# Goal hierarchy or Goal Breakdown Structure

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# Abstract

Purpose is the reason why a project exists. However, the purpose of a project, program or portfolio (PPP) needs to be crystallised in to a desirable strategy to generate the intended benefits. The goal hierarchy or goal breakdown structure helps to transform and break down a PPP's purpose into more manageable goals, sub-goals, and deliverables, while maintaining a clear connection to the PPP's main purpose. The aspect of creating a clear goal hierarchy is applicable and is important in projects, programs and portfolios. The PMI standard for program management describes the process of creating a goal hierarchy as “goal setting” by “To facilitate alignment and goal setting, the organization’s strategic plan is further delineated as a set of goals and objectives that may have measurable elements such as products, deliverables, benefits, cost, and timing, among others. The goal of linking the program to the organization’s strategic plan is to plan and manage a program that will help the organization achieve its strategic goals and objectives and to balance its use of resources while maximizing value.” [1] . This statement both displays a method of crystallising the main goal in to a structure of more concrete lower level sub goals of products, benefits, deliverables and so forth. The statement also exemplifies that the intended benefits of using a clear goal hierarchy is to help an organisation achieve its goals while maximizing the value.

This article will provide an overview of the topic of creating a goal hierarchy with the use of the management method, goal breakdown structure (GBS). The article will provide a brief overview of the literature and areas where a goal hierarchy can be applied and what benefits it is intended to generate. The article will also provide examples of how to create a desirable goal hierarchy using the GBS method. This article will mainly exemplify GBS applied in project management, but it should be noted that the methodology is equally applicable in program and portfolio management as well.

# Introduction

The term “goal hierarchy”, “goal setting” or “goal breakdown structure” is mentioned in literature of all sorts. Some literature refers to the terminology as a method for creating personal success, Duckworth (2016) argues that one major component for one person’s success is their ability to have “passion and perseverance for long time goals” [2]

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