Collaborative Goal Setting Workshop


Traditionally, most companies have their performance management models built on age-old principles and frameworks that don’t adapt to organizational changes. More concerning is the way organizational goals and an individual employee or team goals are linked to each other. One can see many loopholes in aligning individual goals with organizational goals. The disconnection exists at various levels.

While this is a story about companies with traditional approaches towards software development, could you imagine what happens when such companies try adopting Agile? They utterly fail because of a lack of attention to the aspect of goal-setting and appraisal models.

In fact, Agile training and initiatives drive the employees in one direction and annual goals and appraisals drive them in exactly the opposite direction. This is because the measurement metrics for both aspects differ and don’t complement each other.

Both organizations and employees need to learn how to draft goals that match both: value delivery and the annual appraisals.

Following a grassroots approach, employees (the new agilists) can influence those traditional performance models. First, they need to learn themselves, collectively, what a goal should look like in the new context with an agile transformation. And second, align with the organization on the common understanding of these new roles and how the value is co-created in the new context.


In the context of a SAFe (scaled agile framework) transformation Scrum roles (SM, PO, Team) are invited to collectively reflect on setting their goals. A scrum master can draft a goal that could be reviewed by other peer scrum masters, and the same applies to product owners and team members. Drafting goals for the agile context is a learning experience: It is no more about being the subject matter expert, the hero, the individual achievements.. rather there is more room for collaboration, co-creation of value, mentoring, and other teamwork and collective learning. Scrum practitioners need to practice writing goals for their new context.


For whom: unique role as SM, PO or Team members
Number of participants: 4, 8 or 12

[5 min] Welcome everyone, set the workshop objectives

  • draft one or two goals
  • experience getting feedback on personal goals from other peers
  • experience providing feedback on personal goals for other peers
  • build trust between peers
  • immersion into sincere and genuine discussions with peers
  • unleash the collective wisdom of the group

[15 min] Introduction on the agile context and the specific role (SM, PO or Team member): Specific material to be shared for each role.

Form small groups of four.

[5 min] Individual reflection on 2/3 goals using the goal A3 poster

[60 min] Run one round for each goal:

[5 min] Individually rewrite the goal using a structured way

[20 min] In this group each participant shares his goal (on the wall) as a presenter and asks for feedback:
a- [1 min] The presenter explains the goal to the group and asks for feedback
b- [4 min] The other participants give feedback on the areas highlighted by the presenter

The presenter takes notes on sticky notes and put them on the wall.

[5 min] Each participant refines the goal based on the feedback he got in the previous step.

[10 min] The participants are invited to put their posters on the wall, like a piece of art.
Participants are then invited to a gallery walk to visit the different posters and to take personal notes silently.

[20 min] The participants are invited to debrief on the learning experience during this workshop.

[5 min] ROTI


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