Intermediate objectives map

Look at the mind map

  • IOM is a graphical representation of:
    • a goal. Goals are set by stakeholders. If the company is small, it might be a person. For complex-structured companies, board of directors. For non-profits, people, and taxpayers ultimately will be stakeholders.
    • Critical success factors.
    • Necessary conditions.
  • It is intended to set in time and space a sound groundwork of what should happen to the system in order to succeed.

We have to assume that all systems have goals that could be achieved through one (rare case) or several factors and milestones that are determined beforehand. In order to do that, we have to define and agree on what we can and what we can’t control and influence. Set boundaries of the system.

  • Boundaries ^dd17fb
    • span of control. What we can influence.
    • Span of influence. Perimeter of all aspects of life we can influence. Usually bigger than control.
    • The external environment. The biggest of all and it has sphere we can control to a certain degree and areas that are completely out of our control. How leader finds those few elements that need to be changed? They are important.

Strategic application. Goal, Critical Success factor and Necessary conditions are consequent steps. Why goal is first in the chain? Because we have to keep in mind where we want to get, and begin our journey from the end, moving backwards, determine first CSF, then NC. They are building blocks on top of which the goal is sitting. BTW, look into [[дерево компетенций ученика]] and build comprehensive IOM for education. Building student’s trajectory even possible.

  • Characteristic of IO map
    • terminates at the goal level.
    • Has limited number of:
      • CSF — 5 is an optimal number.
      • NC — milestones. Two levels deep.
    • Each successive level is more detailed than the previous one.
    • IOM represents
      • destination
      • key intermediate milestones.

Don’t lose main purpose of IOM: to define a clearly identifiable benchmark for success of the overall system

  • How to
    • We start with checking the limits of our world and looking for boundaries
      • control
      • influence
      • who is a decision maker?
    • Then we articulate a goal
      • We state it as a condition, that describes an outcome of specific activity,
      • beware of describing goal as an action and activity itself.
    • Then comes the process of determination of:
      • CSF.
      • NC.

They could be determined as a list of successive bullet points, remember to terminate at a goal level. But I suggest use sticky notes, easy to use and in abundance on MIRO board.
After we have finished arranging goal, CSF and NC we must connect them. Remember NC shouldn’t be more than two levels deep, and if we have enough authority in the matter we verify, if not we are looking for stakeholder’s consent. The exercise could be dummy assembling or simulation of simulation, as [[Алексей Каптерев]] said in our meeting with him.

After IOM is finished [[we can start drawing current reality tree]]

  • [ ] I should build such map for learning block of a student.




  1. Dettmer H. W. The logical thinking process: a systems approach to complex problem solving / H. W. Dettmer, Milwaukee, Wis: ASQ Quality Press, 2007. 413 c.


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