Adjust Importance between goals automatically

Jon's Avatar


09 May, 2021 01:00 PM

I find it time consuming to maintain the importance of goals related to their neighbors. As soon as we adjust the importance of one of the goals, the importance of the goals related to each other might be skewed, so then we might need to adjust the others as well. When we add another goal, or move a goal to another parent, we might need to do this procedure over again. So, as long as we keep editing our goalscape, the importance might need to be adjusted as well, again and again.

So, my suggestion is:
Please make it an option to set importance from 5 alternatives and let the software calculate the proper percentage between neighbors automatically. The alternatives could be 1-5 where 1 is not important and 5 is very important. The default setting could be 2.

This feature will save us a lot of time, and will make it easier to be more conscious about the importance between neighbors.

Is this possible to fix?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Richard Parslow on 09 May, 2021 03:10 PM

    Richard Parslow's Avatar

    Hello Jon

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    When you adjust the Importance of any goal, or add or delete a neighbour, or move a subgoal to (or from) that parent, Goalscape automatically maintains the existing ratios for the Importances of all the other (unlocked) neighbours. So if, when you adjust the importance of one subgoal, the other ratios 'become skewed', the most likely reason is that you have locked one or more of those neighbours: if you unlock them all before making your changes, that 'skewing' will not happen.

    There are more details about setting and locking Importance in the Online help.

    If I have misunderstood what you are asking here, please post again to clarify.

    All the best


  2. 2 Posted by Jon on 09 May, 2021 06:10 PM

    Jon's Avatar

    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes, I know all this. None of my goals' importance are locked. I just explained it in a bad way.
    Let's say I have 10 subgoals. I want 2 of them to be very important, 3 of them to be more important than average. 2 to be less important, and the rest to be average. To fix this today is cumbersome either by trying to guess percentages or by dragging the mouse back and forth until I have a result that I could be happy with. And those goals that should have an equal percentage, will normally not have that after done the job with the mouse. So, I then have to adjust the percentages manually afterwards to obtain that.

    It would be so much easier if you could consider allowing such an option as I suggested above:
    Please make it an option to set importance from 5 alternatives and let the software calculate the proper percentage between neighbors automatically. The alternatives could be 1-5 where 1 is not important and 5 is very important. The default setting could be 2.

    This means no more need to drag around with the mouse trying to adjust importance. And no more need to adjust percentages. Just set the importance (1-5), or just skip it if we want importance to be average (default). And the software is doing all the job for us.

    Would be awesome if it's possible. Do you think you could fix that?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Richard Parslow on 09 May, 2021 07:30 PM

    Richard Parslow's Avatar

    Hello Jon

    Thanks for the explanation.

    There are a couple ways that you can implement your 'categories of Importances':

    • Set up a new project with 10 Level 1 subgoals, with your chosen relative Importances applied (2 'very important' @ 14% each; 3 'more important' @ 12% each; 2 'less important' @ 3% each, with the remaining 3 'average' @ 10% each). Then whenever you want to add a subgoal set with those Importances to any other project, simply copy and paste that preset project (and change the goal names). If you add any more neighbours, they will automatically appear with the same Importance as your 'average' ones (because that's the default), while all the existing ones will have the same relative importances – to each other and to the newly-added (average) ones. And if you delete any of those goals, those remaining will keep the relative importances you have set for them.

    • Use Tags or colour-coding to indicate priority or urgency.

    Right now all our development efforts are focused on delivering Goalscape 3.0, so we will be considering any enhancements after we have delivered that upgrade. Our decisions about which new features to build take account of customer feedback and specific requests; we are though very aware of the danger of 'feature creep' and our overriding concern will always be to maintain Goalscape's essential clarity and simplicity.

    All the best


  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Marcus Baur on 12 May, 2021 11:38 AM

    Marcus Baur's Avatar

    Hi Jon,

    Your suggestion is interesting. Lets discuss some details.

    What should be the ratio of the goals to each other. Obviously if you would only have unimportant (value 1) or important (value 5) goals, it would look the same. It could reflect upwards though, which would be interesting.

    But if you mix importances, should a value 5 goal be
    4 times as large as a value 1 goal,
    3 times as large as value 3,
    And twice as large as a value 2 goal?

    Would that do the trick for you? Or how would you calculate the relative importances?


  5. 5 Posted by Jon on 26 May, 2021 06:52 PM

    Jon's Avatar

    Hi, thank you for your nice reply!
    Sorry for my late answer, been very busy lately.

    My proposal would be to let the size relative to it's neighbours to increase by e.g. 50% between each importance level. This means calculating the difference between them with a factor of 1,5. A factor of 1,5 will look like this (rounded to 1 decimal):

    Importance level 1: Size 1
    Importance level 2: Size 1,5
    Importance level 3: Size 2,2
    Importance level 4: Size 3,4
    Importance level 5: Size 5

    Would prefer importance level 2 to be default, because it's more relevant to have more options upwards than downwards.

    To see the effect of different factors, the spread between importance level 1 and 5 is as follows:

    Factor 1,33: 1- 3,1
    Factor 1,5 : 1- 5,0 (as shown above)
    Factor 1,6 : 1- 6,5
    Factor 1,67: 1- 7,8
    Factor 1,75: 1- 9,3

    If you later want the factor to be higher or lower, it's just to adjust this factor in your system. Would recommend to start with e.g factor 1,5 and then adjust later if desired.

    What do you think?

  6. 6 Posted by Jon on 27 May, 2021 09:03 AM

    Jon's Avatar

    Just to be clear: If we only have 2 neighbours, both with importance 5, they of course will look equal in size. But when we add another neighbour with e.g. default importance (importance 2), the size of the neighbours will be different.

    This will make it much easier to achieve equal size on neighbours that should be of same importance. The software is simply doing all the job for us, instead of users having to do it all manually (by sizing each neighbour back and forth with the mouse and/or by trying to guess percentages manually).

    This will make the software much easier to use!

    I guess a possible approach could be to let all existing sizing be unchanged, until one of the neighbours is set with the new importance (1-5), and then this will put the other neighbors to default (2). Another option is to make it possible to choose between manual and auto importance in settings.

  7. 7 Posted by Jon on 02 Jun, 2021 06:51 PM

    Jon's Avatar

    So, what do you think of making it much easier to set relevant importance of goals?

    Do you want to create something like this?

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Marcus Baur on 02 Jun, 2021 07:01 PM

    Marcus Baur's Avatar

    Hi Jon,

    It is an option for our new client. I do like the idea as an optional way to set importances. But it will take development time which translates into cost which needs to translate into customer value that needs to translate into higher reach. It also adds a setting in the preferences that requires user understanding. There is also the danger to increase perceived clutter. So its complex ;-)

    We need to ask ourselves how much we are willing to invest in this now or later. How much is it worth to you?

    All the best,


  9. 9 Posted by Jon on 11 Jun, 2021 10:14 AM

    Jon's Avatar

    Hi again,
    To set importance based on alternatives is a standard feature in a lot of apps, and should not require too much time to fix I guess.

    I tend to never get fully satisfied with the manual sizing of goals, so I end up resizing them over and over again. I found that this is time consuming, so I have decided to equal all goals to avoid spending more time on this. So yes, for me it would make it possible to be conscious about the importance of goals without spending too much time on it. Just set the importance and done (if I want anything else than default importance).

    Jon :)

  10. Richard Parslow closed this discussion on 15 Jan, 2022 01:32 AM.

Discussions are closed to public comments.
If you need help with Goalscape please start a new discussion.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac