Setting goals and achieving them is integral to any business. To accomplish these goals, businesses employ various techniques, such as the backward and forward techniques.

In this article, we will explore both techniques and their role in helping businesses achieve their objectives.

Backward Technique (Destination point to origin)

Every organisation sets goals to enhance growth and business. In the backward technique, the company follows the goal’s path from destination points to origin points. This technique can be achieved by:

  1. Understanding and defining destination points or the ultimate goal to determine the task’s end date. To understand the backward technique, let's jump into a situation. For example, you want to become a director of ABC company by January 1, 2025. Always identifying all milestones becomes crucial. Questions like:

    • How many milestones need to be achieved to reach the ultimate milestone?
    • Will there be a need for a key account manager or executive?
    • Deciding to complete the executive training program by September 2024.

  2. Working backward to identify tasks like completing the marketing executive program by March 2024.
  3. Iterating this process until the first milestone is identified. For example, become a key account manager after the completion of the first year and set quarter quarter-wise targets to complete the backward technique.

Note: Backward Technique should be employed until the task is achieved.

Forward Technique (Origin to Destination)

The forward technique, also known as One-word goal setting, progressed from origin to destination. This technique involves answering three questions: What, Why, and How?

What? - Successful people have a clear goal. Without knowing where one wants to go or what they want to achieve, progress becomes challenging.

Why? - A one-word goal helps anchor actions. Identify the one word that represents the person you aspire to be by the end of the year. For example, Shri Ratan Tata ji's word is "Humility."

How? - Steps to achieve it:

Step 1: Start thinking deeply.

Step 2: Engage in divergent thinking.

Step 3: Employ convergent thinking.

Step 4: Create a visual reminder, such as a one-word poster.


Setting goals is crucial for business success. The backward and forward techniques offer effective ways to achieve these goals. By employing these techniques, businesses can plan and work towards their objectives. The backward technique aids in identifying milestones and working towards them in reverse order, while the forward technique assists in setting one-word goals and working toward them. By adopting these approaches, businesses can remain on track and achieve their goals within the set timeline.