In our company, at the beginning of year, we have what is known as Goals Cascading. Essentially, the senior most people in the firm set goals for the entire firm and then the people at the next level set their own goals for their respective divisions which are aligned with the goals of their seniors. This process continues until we reach the level of an individual employee.

At the end of year, there is a review process on how well we did on our goals. This basically works the other way round. Individuals' reviews are collated to form teams' reviews which are further collated all the way upwards till there is a review of the entire firm on how well we did to achieve the goals set by us.

Now, my question. How do I complete this sentence with a suitable word:

At the beginning of year we have Goals Cascading and at the end of year we have Review -----------.

I can think of words like collation and assimilation except that they don't give an idea of something moving up.

Any other ways of writing the same sentence while still using the phrase 'goals cascading' and the word 'review' in it.

  • If you have a progressive management, they may like 'reviews salmon-leaping'. No doubt J Lawler would have a name for this extended metaphor; I'll throw in the fluvial metaphor (but I bet it's not the actual term). Mar 9, 2013 at 10:49
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    Ascent comes to mind. Mar 9, 2013 at 12:16
  • Doesn't really include cascade in the antonym category. Mar 9, 2013 at 13:01
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    Though it doesn't fit the metaphor, 'Review Reconciliation' is what is happening.
    – Mitch
    Mar 9, 2013 at 14:10
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    In programming, the opposite of cascading is ‘bubbling’. ‘Review Bubbling’, however, sounds most peculiar (gives me a mental image of some kind of champagne oenology) and would probably not be a good choice for your context here. Jul 18, 2013 at 10:24

9 Answers 9


If you want to keep it simple, then you could say that Cascading is used in the sense of "coming down from above", so perhaps you could say Ascending.

Cascade can also imply something coming from one tier down to the next, to the next and so on.

In software engineering, a behaviour that is transmitted up to the next layer, up to the next and so on is often described as Bubbling. It's probably as good a metaphor as Cascading in your context, especially if you imagine smaller bubbles coalescing to form larger ones on their way up through the hierarchy.

So: Cascading Goals and Bubbling Reviews.

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    +1 Bubbling is the closest to an antonym of cascade that I've seen. Moreover, bubbling reviews sounds like the kind of enthusiastic corporate-speak that usually goes down well :| Mar 9, 2013 at 13:24
  • Bubbling was exactly the word that came to my mind, too. Jul 22, 2014 at 14:22

"Roll-up" is generally used in these contexts. For e.g., reporting structure rolls up into Ms.xyz.

Similarly goals should roll-up into the top guy's goals.

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    +1 for "roll-up". We also use "flow-down" in the context that OP uses "cascade". Goal cascading appears to be the flow-down and distribution of goals into lower level goals that are appropriate for each level. Roll-up would be the consolidation of the goal-results from the lower levels, matching them with the original goals at each level as they are rolled up. Jul 18, 2013 at 18:07

What you call "Goal Cascading" is what is also known as "Top-down goal setting", so the end-of-year process could be called "Bottom-up results reporting"

It's not very elegant but it is also not contrived.


I´d call it aggregation or accumulation.

The reasons is my understanding of the process: A collection of small/low-level reviews are aggregated or accumulated into vewer higher-level reviews. Accumulated, if they are just colelcted and put together, and aggregated, if they are condensed in a way that the amount of information passed on does not grow with every level, but is "averaged".

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    Hi Zsolt! Give us a reason for these words; did they just pop into your mind? Jul 21, 2014 at 19:27
  • Hi @MattGutting, thank you for your feedback. It´s edited. Jul 22, 2014 at 20:20
  • Better! One more possible improvement: I agree with your definitions of aggregate and accumulate; they make sense. But we do try on this site to reference some sort of authority - probably a dictionary in this case. If you could cite dictionary definitions agreeing with your interpretations of the word, that would be a great improvement, definitely worth an upvote. (You might try, for example, places like Merriam-Webster or Oxford Dictionaries Online Jul 22, 2014 at 21:16

Reminds me of the terms fan-out and fan-in from Electronics Engineering.


Alternatively, how about "Snowball"? "Goals cascade out and reviews snowball in."


At the beginning of year we have Goals Cascading and at the end of year we have Review ----------- .

The only words I can think of that seem to fit your criteria are capping and possibly culmination. A more practical candidate would be consolidation.


I have two options:

  1. In keeping with the metaphor of movement out and down, and then back up:

    At the end of the year we have Review Assembling.

    Considering that goals are going to be stacked on top of goals, this also expresses the interconnections of the entire network of goals.

  2. In keeping specifically with the metaphor of movement up and down:

    At the end of the year we have Review Tiering.

    This suggests a stacking upwards of reviews coming from different corporate substrata.

NB: In the language of the statement, you have "Goals Cascading", a plural noun followed by a participle which functions as an adjective. "Review (Word needed)" uses a noun followed by a participle that functions as a verb, as in,

"It's December. Let's do some review tiering".

This changes the structure used in "Goals Cascading" (noun, adjective). To maintain a parallel structure, you could consider,

At the beginning of year we have Goals Cascading and at the end of year we have Reviews ----------- .


If you are thinking of something like a waterfall when you say "Cascade" (and using the words "up" and "down"), then its pretty clear there can be no exact antonym for that, because gravity only runs one way.

The closest thing nature has to that is the concept of water seeping back up. There is also the little-used term resurgence which is occasionally used to designate an underground river that comes back up to the surface. Its a nifty word, so I'd consider using it in this case.

However, if you are thinking of cascade in the sense of something that spreads out from one node to all the other connected nodes, then the opposite tends to be to filter or funnel things back from many nodes to a single one.


The process of things moving in the direction counter to what you refer to as cascade is conventionally, escalate (upflow) in workflow terms.


If initial attempts to resolve a user's problem are unsuccessful, most support groups have policies ... As you learned in Chapter 4, incident escalation is a normal process in which a problem is transferred to a higher level ... A Guide to Computer User Support for Help Desk & Support Specialists

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    Can you give a more obvious reference to this usage, please? I can only see the 'rope in other (human) resources' implication for escalate in the reference you give. Mar 9, 2013 at 13:05
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    @EdwinAshworth You need some background in workflow to understand the reference. And no, escalate is not to 'rope in other (human) resources'. See edit.
    – Kris
    Mar 10, 2013 at 10:12
  • @EdwinAshworth missed Chapter 4. If you had sarcasm on mind, mind explaining?
    – Kris
    Mar 17, 2013 at 6:35
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    Clicking the link helps... for me it jumps straight to the word escalate when I click the link.
    – Jerenda
    Jul 21, 2014 at 18:37

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