How do you track goals that have a reverse performance metric?

We are currently setting up our organizational goals with Asana and everything has been working great. However, we have one slight issue with the tracking of one goal. The goal is formulated like this: “We would like to grow our total costs by less than x%.”

This makes sense, as our company is growing this year and lowering costs is not a realistic target. Our problem is that we have no idea how to set up the goal tracking for this.

If we use x% as our target value and 0% as our starting value, we basically overperform (according to the goal tracking), while we are actually underperforming.

Has anyone had this use case before? I could not find anything here so far. Thank you in advance!

@Tom_Suberg1 Welcome to the forum. Interesting…my thought would be to have the starting value at 0 and the target as x% then it will work and i would use the status updates to say whether the goal is offtrack and essentially ignore the metrics.

Hey @Danielle-GenD, thank you for the reply! That setup would not work:

Let’s say we do not want to grow our costs by more than 50% and the start value is 0%. If we grow our costs by 60%, we basically achieved 120% of our goal, even though we actually failed our goal.

I tried to play around with negative numbers but I never got to a point where the goal tracking status makes sense in the end.

Hey @Tom_Suberg1 yes so it would show as 120% but you could then set the status as goal missed or dropped etc

@Danielle-GenD that is true, but it is actually a sub goal of a larger goal and the 120% mess with the overall tracking of that goal as well.

Ah ok. Perhaps link the subgoal but have the main goal as a manual update?

So, the positively stated goal is to “Maximize the savings vs. the growth ceiling of X%”. E.g. ceiling is 45%, actual growth is 28% ==> Savings (vs. ceiling) = 17%. The higher the growth in expenses, the lower the savings, and this corresponds to a worse performance on the goal.

If the “Savings” term doesn’t seem natural, then how about “Cost undershoot”? Most people will understand that the bigger the cost undershoot (vs. target), the better.

Hey @anon91170507 , thank you for the input. That is a good plan and was my backup option if I wasn’t going to find an answer here. I suppose I will set it up like this for now. But I do think it would be a good addition to Asana, if this kind of goal tracking was possible natively. I know a bunch of companies that get such goals from investors during a period of rapid growth.

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@Tom_Suberg1, I’d also like to be able to track inverse performance goals where needed and would like to add my voice to this feature request.

For example, our digital marketing agency has a goal to drive the cost for a paying customer down to $X on avg. Obviously, high cost is not conducive to good business so we’d want success (green) to be driven by how low we can get that number. In contrast, if that number is higher than target, we’d want that to be (red). Right now, it’s just about how high it goes.

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I completely agree with the need for reverse performance goals in Asana. Another good example is reducing employee turnover %. There is no simple way to represent that goal.