Using Goal Templates in a Well-Planned Asana Goals Process

Goal templates help facilitate and standardize goal-setting best practices across the organization by codifying recommended model goal types with defaulted attributes, content, and formatting.

Organization Admins and/or Team Admins initially create these goal templates (Organization Admins can also modify the several Asana-supplied ones) via the Goals header > Edit goal settings menu item. Organization Admins can create templates that everyone in the organization will see; Team admins can create goal templates for everyone in the respective team.

When users add their Company, Team, or Individual goals, they can choose from among these goal templates to base them on, supplying and overriding specified content as appropriate.

Note that goal templates are exclusive to Asana Enterprise, Enterprise+, and Legacy Enterprise tiers.

Overall Approach to Asana Goals

Goal templates are just one tactic to use as part of a well-considered approach to using Asana Goals at your organization. That wide topic is beyond the scope of this post but, fortunately, Write Great Goals with Asana Goals is an excellent, compact guide to selecting your goals method and providing the necessary background. If you haven’t already selected a goals method, consider OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as it is a popular and flexible approach. (See also The Asana Playbook to OKRs.) This post assumes the OKRs method for its examples.

Recommended Goal Templates to Use (for OKRs method)

At a minimum, the following goal templates are recommended:

  • One Company-wide Objective goal template (shown below)

  • One Company-wide Key result goal template (shown below)

  • And for each Team expected to use Asana Goals:

  • One <Team> Objective goal template (not shown)

  • One <Team> Key result goal template (not shown)

If you expect your goals hierarchy to include high-level Objectives with more specific sub-goals that roll up to these parent goals, consider instead (for Company goals at least, if not Team goals as well):

  • One Company-wide High-Level Objective goal template

  • One Company-wide Sub-Goal Objective goal template

  • One Company-wide Key result goal template

Example Company-wide Objective goal template

Here is the recommended Company-wide Objective goal template. (It can be created via Goals header > Edit goal settings > Create template and then subsequently edited by clicking on it in the list of existing goal templates.)

The full text of the Goal title is:

  • <Inspirational goal short title; an achievable/stretch outcome/destination for the time frame>

Example Company-wide Key result goal template

Here is the recommended Company-wide Key result goal template. (It can be created via Goals header > Edit goal settings > Create template and then subsequently edited by clicking on it in the list of existing goal templates.)

The full text of the Goal title is:

  • :bar_chart: KR: <Measurable Key result short title; a specific target to hit in support of the parent goal/Objective>

Details of Above Goal Templates

  • Goal template content in <brackets> indicates material to be replaced by the goal author and acts as a cue.

  • All other non-bracketed content is expected to remain for clarity and consistency.

  • The Key result template uses the prefix :bar_chart: KR: <Goal title> to allow KRs to easily be distinguished from Objectives. Note that only KRs are distinguished in this manner; it’s unnecessary to further caption Objectives, which aids readability. (Asana does offer a Goal Type attribute allowing you to specify a goal as either Objective, Key result, or Individual goal, but I feel the additional emoji/prefix improves scannability.)

  • Grading criteria are further explained in Write Great Goals with Asana Goals and other linked documents.

  • SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, etc.) are helpful in crafting Objectives and Key results, or, even better, see my Forum Leader Tip Instead of SMART Criteria for Goals and Objectives, Consider SMARTIE adding “Inclusive” and “Equitable.”

More on Goal Templates Generally

  • The goal template editing page allows Admins to manage access and visibility when creating and editing goal templates (this post’s screenshots only show the content portion of the editor).

  • The goal settings page offers a Publish toggle for each goal template so you can hide it from others until it’s ready for use.

More References on Goal Templates and Asana Goals Generally

Thank you,

Larry Berger
Asana Consultant at Trilogi Solutions

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It’s very nice to roll out ASANA. This item is good for our company.
Please Let me share the meterial about OKR align the ASANA setting if it possible.

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I find it ridiculous that Asana considers something as simple as Goals templates an Enterprise feature.

Goals are already only Business, so they decide to put that little extra in Enterprise because let’s be honest most people won’t need them, but if you do you’ll upgrade for them (among other things)

But full goals functionality is not in business and it would be nice to have that in business for companies that aren’t enterprise level. We would certainly use it.

Hello @Ryan_Greve ! I’m the Product Lead for Asana Goals and OKRs. You should be able to access all goals functionality except goal templates and goal types if you have a Business account.

Can you let me know if you can’t find them? This YouTube playlist has an overview of most features and how to find them.

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@lpb, this post is awesome. The team that built goal templates was super excited to read it. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you so much, @arijanover, for that wonderful comment (music to my ears!) to you and the team for taking the time to read my post and, more importantly, for designing and building such a powerful, key module in Asana that works so well regardless of organization size, type, and chosen goal methodology.

Hi Arijanover,
We do have goals functionality and use it in our company what I"m saying is that goals templates and types should be in Business and not limited to Enterprise its simple functionality (though very useful) and it doesn’t make sense for us to upgrade to Enterprise just for that. For example, I get that things like SSO are reserved for Enterprise. All goals functionality however should be in business.

Why can’t I set time frame for goal monthly? Quarterly is the shortest I can set it for.

Welcome, @Jim_Delaney1,

Perhaps because Asana sees goals generally as having a longer horizon?

You can vote for that feature here, if you think this represents your request:

Or add your own to Product Feedback.

Thanks,

Larry