Microspeak: Stretch goal

Raymond Chen

Recall that Microspeak is not merely for jargon exclusive to Microsoft, but also for jargon that you need to know.

A project will set some goals, which are things it intends to accomplish. It may also set stretch goals, which are things it hopes to accomplish. If you fail to achieve a stretch goal, your project is still a success, but if you make it, your project is even more awesome. A stretch goal could be unrelated to an existing goal.

Goals for this release

  • Support dynamic widget recolorization.

Stretch goals for this release

  • Improve throughput by 10% compared to previous version.

Non-goals for this release

  • Support offline mode.

But more often, it takes the form of a higher level of achievement for an existing goal:

Goal: 40% of the programs will land actual spend within 10% of estimate. Stretch goal: 60%.

Setting a stretch goal is tricky. You want to set it just at the edge of achievability. If you make it unrealistic, then nobody will take it seriously.

You can think of a stretch goal as an “extra credit” assignment. You won’t be penalized for missing it, but making it will earn you kudos.


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