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This post is part of a series of blog posts which document iThink 365 journey to implement Viva Goals within the organization.
If you have not read the introduction blog post, I would recommend starting there.
If you have read the introduction post, then welcome back and I hope that you are finding the series useful.
Although I do not want to waste a lot of time for no reason, it important that I least try and explain some of the background concepts for completeness. There are some great resources which I will link to through these posts.
Anyway, let’s explain a few terms!
What is Viva Goals?
This article introduces Viva Goals. Viva Goals is part of the Microsoft Viva Suite within Microsoft 365. It enables organisations to establish OKRs or Objectives, and then measure their success using KPIs or Key Results to track their progress. The OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) enable a business to align the department, teams, and individuals to the overall business objectives. This helps to bring everyone on the same page and doing work that has been identified to benefit the business. Thus, improving productivity, efficiency and driving top and bottom lines.
What is an OKR?
An OKR or Object, Key Result is made up two main parts. An objective which the business is wanting to achieve. The objective needs to be SMART, specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and timely.
The key result provides the mechanism to measure whether the objective has been met.
Let’s explain using an example. We have an objective, Increase Turnover by £10000 in August 2022. The key result is the measure. In this example, the key result is the turnover. We measure the turnover to see if we have met the objective. In Viva Goals a key result or KPI has a unit of measurement with a target defined.
So, if last month’s turnover was £10000 then this month’s target is £20000.
OKRs are established at the business level and then OKRs are established at department/team and individual levels to support the business OKR. These OKRs are then aligned to the business goal.
So, Marketing for example might have an OKR to generate 10 more leads a month. Sales might have an OKR to convert 10% more leads a month. These OKRs support the business objective to increase turnover by £10000.
How do you achieve your OKRs?
In short by using Projects and Tasks!
The next part of Viva Goals is capturing the project and tasks that are required to achieve the objective. So have defined the objective and the measure, next we need to identify the tasks which will allows to reach that goal.
Marketing might start a project to run a new campaign to promote the Power Platform Development Service that the company has. Sales might then identify existing customers and contact 10 existing customers a week to upsell the service.
Key Results and Check-ins
The Key results need to be updated regularly so that we can track the objectives and see if we are on track, ahead or behind. Viva Goals achieves this in one of two ways. Key results can be manually updated in which case the user who owns the key result is prompted to check-in every week to update the metric.
The objective is then updated to reflect it status.
Another way to record the metric is via an automated approach. Viva Goals supports numerous data sources which it can read a metric from.
For example, a database could contain a set of metrics which Viva Goals is configured to use those values to update the metric. The beauty is that the objective’s metric is automatically kept up to date and this means the team does not have to be reminded to keep updating it.
However, it does mean that the teams still need to review their objectives regularly otherwise they are going to forget about what they have committed to.
I do think the later point comes down to the process and culture of the organization. I expect that the team at iThink 365 will soon get into the swing of keeping it updated. I will use the 1-2-1s to discuss about the progress of their objectives which will help keep them front of mind.
Viva Goals Licensing
Viva Goals as mentioned previously is part of the Microsoft 365 stack and it is not currently part of a Microsoft 365 license.
Viva Goals requires a separate license to be purchased. Either a Viva Goals license or the Microsoft Viva Suite license. At iThink 365 we have purchased the Viva Suite licenses as we use Viva Topics, Viva Learning and Viva Insights within the organisation.
The next blog post will introduce where our journey starts and cover the reading that was done and how we started to introduce the concept of OKRs and Viva Goals into iThink 365.