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Goals, vision, and indicators

In this video, Tom explains the goal-setting stage to dives deeply into the challenge to uncover the true motivation of the project.

As we tackled in the previous week, the first step of the SiD method consists of setting the goals for a project, determining its vision, and, usually at a later stage, setting its indicators and system boundaries.

This is where the project’s externally applied edge-conditions find a home, including stakeholder demands, time, and budget restrictions. This is also the stage in which a major revision of the project usually takes place in later cycles.

Let’s recap!

The different parts of this stage are:

  • Goal setting on System, Object, and Network levels

  • Develop a vision (optional but recommended)

  • Set project and system boundary

Goal setting is usually the first step to take, but it’s not uncommon for an analysis of the context of a challenge to precede it, meaning we execute step 2 before step 1.

The goal-setting phase usually contains the following elements:

  • Set the goal for the project on a system level

  • Set sub-goals on network and object level

  • Develop a joint vision

  • Define the project and system boundaries

  • Set indicators (KPI’s) to measure against in the evaluation stage

When setting goals, we try to strictly use ‘performative’ goals of the sub-goals by developing Key Performance Indicators. With ‘performative’ we mean to identify a goal that talks about a system’s performance only, not about a physical property or static position.

Main goals are further refined with sub-goals, and as a performative goal ensures we remain focused on what truly matters. Besides, this is the stage where the boundaries are stated, in terms of the time and resources available for the project.

In more advanced iterations, we narrow down the scope and performance of the sub-goals by developing Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

We will explore the details of these goals ad indicators and how to identify them in the next steps.

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Systems Thinking for Sustainability: Practical application of the SiD method

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