How to Get Started With Asana Goals | Product Guide

Goals are available to all Business and Enterprise customers.

Goals overview

Goals are a flexible goal-tracking system that helps drive measurable results by providing a single source of truth for setting and tracking goals where your teams execute work.

With Goals, aligning your teams around clear objectives and prioritizing the right work is easier than ever. Goals help everyone at your organization understand why their work matters and what they should be working towards.

To do this, set, track, and manage both company-wide and team goals. Company goals are longer-term goals tied to the achievement of your organization’s mission. Team goals are shorter-term goals that ladder up to your company’s mission-oriented objectives.

Goals can be linked as parent or sub-goals, to create a goal hierarchy, and supporting work can be added to make the connection between goals and work clear.

To access your Goals’ list view, navigate to the Goals section in your sidebar.

My goals

mygoals

Use the My goals tab to quickly find and monitor the goals you own. Navigate to the My goals tab within the Goals section on your sidebar. Here you can filter by All goals, Open goals and Closed goals. You can also manage the goals you own directly from the Home page using the My goals widget.

My Goals Widget

My goals allows you to easily track the goals you own directly from your home, so you’re clear on what you need to do, and why it’s important.

goals widget

To get started, add the My goals widget by selecting it from the Customize menu on the top right corner of your Home, and dragging it from the sidebar onto your Home. You can use the overflow menu to display the widget in full or half size, depending on your preferences. From the widget, you can use the filtering menu to display open goals, closed goals, or both.

Team goals

To access your Goals’ list view, navigate to the Goals section in your sidebar.

goals list view

From the Goals list view, you can:

  1. Filter goals by clicking on your desired goals tab. To access Team goals click on the tab to the right of Company goals.
  2. Add a new goal by clicking on either the Add goal tab or the goal header
  3. Click into any of the goals to view or edit their details
  4. Show or hide teams
  5. Click on filter to let you search and select a particular owner or status of a goal.
  6. Access goals based on specific time periods by clicking on All goals

Company goals

Company Goals Tab

To Access the Company goals Tab:

  1. Click on Company goals to bring you to the Company goals Tab.
  2. Click on Company Mission to outline the mission, vision, and philosophy of your company goals. Defining your company mission can help to bring clarity to your team regarding the mission of your company.
  3. To add a goal click on the + sign to the right of Company goals
  4. Click on filter to let you search and select a particular owner or status of a goal.
  5. Access goals based on specific time periods by clicking on All goals

Company Goals 2

To add a Company goal click the + sign beside Company goals. From there you can add new goals, choose collaborators and owners. You can also decide on the privacy of the goal.

Filter your goals at a company or team level

You can filter your goals at a team level from your Team goals list view. When on the Team goals tab just click on the drop-down icon Show/hide teams and select your Organization or team. You can also search for an existing team that you’re a Member of by typing the team name into the search field. You can also find public and request-to-join teams you're not a member of by searching.

Filter Goals

Filter your goals by status or Owner

You can filter your goals by status level at any time from the Goals list view. Just click the filter button in the upper right corner of your goals list view and select between viewing Open goals or closed goals and their status. You can also search for particular goals using the search bar.

Filter Status

When a filter is applied, goals that do not match all the selected filters (owner, status, and/or the team the page is filtered to) will not appear. To see all goals for that team, remove the filters.

Filter your goals by time period

By default, Asana sets up a fiscal year for all organizations, and new goals will have time periods attached. You can display goals based on the time period from the Goals’ list view by clicking the All goals button and selecting the applicable time period. You can access a filtered view of goals that are active in the current time period, as well as toggling to see past and future Goal periods.

Filter time period

Creating a new team from your Team goals’ list view

You can create a new team from your Team goals’ list view, by clicking the Add goal button and in the Company or Team box scrolling down to the Create new team prompt.

Creating a new team

create a new team 2

From the Create new team window, you can:

  1. Add a team name
  2. Write a description
  3. Add team Members
  4. Choose the privacy settings for your team
  5. Click Create team when all of your details have been filled out

Goals are public regardless of the type of team they're associated with.

How to create a goal

You can add a new goal at a company or team level, by clicking the Add goal icon in your goals’ list view.

Adding a new Goal

Add Goal step 2

From the goals’ list view on your Team goals tab, you can:

  1. View the name of your goal, the number of sub-goals associated with it, and you can expand to see sub-goals
  2. Edit or remove the team associated with your goal
  3. Edit your goal’s start date or due date or time period
  4. View your goal’s progress and click to enter the goal's detail page
  5. Change the Owner for the selected goal

When the team is changed, the goal will be moved to the new team’s space. To find the goal, click on the drop-down icon in your goals’ list view and select the desired team.

Measuring your goal's progress

When creating your goal, you can select how you want to measure progress towards the success of your goal. The update method of goals can either be Automatic or Manual

progress

When creating a goal, you can select the “Update method” in the creation modal. The options are:

  1. Automatic - progress will be automatically calculated from sub-goals or projects (added on the goal’s detail page after creation)
    Choose Automatic progress updates to reduce work-about work by connecting goal progress directly to sub-goals or projects. When a goal is automatically updated, its progress is an average (if the metric is a %) or sum (if the metric is a # or currency) of the sub-goals or projects. When the progress of those objects changes, so does the parent progress–automatically. This option is best for goals whose success will be graded solely on the progress of projects or other goals and sub-goals.

