Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Visualize your goals with Goalscape

Setting goals in life is mandatory for all of us. Though, we can chalk out plans and work towards achieving them, we still don’t get the complete picture of how much we have covered or how much is still left to accomplish the goal. A goal tracker shall be a good solution; but a tracker which displays the progress visually would be the appropriate choice; and Goalscape does that perfectly.


Goalscape is best defined on its website, as visual goal management software; to develop and communicate the key elements of any complex project: overall structure, priorities and progress tracking. It’s an Adobe Air application; available for the desktop and the web ( Goalscape Connect).

Please see below, the goals and sub goals I have defined for a product. Goalscape's circular format reinforces the fact that resources (especially TIME) are limited: time spent for one goal can’t be spent anywhere else.

Using Goalscape

Goalscape Desktop

The tool has a very user friendly and intuitive interface. The primary goal is made up of sub goals and neighbours. While sub goals can be considered as a child node of the parent goal; neighbours are in the same level as other sub goals.
The picture below illustrates the use of the primary goal, subgoals and neighbours.

Primary Goal - “Product”
Sub Goal –“Vision”, “Pricing” , “Development”, “Support”, “Marketing” – they are also neighbours.

There are a several things to note in the picture. One can add notes, resources and tags to a particular goal. Sliders can be used to set the importance and progress. Resource management can also be done, by specifying Responsible, Start Date and End Date.

The sub goal “Need” has a grey arc, which depicts the progress of the respective goal.  Progress aggregates upwards into the parent and higher level goals (all the way to the Main Goal at the centre) in proportion to each subgoal's importance.

The size of each goal's slice indicates its importance (relative to its neighbours).   In the picture below, I have set different importance for the sub goals -  Need ( 31 % ), Identifying users ( 28 % ), Value ( 18 % ) , Crowdsourcing ( 9 % ), Product Continuity ( 14 % ). Since the goal slice of “Need” has the highest importance level, it is followed by the others.  All the sub goals are important, but imagine the plight of an excellent product, which is needed either by very few people or by none.

Filtering by Highlighting

The Highlight feature is a filtering option in Goalscape. Probably the word “highlight” is more appropriate in the Goalscape context, as the tool only filters out the goals matching the dates, resources and tags.

I have added the tag “stakeholders” and “users” to Need and Product Continuity; as a product shall cease to exist if both of them don’t want the product.  In the highlight bar, when I highlight both the tags, only “Need” and “Product Continuity” are being displayed in white, while the others which don’t have the tag are being greyed out.  The highlighting can also be done for dates and responsibilities.

Exporting and Importing

Goalscape also allows user to export their Goalscape’s to PNG, PDF , DOCX,  Mindjet Mindmaps and several other formats. I found the export feature for DOCX and PDF interesting, as a report of the complete goals, sub goals, importance and other goal related facts are generated. Please find the exported “Product Roadmap”  for your understanding.

The import feature, allow Microsoft Project XML and Mindjet mind maps to be imported to Goalscape. I find importing MS Project interesting, as Goalscape shall provide a visual representation, rather than the boring GANTT charts. I have not used the import feature, but I believe it shall work as expected.

Goalscape Connect

Goalscape Connect is the web version and useful for people / teams who want to collaborate the goals with their colleagues. Besides having all the features of the desktop version, it has the real time collaborative features like uploading Goalscape file, chat and sharing.

The Connect version has the following features:-

•  The online project is always the latest version.
•  All participants can access and update the same project at the same time
•  Project administrators can set access privileges for participants individually (View, Edit, Admin).
• Users working on a shared project can see who else is in it and what they are doing (with appropriate warnings about simultaneous updates to the same goal)
•  A central organisational model can be rolled out, for people in different geographies to build their own specific implementations:  and hence ideal for distributed teams and remote coaching.
•  Goal Chat: instant messaging on individual goals, with 'in line' attachments and email notification options.

My Wish List

I would like to see the following features in upcoming versions of Goalscape
        a)    Change the background colour of goal slices.
        b)    Set the font of the goal title in bold.
        c)    Would like to have a Justify option for the Notes section.

Now, it’s time for you, to try out Goalscape, and post your comments. If you feel you would like more features please let them know by filling up the online survey.

I believe you shall like it, as much as I do.

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