To achieve Step 14, individuals will show that they are able to take a strategy and break it down into milestones towards achieving an overall objective.
In the earlier steps, goals and targets have been discussed in the context of making plans. As strategies are often long-term, goals and targets are often insufficient alone. This step focuses on how to create strategic plans that include milestones to plot progress towards the broader objectives.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
To teach this step:
This skill can be reinforced when learners are thinking about a long-term endeavour, like how to excel in a particular subject over an extended period, or how to get into the college or university of their choice.
This step is best assessed by asking learners to develop a strategic plan, and complete that with inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes and then thinking what might be some milestones along the way.
This step is relevant to individuals who can develop plans and strategies to achieve long-term goals.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through observing an individual as they take part in a practical exercise to develop a strategic plan.
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
When working towards a long-term strategy, such a preparing for an exam or assignment, setting progress milestones along the way break up a plan into manageable parts. Milestones can motivate us to keep going and are a useful checkpoint to see if we are on track to meet our goals. You might set markers like completing the reading for that topic, carrying out your own research, drafting the first section, receiving feedback, etc. In education it is common to use each term or semester as a key milestone in the year. It can take a lot of effort and hard work to achieving a long-term goal or strategy, so it is important to recognise and celebrate the success of your milestones along the way.
In a work context, long-term strategies may be more formal and divided into the different steps needed to achieve the given outcome. Outlining the inputs, key actions, outputs and outcomes provides the necessary structure for clear plans to develop and to highlight progress in the process. A large organisation’s strategy may involve working with thousands or hundreds of thousands of people, based in many different locations, over a 5 to 10 year period; using mini-targets and milestones allows those workers in senior positions to oversee progress as a whole and make decisions to keep plans on track.
It is important to recognise milestones in our life and to celebrate progress and success. While it may be more common to celebrate milestones like birthdays, graduations, anniversaries or new jobs, we can take satisfaction in everyday successes as well. As we learn new skills like cooking, riding a bike or becoming more independent, mini-targets along the way help us to see the progress we are making. Milestones help remind us why we’re making an effort and motivates us to keep going.
To best practise this step of Aiming High, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
As a parent or carer, you might be thinking about how best to support your children to build their essential skills. The good news is that there is lots that you can do that will have a big impact, including:
We’ve developed a whole series of tools and resources to help parents to build these skills, including:
There is also content for older children and young people, including short activities and reflections that they can complete alone, or with you.