Ladder Up

Ladder Up

This tool creates a project hierarchy to show how each project deliverable is contributing to the larger project – and organizational – purpose. 

Charting components of a project in a hierarchy to evaluate how each meets intended goals
Step 1: Start at the top of the ladder

Begin by writing your organizationʼs Vision and Mission at the top of a hierarchy. You can use a whiteboard, easel paper, or download our Ladder Up Framework. If your organization hasnʼt yet defined Vision, Mission, and Values, you can include your North Star Adjectives at the top of the hierarchy.

Step 2: Add the Project Goal or Strategic Goal

The project goal or strategic goal should be one short, well-defined statement. If strategic priorities, or other details, need to be included, you can add a level to your ladder. 

Step 3: Add Project Components and Deliverables

Give participants 3 minutes to write down short statements or reasons to believe that each project element is delivering on the Vision & Mission (or North Star) and project purpose. (Participants should write notes beneath each deliverable). Download our Does It Ladder Up? Evaluation guide to help the team through this process

After 3 minutes, ask each group member to share their statements; together, the team will decides whether each component ladder ups, ladders up better with adjustments, or should be eliminated from the project because it doesn’t strongly contribute to the project or organization’s purpose.