Creating magic, thanks to our goal tree!

Gaining so much new knowledge can be a bit overwhelming. You can imagine that starting at a new company with loads of new knowledge is even more overwhelming. How do I know where to start? How do I know on which activities I should focus within WINNRS?

This has been something I just couldn’t figure out in the first few weeks. There is so much to do within WINNRS, so many opportunities to grab, but how do I know which opportunities would make that significant difference? In the end, that’s what all trainees are dreaming about.

Start with your growth compass

I want to share something that has given me so much clarity during my first few weeks. Meet my new best friend: the goal tree. A goal tree helps you focus your activities, all in order to meet your main objective. You should focus on activities that support your one main goal; we call this The One Metric That Matters (OMTM). This is a concept popularized by Ben Yoskovitz in his book Lean Analytics. If you have some spare time, read it.

In the image above a goal tree is shown for a random company, with revenue as its One Metric That Matters. The layer underneath are the metrics that support the main objective. In this example above, these supporting metrics are revenue per visitor and the number of visitors. Each supporting metric can also be subdivided into new metrics. This is the layer of strategies. These strategies can in their time be subdivided into new supporting metrics. This is where we enter the layer of tactics.

In short, the top of the tree deals with strategic planning whilst going down the tree the bottom links strategy to operations.

Yoskovitz says that “it doesn’t mean that there’s only one metric you care about”

However, it does mean that at any given time, there’s one metric you should care about above all else. Focussing on just one key metric allows businesses to strip away unnecessary distractions and dramatically accelerate growth.

This is precisely what I was looking for! As most of you know about me, I’m all about structure and organizing. (Yes, I am a trying to let go more. It’s a work in progress.) Getting insights into the goal tree of WINNRS was just what I needed to see where I should focus my activities on and how I could make that significant difference.

The creation of the goal tree makes sure that everything you do has its effect on your One Metric That Matters. After creating the goal tree, just fill in the data per metric. This helps you see which metrics are underperforming and what opportunities arise. The lack of having a goal tree increases the risk of implementing strategies which do not have an effect on your One Metric That Matters. 

To accelerate your growth, you have to optimize your supporting activities and strategies.

Less is more
Many companies have several main objectives. In the end, only one objective is important for a company’s growth. Let me give you an example. To stay in the current time of the year: would you ask Santa for all the presents in the world? Unfortunately not. As realistic as we are, we know that this won’t happen. So you focus on the one present you want most. For a company, it’s the same. If you want to optimize your company’s growth, you should think of what goal defines your company’s growth most. Great job, you’ve found your One Metric That Matters.

I know that our goal tree helps me focus on the One Metric That Matters. Or should I say: that one present that matters?

Let’s make some magic
I hope that, by now, I have shown you the importance of a goal tree for your company, and also for yourself, and that you will be able to create your own. The goal tree of WINNRS gave me insights and structure on which metrics I should focus on.

In the beginning, I saw a lot of opportunities for quick wins. Quick wins which I thought I should all grab in order to optimize growth. This also defines me: I just want to do everything. For example, I thought one of the main opportunities for WINNRS would be an increase in traffic to the website, resulting in more sales qualified leads. However, after taking a good look at our goal tree, I realized my focus shouldn’t be about traffic generation. I had to focus on conversion rate optimization because this seemed to be our biggest bottleneck in relation to our One Metric That Matters.

What’s next?
I am now at the end of my third month as a Growth Hacking trainee. It is insane how much I’ve learned in the past few months and I am extremely looking forward to the rest.

I am excited to tell you more about the obstacles I faced within my traineeship and my experiences as a Growth Hacker. Are you ready for more?

Guest blog by Judith Rasch
Originally posted on

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