Viva Goals Vs. Cascade: Goal Management Vs. Strategy Execution

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  —  Published 
March 5, 2024
March 6, 2024

Think of your business goals as a mountain you want to climb. Choosing the right software is like picking the perfect gear for the ascent. Just like your equipment plays a crucial role in your success, selecting the right tech solution can make a world of difference in reaching your business objectives.

Choosing a tech solution for your organization can be challenging, but the key to finding the perfect fit lies in understanding what you’re trying to solve.

Cascade and Viva Goals may seem like the same thing at a glance. But, while both aim to drive organizational success, they address different needs and scenarios. Understanding the differences between them can help you decide which approach aligns best with your business objectives.

Let's explore when each might be the right choice.

When To Choose Viva Goals

Viva Goals serves as an individual goal-setting and management solution centered around the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework. Although it can roll up to the team level, it primarily centers around providing managers with a consolidated view of their team members’ personal OKRs, illustrating how these goals align and cascade within the team.

Where Viva Goals shines:

  • HR Focus: HR teams are typically focused on supporting managers with tools that help them measure employee performance & output. With goal management as a focus, Viva Goals integrates with other HR activities and tools, like Viva Glint (employee surveys) and Viva Pulse (feedback management), fostering employee engagement and enhancing the employee experience.
  • Individual & Team Goals: This platform prioritizes individual goal setting and its interaction with team goals. Managers can easily monitor their own objectives alongside team progress. However, individual goal-setting software is not ideal for large-scale alignment across multiple teams and plans due to its focus on immediate personal and team focuses. This approach often breaks down past the team setting, alienating team goals from the broader organizational focus. Organizations starting with this approach often face challenges in ensuring cohesive strategic direction when coordinating complex, inter-departmental initiatives or aligning numerous team plans with overarching organizational goals. 
  • OKR Familiarity: Viva Goals focuses solely on the “textbook” version of the OKR framework. If your teams are unfamiliar with this approach or if they’re using a hybrid version, consider a solution with more flexibility around configuration 
💡 Pro Tip: Compare Viva Goals with other HR-focused solutions like Lattice to find the best fit for your organization's specific needs.

When To Choose Cascade

Cascade is a Strategy Execution Platform that brings your strategy together in one place. It guides businesses through the entire strategy lifecycle, helping them plan, execute, and track their strategies seamlessly. This centralized approach promotes actualized performance and quicker decision-making by providing enhanced visibility and access to all important information.

Where Cascade shines:

  • Strategy Centralization: Cascade isn't just about managing goals—it's about managing the entire strategic process. Organizations and teams can both plan their strategies in a structured yet flexible manner, setting goals to boost accountability and linking those focuses to broader corporate initiatives. With all the necessary information available in Cascade, tracking progress against your strategy becomes easier with automated dashboards and reports for clearer data visualization.
  • Organization-Wide Alignment: Cascade fosters vertical (top-down & bottom-up) and horizontal strategic approaches. It enables you to visualize the relationships between diverse organizational plans and how your corporate strategy translates into operational and functional plans. Additionally, it showcases how departmental & team goals connect to the broader organizational vision. While Cascade allows organizations to capture individual goals where relevant, its core strength lies in aligning them with your overarching objectives within the platform.
  • Framework Flexibility: Unlike tools limited to the “textbook style” of OKRs, Cascade supports OKR implementations, as well as less traditional hybrid approaches. Other strategic frameworks supported include Balanced Scorecard, V2MOM, Hoshin Kanri, OGSM, and even its own Cascade Strategy Model. This adaptability caters to diverse organizational needs and preferences.
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6 Reasons Why Companies Choose Cascade Over Viva Goals

While Viva Goals offers a robust solution for individual goal setting and management, organizations seeking comprehensive strategy execution find Cascade to be a better fit.

Cascade transcends mere goal management, task tracking, and individual goal setting by placing your entire strategy front and center. This holistic approach provides unmatched visibility into your execution engine, allowing you to transform your vision and plans into reality. By aligning resources and avoiding duplication, Cascade can save your organization millions in the long run.

Is Cascade the right choice for you? Here are 6 key reasons why some businesses choose Cascade over Viva Goals:

#1 Goal management can’t help you execute strategy

Goal management alone doesn't guarantee successful strategy execution. It often focuses on capturing individual tasks without considering the bigger picture. Goal management lacks connection to a broader plan, hindering your ability to see if your efforts are truly aligned with the desired outcomes.

Unlike platforms focused solely on managing individual or team goals, Cascade centers on the strategic vision, connecting every effort directly to the overarching goals. This holistic approach transforms strategic plans into actionable outcomes, making it possible for organizations not just to set goals but to achieve them in alignment with their strategic direction.

