OKR Tracking in Asana

Hi! I work for a small company (~65 employees), and we’re looking into using Asana for OKR tracking. (OKR = Objectives and Key Results)

Wondering if anyone has experience doing this, and if so how you structure your OKRs across projects/teams. Particularly would be interested in how you look at OKRs over the long-term as well - do you export data (for instance, for leadership to look at long-term trends), and if so how? Any info or examples would be helpful.

Thanks! - Jessie

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This answer may be off track to your questions but if you consider OKR=Objectives and Key Results to be the same as a Strategic Plan with KPI’s Key Performance Indicators I will proceed. I have mention two books previously, Rythm and The Rockefeller Habits that have contributed to how a reasonable structure can be assembled at the department level and for review.

  1. Set up a project OKR in each department/team with rights and privileges to who you deem.
  2. Use a prefix on the project to identify the team, ie Finance, FIN| OKR.
  3. Create a custom field called Status with Green-Yellow-Red dropdown at the executable task level. Probably don’t even need Green as you will learn later.
  4. Use the Advanced Search feature to create Company-wide OKR by selecting the OKR project you set up in each department. The Saved Favorite will essential act as a corporate overlay versus a separate team of OCR (There would not be one). When you run the search your whole OCR will come up to sort in any many you desire.
  5. Add additional Advanced Searches for the custom Status Field for only yellow and red or if you want separate, do so accordingly. Tell you Team leaders there is no reason to identify a status as Green as they are on track without any Stucks. Only change to yellow or red to identify need for management focus at periodic meetings.

In the end you will have a system that you have your entire OKR Plan in an advanced search, combined with a system to focus on yellow-red problem areas that should be focused on corporately.

As far as statistical data as far as I know you you can only use attachments or custom fields with such things as percentage of complete etc.

My approach is not as comprehensive but I thought I would share my thoughts.

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Hi @jessiepw901, I’ve consulted a number of companies around your size in Asana and strategic planning always comes up. One approach is to create a master project of OKRs. Think of that list management comes up with at an offsite or whatever. This is what should be accomplished in the next quarter, year, 5 years, or whatever.

Each of these OKRs should be written as a task in this project (let’s call the project “Strategic Planning”). If they have deadlines, assign them deadlines. You should also assign these OKRs to people as well, following Apple’s DRI (Directly Responsible Individual) framework. This ensures one person is responsible for keeping the ball rolling on each OKR and none get forgotten.

Obviously, each of those OKRs needs dozens or hundreds of tasks to complete it. So far this is just to track the OKRs.

Next, you’re going to break down each of those OKRs. Most likely, each OKR would become a separate project in the relevant team, and a project owner should be assigned. This could be the person responsible for the OKR, but in larger organizations is most likely a subordinate project manager.

So you’re going to add all the tasks necessary to accomplish the OKR, but you’re also going to add the OKR task from the master “Strategic Planning” project. Check out Add Tasks to Multiple Projects if this is confusing. This allows you to link where the OKR is actually being accomplished in Asana.

This system would give you the big picture of OKRs by clicking in the master “Strategic Planning” project and viewing “All Tasks” to see what’s been completed, what hasn’t, deadlines, etc. You can also use Dashboards to get a different kind of tactical overview of where the different projects are at.

Hope that helps!


Todd Cavanaugh
projectmanagementpros.com

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@jessiepw901
I wrote a blog article on how to implement Objectives and Key Results OKRs with Asana:

Have a wonderful day

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Todd - So funny to see your note here as I work on implementing OKRs in Asana.

@Theresa_Fesinstine You are an OKR machine! :slight_smile: Welcome to the Asana community.

Hi @Theresa_Fesinstine,

I would love to know your tips and tricks on implementing OKRs in Asana. How do you spilit projects in ASANA w.r.t HODs and / or Departments. I have learned, I could fan out tasks from one project to another and bring in the updates, but the basic idea told in ASANA’s future (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRl7d_WM4Bc&t=7m36s) , seems hard to implement.

Salman,

I didn’t find a great way to do this using Asana. I have a lot of Objectives for my function (people & culture) and so I just organized the different OKR’s by functional area (Talent Acquisition, Employee Engagement, etc) and then listed each Objective as a “project” and the KR’s are listed in the description of the Project. It’s the best work around I could come up with – without having Asana be my entire job.

Thanks for asking and I hope this helped.

Theresa

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I spent time a few months ago designing a quite powerful and very flexible solution for my clients to handle either OKRs or Goals/KPIs (and initiatives generally), that is quick to implement and maintain weekly or monthly, and works company-wide with roll-ups at the company- and department-levels. An optional third tier, sub-department-level, is optionally available too.

Unlike both Goals and Portfolios, which both require the Business tier, this solution only requires Premium, and still includes an integrated Timeline view.

I know it’s not so nice of me to tease this without offering the solution here, but I have provided quite a few answers on this Forum over the years, and also offer the free Asana2Go (which itself provides another alternative–Project Dashboards–that could be helpful here too) so I hope I can be excused for asking anyone interested in this OKRs solution to private message me here or contact me via my profile (click on my avatar) for more info.

Thanks,

Larry

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Hi Larry, I am interested in the OKRs solution you spoke of.

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@Eric_Ferrell,

Great, I’ll send you Private Message here.

Thanks,

Larry

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Does this work for agencies where we have teams per client and several projects per team/client with goals/kpi’s?

Best,

@Dennis_Sievers, Perhaps. I’ll private message you here to make sure I understand…

Larry

Hi Larry! I would be very interested to hear more about your OKR solution.
I’m trying to set this up in our company…

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Best,
Larissa

Hi @Larissa_z, Sounds good; I’ll private message you right now…

Hey! I needed help using asana2go to manage projects instead of tasks. Does anyone has a clue how to do it?

@Pedro_Taraboulous,

The standard Asana2Go offering for tracking projects is shown below, but customization allows for unlimited possibilities.

image

Thanks,

Larry

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Heya, I’m interested in your OKR tracking tool. Please message me at info@alignmentops.com

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Thanks @Cristina_Chihaia, I’ve followed up by email re OKR tracking in Asana.

Larry

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Hi Larry. I am interested in learning more about your OKR/ KPI solution. Please email me at lunion@babson,edu. Thanks.

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