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Manage projects with the OKR model and Viva Goals

5.1.2023

Project management is made easier with the OKR model and Viva Goals, bringing transparency and clarity to the organization’s project work and operating methods.

The OKR model (objectives and key results) is well-known when talking about strategic management but utilizing the same model in project management brings considerable benefits as well. As a model of goal management, OKR brings closer together the organization’s strategic goals and operational activities that are tied to the goals.

The OKR model consists of two parts:

  • qualitative goals like common and transparent goals towards which we work in everyday life, and
  • quantitative key results that are monitored regularly.

When the strategy and goals coming from the management are clear, and when the projects and tasks striving for the corresponding results are in line with each other, operations according to the OKR model can transparently utilize the competence potential of the entire personnel.

OKR model for goal management

The OKR model is an excellent tool for managing strategy implementation. With it, the implementation of the organization’s strategy is in line with the strategic goals. In this case, the practical actions of each team and employee are directly linked to the goals set together.

After the strategic goals are set by the management, the units and teams set their own goals and define the key results that aim for the goals. In this case, every employee should know what is being done and how to promote the achievement of common company-level goals. Responsibility and independent decision-making related to one’s own work also act as motivators to promote results.

The OKR model of goal management also enables the unification and clarification of the organization’s common operating methods to ensure that the practical work towards a common goal is more uniform.

Transparent project management with the OKR model

For the OKR model to work in accordance with its purpose, in addition to the strategy, goals at both the project and organizational levels must be communicated transparently, clearly, and comprehensibly across the entire organization.

In addition to transparent communication, goal setting and monitoring are also transparent in the OKR model. A clear alignment of the project’s goals and key results serves as a starting point for project work utilizing the OKR model.

When teams can see each other’s goals and key results, they can, if necessary, align their own goals in their activities to support the common goal. Monitoring goals transparently for the entire organization helps employees understand the effects of their own work.

Key results are regularly monitored in weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings that function as short iteration and feedback cycles. In the meetings, experiences are shared, and the effectiveness of measures aimed at achieving results is evaluated and verified. Regular meetings also help to identify possible

Grow operations with the help of the OKR model

The OKR model aims for flow efficiency like the Lean philosophy, aiming to reduce doing things that do not contribute to the creation of results helping achieve goals.

The OKR model brings several tangible benefits when it is applied to each organization’s own operations in accordance with the model’s intended use:

  • The organization’s clearer operation focuses on working towards the achievement of important goals.
  • The operation of the entire organization becomes more unified.
  • The organization develops through continuous learning based on transparent working and regular monitoring. Through this, the organization’s strategic ability also develops.
  • Clear and transparent goals and key results for all personnel help to achieve results faster.
  • When the results of the employee’s own work are directly connected to the achievement of the common goal, the significance of the personnel’s work also increases.

Goals for supports activities according to the OKR model

Microsoft’s Viva Goals is a goal-setting and management solution that aligns teams with an organization’s strategic priorities to achieve results and help businesses succeed.

As part of the Microsoft Viva product family, Viva Goals integrates into the end-to-end employee experience, empowering people and teams to work at their best anywhere with both seamless Teams integration and a web app. As a browser version, Viva Goals can be used separately, even if no other Microsoft products are in use.

Setting team-specific goals and key results is easy with Viva Goals. A clear view quickly gives an overall picture of the team’s daily activities in connection with the set goals.

Ensure transparent goal setting at all levels of the organization with OKR approval workflows, organization-, team- and employee-specific goal pages, and a chart view.

OKR-compliant projects and tasks connect work and results clearly and transparently.

Viva Goals’ dynamically updated, customizable dashboards and information on OKR goals and key results provide situational information on real-time progress toward goals.

The shared links of the dashboards help communicate the progress of the teams transparently throughout the organization.

The Teams chat extension helps build an interactive conversation culture around goals. It allows teams to communicate, collaborate and acknowledge goals quickly and easily.

A clear definition of goals, key results, and metrics implemented with a tool that supports strategy work helps to succeed in goal management according to the OKR model in projects and at the level of the entire organization in the form of numerous tangible benefits.

Marko Koskela
Chief Commercial Officer, Partner

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