By marrying goal management with strategic execution, Cascade ensures that resources are aligned, progress is monitored, and efforts across the organization contribute directly to achieving strategic success.

#2 Advisory services without the price tag

g2crowd cascade review advisory services
G2 Cascade Review

The full breadth of strategy execution often involves more than simply deploying a software solution. 

To ensure you’re successful, Cascade offers more than just a platform, partnering with you to offer holistic and tailored expertise to strategy execution. As a part of the paid packages, you gain access to strategy services representatives who can help you manage change throughout your organization. 

#3 Easily see your alignment & relationships 

g2 crowd Cascade review alignment
G2 Cascade Review

Unlike Viva Goals, Cascade allows you to connect and align OKRs to top-level plans, major company initiatives, and focus areas. With the Alignment Maps feature, you can easily visualize how various organizational plans intertwine and understand how your corporate strategy translates into operational and functional plans.

The Relationships feature enables you to track interactions between activities for a deeper insight. By logging and exploring dependencies, blockers, and risks along your strategic journey, you gain a more granular view of your organizational dynamics.

Alignment Map view in Cascade screenshot
Alignment Map view in Cascade

#4 Leverage integrations to consolidate your business systems

Cascade offers seamless integration with your team's preferred tools, enabling you to unify all your critical data under one definitive platform—including widely-used Microsoft solutions like MS Teams.

By leveraging Cascade's integrations, you can consolidate your business systems under one roof. This holistic approach promotes clearer visibility and informed decision-making by providing a comprehensive view of your data, empowering you to make strategic choices confidently.

👉🏻Check out our integrations to discover the wide range of connections we support. Need something more specific? Our Enterprise+ Plan offers custom integration services tailored to connect Cascade with any of your essential business systems.

#5 Use your favorite strategic frameworks

Strategic frameworks offer a strong foundation for building your plans. However, they often get trapped in static tools like PowerPoint or Excel, collecting dust instead of driving action.

Cascade empowers you to break free from this limitation. Our dynamic platform allows you to utilize the frameworks that best suit your needs, transforming strategic theory into tangible execution.

Cascade supported frameworks
Cascade supported frameworks

While Viva Goals restricts you to a single interpretation of the OKR framework, Cascade offers extensive framework support.

This includes:

  • Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • V2MOM
  • Hoshin Kanri
  • Objectives and Goals with Strategic Measures (OGSM)
  • Our very own Cascade Strategy Model

This flexibility empowers you to choose the framework that perfectly aligns with your existing processes and preferences, ensuring a seamless fit within your organization.

#6 Connect business metrics and strategy for quantitative impact

Cascade offers a straightforward way to connect your business metrics with strategic goals through its Metrics Library. This feature allows you to link your data directly to your objectives, KPI, or initiatives, providing a solid foundation for making informed, data-driven decisions.

By aligning your specific goals with key business metrics, you get a comprehensive view of your impact, enabling you to focus on what matters most.

Boosting efficiency and accuracy, Cascade automates metric updates through integrations with various tools. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, saving valuable time and reducing the risk of errors. With all your metrics consolidated in a single platform, your team can spend less time managing data and more time focusing on impactful strategic initiatives.

Cascade Metrics Library view
Cascade Metrics Library view

See What Customers Say About Cascade

Perley Health aimed to unify its strategic approach and keep a closer eye on progress, and found that Cascade's solutions were a perfect fit for their needs.

Cascade made it possible to link each project and departmental goal directly to the company's broader strategy. This clearer view helped teams direct their efforts toward the most critical initiatives, cutting down on overlap and inefficiency.

Additionally, Perley Health valued how Cascade allowed them to measure outcomes and track progress in a quantifiable way. This approach to using data helped ensure that success was consistently measured, which in turn, informed how resources and investments were allocated.

Thanks to better oversight and strategic alignment, Perley Health's leadership was in a stronger position to prioritize investments, directing funds to the initiatives that promised the most significant impact. This strategic focus helped accelerate their progress toward reaching their ambitious targets.

👉🏻Read Perley Health’s full Customer Story.

Choose Cascade For Strategic Execution, Not Just Goal Management

In summary, while both Viva Goals and Cascade offer solutions for organizing and achieving objectives, they cater to distinct needs at different levels in the organization.

If your primary focus is individual goal setting and employee engagement, Viva Goals might be a good fit.

However, if you seek a comprehensive platform for strategy execution encompassing strategic planning, alignment, progress tracking, and data-driven decision-making, Cascade is the superior choice.

Cascade goes beyond goal management by providing a holistic approach, connecting every effort to your overarching strategy. This ensures alignment, efficient resource allocation, and the ability to measure and track progress toward achieving your strategic goals.

Book a chat with one of our strategy experts to see how Cascade can help your organization achieve its ambitious goals.

Don't just manage goals. Execute your strategy with Cascade.

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