Setting Goals (starting with the end in mind)

Begin with the end in mind. Start with the end outcome and work backwards to make your dream possible.

—Wayne W. Dyer

You have by now created an overall Vision for your CLIP project and you are about to develop specific Action Plans to achieve that Vision. In both cases you need  a way of measuring your progress. 

So, start by thinking with the end in mind – ask yourself these two questions:
1. What outcome do we want to achieve? Your Vision statement has already defined the outcome you want for the overall project. When you develop Action Plans you will need to create the outcome you want for that particular Action Plan
2. How will we measure success – or lack of success? With the Vision, what are the measures of success that define whether the overall project is succeeding or not? In each Action Plan, what are the measures of success that define whether we are achieving the outcomes we want for that Action Plan?
Here’s some examples:
Vision (i.e. the overall outcome for the project): Our region will be the most digitally connected region in Australia
Measure(s): Our success will be measured by: >90% of houses and businesses with NBN connections to their premises;  internet speed at least 10 times faster than the average for the rest of Australia; number of businesses/organisations attracted to the region to make use of this connectivity; local government embracing Smart City technologies;
Action Plan #1 (i.e. outcome for this particular action plan): To be the first city in Australia to provide an internet service with up to a gigabit (1000 megabits) of upload and download speed
Measure(s): 1. An affordable gigabit internet service available by December 20??; 2. More than 1,000 business and 5,000 consumer paying users by December 20??;
 Action Plan #2: To attract  start-ups and existing businesses to the region
Measures: 1. A multi-media promotional campaign and materials prepared by June 20??; 2. More than 10 start-ups based on connectivity per year 3.  More than 15 businesses relocating to the region because of our connectivity;

Note how the Vision or the Action Plan Outcome(s) defines what you want to achieve, and measures are the specific time-based information collected to track whether an outcome has actually occurred.

Warning: There is a danger in focusing solely on measures (eg how many sessions were held regarding a community issue) rather than on outcomes (eg what positive change in behaviour  could be measured as a result of the action or project). Too often it is easier to track  measures  (eg the number of something produced) and harder to measure outcomes which might be longer term in their impact.

Follow these six basic steps to develop effective outcomes and measures:

  1. Describe the outcomes you want to achieve. This could be an answer to the question: what would success look like? In what way will people be better off?
  2. Turn the identified outcomes into a quantitative measures (i.e. % or absolute number of people demonstrating a new behavior, % or absolute number of people not needing support, or % increased efficiency in delivering a service.). This could be the answer to the questions: How much do we aim to do? How well do we aim to do it?
  3. Check that the measures can be easily communicated, will have the greatest impact and can be based on accurate data that is able to be collected without too much effort. Think hard because poorly thought out measures can lead to “garbage in/garbage out.”
  4. Confirm  that it is reasonable to expect your desired outcomes to be achieved if you achieve these outputs/measures.
  5. Implement these measures and track them over time.
  6. Demonstrate and increase your success because you have the data to confidently and appropriately communicate your impact and value.



  1. Use the information you have gathered to agree the Outcome(s) your project wants to achieve
  2. Agree on the important Measure(s) that will determine if you are on track - or not - to achieve this result. Remember the best measures are those that are most easily communicated, have the greatest impact and can be based on accurate data.
  3. Insert these into your CLIP One Page Plan.