific goals for every person in the company, which then form the basis for staff reviews.

 Production focus

 

Goalscape clearly shows when the quality of the goal in the center is underdeveloped, incomplete or badly expressed. Most successful sportsmen are exceptionally highly motivated. They have a clear goal, which is at the center of their attention all the time. In business, average motivation levels are much lower. The main reason for this is a lack of alignment of personal and business goals or the complete absence of a clear, well-communicated visionary goal.

Goalscape is a great way to establish and maintain a proper dialog about goals within an organization. It supports full communication, top down and bottom up, so everyone can understand, adopt and influence the development of corporate goals and strategies.

With our new web version Goalscape Connect (currently available in preview), it becomes an unbeatable tool for fast, agile online collaboration.

Goalscape Connect screenshot

 

Best of all everyone can be more focused and productive at work and at play – and have more fun!

December Updates Video

Here is Marcus' video explaining the new features in the latest Updates package:

  • Integration with other tools: project management and mindmapping tools like MS Project and MindManager
  • Enhanced Reporting
  • Customization (look out for his special 'color scheme for the color blind'!)

 

There is now a Goalscape Group on Facebook where you can find out how others are using Goalscape and see sneak previews of what we are planning next.

The new Template Gallery is now open: download some standard templates or upload your own ideas in Goalscape format. Remember too that you can now Import MMAP files into Goalscape. So you can download mindmap templates from biggerplate and many other sites all over the web, then open and edit them in Goalscape – even if you do not currently use any mindmapping software.

Goalscaping for Charity

Here is an interesting story from Rick Perkins about how he is using Goalscape to manage his latest charity project.

Goalscaping For Charity: Raising £2,000 for Action Medical Research by Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groat’s

Rick Perkins recently signed up to cycle the length of Britain in aid of Action Medical Research, a marvelous charity dedicated to improving the health of babies and children in the UK.

For nearly 60 years Action Medical Research has been behind numerous breakthroughs including the UK polio vaccine and ultrasound scanning in pregnancy. More recently it developed the fetal heart rate monitor: a new state-of-the-art device that could save thousands of at-risk babies by identifying potential problems much earlier than has previously been possible.

The route for the ride is from Land’s End at the tip of Cornwall in the South West of England to John O’Groats, the northernmost point of the Scottish mainland. The distance is 1,000 miles, to be covered in just 9 days.

Route Summary

This presented a 3-fold challenge:

  1. Find ways to raise the required £2,000 in sponsorship
  2. Sort out the logistics: sourcing equipment and planning for the event
  3. Do enough training to be able to complete the course.

So Rick had a lot to do before he could get on his bike in Land’s End! Fortunately he has a lot of experience in projects of different kinds, so he knew that investing a bit of time in organisation and planning would pay dividends later on. Rick uses Goalscape for his work and his other sporting activities, so his first step was to goalscape this new endeavour.

The Goalscape chart in the screenshot below shows Rick’s opening project plan. This is a charity event and the main goal is to Raise £2,000 for Action Medical Research through sponsorship. So although physical training is going to be a very significant element, the initial focus is on the fund raising work. Rick is reasonably fit and does a lot of cycling anyway, so he knew that at the start he could spend a lot of time chasing sponsorship, as long as he did enough ‘maintenance’ work on his fitness.

 

Charity Cycle Ride goalscape

 

Rick’s first step was to use Goalscape to identify the different groups of people he needs to communicate with and plan exactly how to do that. As he did this planning he also jotted down some goals in other areas, along with any other ideas that occurred to him: he knew that he could come back later to make detailed plans for achieving those other goals.

As the project developed and he is starting to hit some of his early targets, he is updating his goalscape: ticking off completed goals, adding new ones and adjusting the relative importances as his priorities change.

 

Charity Cycle Ride goal map v1

 

Starting with his initial setup, Rick has added a new goal for Equipment and a few more subgoals in other areas. He has also started to make detailed plans for his training programme and is filling in the progress he has already made in all his goals.

Charity Cycle Ride goal map v2

 

Right now Rick is doing quite well in his Fund raising and Communications goals and he is starting to build up his training mileage. He has also put some more thought into the Event itself, planning what he needs and organising how to transport everything.

He is not finished yet though: the ride itself is not until May 2011 and there is a lot to do before Rick gets on his bike at Land’s End. As his project goes on, he will be updating his goalscape and sharing it on his website and on Facebook so his friends and sponsors can follow his progress, exchange messages and tell all their friends about it.

Rick says “I use Goalscape in my private and business life and it is the ideal tool to help me tackle this challenge. There are so many parts to it and such a lot to do! I need to have a proper plan so I can see everything I need to do, decide what to do next and make everything run as smoothly as possible. In the build-up to the event I will be spending more and more time on the road, so I am using Goalscape to make sure I do all my fundraising, logistics and admin work as early as possible.

“As I continue to work my way through it I can keep adjusting the goalscape to accommodate my shifting focus and refine my detailed plans. I am putting screenshots on my website and Facebook page so everyone can see what I am up to – they can even suggest things I may have missed!”

Follow Rick’s progress by joining his Facebook Page, Twitter Feed or Blog via http://www.lejog4amr.co.uk/

Sponsor Rick via the Action Medical Research Page: http://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/rickperkins

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