What are Motivational Goal Models? 

Motivational Goal Modelling has been developed over the last ten years with the funds of four successful ARC Discovery Projects. Motivational models arose from goal models and agent-oriented methods described in Sterling, L. and Taveter, K. The Art of Agent-Oriented Modeling, MIT Press, 2009.  

Motivational models present a hierarchical structure of the goals of a system at a high-level of abstraction. The models capture roles of system stakeholders, functional goals and quality goals of a system. Different to other models, they also represent emotional goals, which capture both the positive feelings people want to have when interacting with the system, and possible concerns. 

Motivational goal models help to gain a shared understanding and guide innovative software and design solutions. The Motivational Modelling process has been used with a variety of organisations to help with their strategic planning and thinking.  

Over time, software has been developed that allows the motivational goal model to be created within a single workshop session.

Communication cards were created using Motivational Goal Modelling to express goals of aged care residents.

Applying Motivational Goal Modelling for better organisational outcomes 

Dr Mike Timms of EdTech Evaluation was engaged by Prof Leon Sterling of Swinburne University to conduct an evaluation and to seek feedback in a systematic way from previous participants in the Motivational Goal Modelling process, so that future versions would better target the needs of organisations and their leaders.  

Feedback on the benefits to organisations from going through the Motivational Goal Modelling process was that it had: 

  • provided the organisation leader with a clarity of purpose for the growth of the organisation and a way to convey their vision
  • enabled the organisation to look at things from a different perspective, particularly regarding how the organisation wants people to feel in its initiatives, branding etc. 
  • helped to have the goals of the organisation down on paper to summarise what they are trying to achieve
  • kept focus on what the team was trying to achieve during critical times - it helped to ‘rein them back in’
  • enabled the organisation to realise that some of their goals were impractical or not achievable at this time
  • potential to be useful for branding and marketing decision making, and planning.
An example of a Motivational Goal Model expressing the goals of the Future Self and Design Living Lab.

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