Goal tree as a method to establish a good set of criteria

This post is also available in: Spanish

My last post on Prevención Integral -the site by the Specific Research Centre for the Improvement and Innovation at Companies (CERpIE) of the Technical University of Catalunya- is entitled “Gestión de la PRL: antes de resolver un problema, ordénalo” (OSH Management: before solving a problem, put it in order) [1], and belongs to the series of articles on tools used throughout a decision-making processes, applied to the occupation safety and health management. The tool in question explained in the post is the goal tree.

A goal tree is a diagram used to define the criteria for evaluating alternative solutions to a problem [2].

It is drawn from the problems formulation. That is, the statement gathering an actor´s objective and the “unwanted downside” which avoids to fulfil the objective [3].

On the basis of the objective stated by a given actor, as well as other objectives deduced from other means (research, documentation,…) the diagram is built in such a way that a main goal is being represented in more specific objectives until it may be measured with exact units. In this point, the objective is defined by a set of criteria, providing some measurable requirements to establish solutions.

Ultimately, the goal tree of a given actor may look like the one below (in Spanish), in which is represented the problem statement and the objectives are splitted into specific objectives in lower levels until the lowest level, in which the objectives are expressed in concrete units, bringing a set of criteria.

goal_tree

The blue boxes represent the criteria specifically reached thanks to the application of the goal tree. This doesn´t mean that this method is the only way to attain such set of criteria but, for sure, a goal tree prevents forgetting some of them.

This goal tree is just the example I used in the post at Prevención Integral, to which I refer if you want to go into detail about this tool.

References:
[1] MAIRAL, DAVID. 25 Feb 2015. Gestión de la #PRL: antes de resolver un problema, ordénalohttp://www.prevencionintegral.com/comunidad/blog/aragon-valley/2015/02/25/gestion-rl-antes-resolver-problema-ordenalo. Prevención Integral. Consulted 25 Feb 2015.
[2] ENSERINK, Bert, HERMANS, Leon, KWAKKEL, Jan, THISSEN, Wil, KOPPENJAN, Joop, BOTS, Pieter. 2010. Policy Analysis of Multi-Actor Systems. Uitgeverij LEMMA. Page 66.
[3] MAIRAL, DAVID. 17 Feb 2015. Gestión de la #PRL: la formulación de problemas, origen de grandes solucioneshttp://www.prevencionintegral.com/comunidad/blog/aragon-valley/2015/02/16/gestion-prl-que-es-que-no-es-problema. Prevención Integral. Consulted 25 Feb 2015. 
Bibliography: DE HAAN, Alexander, DE HEER, Pauline. 2012. Solving complex problems. Eleven International Publishing. ENSERINK, Bert, HERMANS, Leon, KWAKKEL, Jan, THISSEN, Wil, KOPPENJAN, Joop, BOTS, Pieter. 2010. Policy Analysis of Multi-Actor Systems. Uitgeverij LEMMA.

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