Purpose – Goals – Tasks

Teamwork is much easier to coordinate when everyone is clear about the three levels of Purpose, Goals and Tasks.

Purpose acts as a compass, proving a broad general direction for the team’s work. Goals are like waypoints on the journey — achievements that take the team towards delivering its purpose. Tasks are the steps taken between one waypoint and the next.

Purpose, Goals and Tasks have long-term, medium-term and short-term time horizons respectively. Typically, a team might review purpose very six to twelve months, goals every three months and tasks weekly or even daily.

The questions in the table provide a starting point for regular alignment reviews.



  • What are we here for?
  • What do our stakeholders need from us?


  • What specifically do we want to achieve in support of the purpose?
  • Over what period of time?


  • What actions and deliverables are needed to deliver each goal?
  • Who is responsible and accountable?
  • What is the schedule?
  • How will we monitor and measure?

Copyright – David Clutterbuck

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