  2. Manual - the user will manually update the progress of this goal
    This option is best for goals that have specific grading criteria that are not just the progress of sub-goals or projects, or goals whose achievement is based on external data, qualitative (a judgment of progress), or binary (achieved or not achieved).

Automatic progress

automatic goals

If you select the “Automatic” update method, you will then need to choose Progress source and Measurement options.

Automatic progress Measurement options for Sub-goals as a progress source

measurement

  1. Percent - the goal progress is an average of the progress % of the sub-goals
  2. Numeric total - the goal progress is the sum of the current values of the sub-goals
  3. Currency total - the goal progress is the sum of the current values of the sub-goals. Currencies available match the currencies available in custom fields: USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, CAD, AUD

For automatic numeric and currency goals, the sub-goals’ Measurement type must match the goal’s. This is not the case for % goals (sub-goals can be any Measurement type).

Automatic progress Measurement options for Projects as a progress source

profile settings

When you select to update your goal with projects as a progress source, the goal progress is automatically updated based on project(s) progress Measurement options. There are two Measurement options:

  1. Milestones complete - goal progress is an average of the % of milestones completed for each attached project

  2. Tasks complete - goal progress is an average of the % of tasks completed for each attached project. Note that this also includes all tasks in the project (including milestones and approvals)

If you have selected the “Automatic” method you will need to complete the configuration of the goal on its detail page

Manual progress

progress window

If you select the “Manual” update method, you will then need to choose the Measurement, Current Value, and Target Value.

Manual progress Measurement options

There are three types of progress metrics that you can use for tracking your goal’s progress.

1. Percentage

The percentage metric is best for qualitative goals and allows you to track progress by using 0-100% and estimating the amount completed. Set a percentage metric with “100%” as the target value for goals like “Win customer loyalty” or “Grow and engage teams.” You can use the description field to add guidelines on how to measure progress.

Percentage can also be used as a progress metric to track goals with % as the unit for measurement. For example, “Increase subscribers by 25%” or “Increase our satisfaction scores from 85% to 90%”

2. Numeric

Best for a goal where a concrete number of results are desired. For example, “Get 1,000 survey responses” or “Conduct 3 webinars.”

These can also be used for binary goals like “Ship new feature” or maintenance goals like “Maintain 99.9% uptime on all systems” where the goal is evaluated as achieved or missed. These types of goals would be set up with an initial value of “0” and a target value of “1.”

3. Currency

These are best used for goals involving currency. For example, “Increase ARR to $500,000” or “Generate $80,000 in bookings in Q3."

Setting progress metrics

goal progress

automatic

Sub-goals

Up to 100 sub-goals can be connected to progress
The “up arrow” icon next to a sub-goal progress on the detail page indicates that it is contributing to the goal progress.
If there is no up-arrow, the sub-goal is not contributing to progress, but will still appear as a sub-goal on the detail page and Goals list view
You can add/remove sub-goals from progress via the “...” menu for the sub-goal
You can also completely disconnect the sub-goal from the parent goal from this view (removes the parent-child relationship between the goals)
If you add a sub-goal that is private, those who do not have access to the sub-goal will see it as “Private goal” with a “Request access” button. The sub-goal owner will then receive a task to grant them access.
It will not show the current value of that sub-goal, but that value will still be part of the goal’s calculation

Projects

profile settings

Up to 10 projects can be connected to the progress metric
If you add a project that is private to the goal owner or collaborator, those who cannot access it will see “Private project” attached with a “Request access” button. The project owner will then receive a task to grant them access
It will not show the current % complete of that project, but that value will still be part of the goal’s calculation
Projects that are in the “References” section can also be added to progress by using the “...” menu on the project line

Goals with the “Automatic” update method will be designated with a lightning bolt on hover on list view When you have selected the “Automatic” update method, you will not be able to edit the “progress” field when posting status updates. You will however still be able to post status updates.

To connect projects or sub-goals to a goal, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

Editing progress settings

profile settings

You can edit progress settings via the edit pencil on the detail page, or through the menu in the header. This allows changing the Update Method, Progress Source, Measurement, and Decimals, (and if Manual, also the Current Value, Starting Value, and Target Value)

If you change from a “Manual” to “Automatic” update method:

  1. Any connected sub-goals contribute to progress by default (they can be removed via the “...” menu)
  2. Any connected projects remain in References. To connect them to progress, you should do so via the project’s “...” menu

If you change from an “Automatic” to “Manual” method:

  1. Sub-goals that previously contributed to progress remain connected as sub-goals (but no longer contribute to progress)
  2. Projects that contributed to progress move to the References section (but no longer contribute to progress)
  3. If a sub-goal contributes to progress and its Measurement is changed, it will contribute to the progress of any parent goals with which it has a compatible Measurement. However, if it’s incompatible, it will no longer contribute to progress.

To edit a goal’s progress settings, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

References

profile settings

The References section appears on the main pane, and has a limit of 100 connected objects
Connected objects are sorted into “Project” and “Portfolio” sections
If the goal is “Automatic,” a project can be connected to goal progress through the “...” menu. The project will then appear in the progress section, not the References section Note that the 100 object limit is inclusive of the projects connected to progress

View or edit a goal’s details

To view or edit an existing goal, click on the desired goal from your goals’ list view.

You must add a progress metric for your goal before you can update a Goal's progress.

edit goal

edit an existing goal

From the edit goal window, you can:

  1. Update your goal’s progress
  2. View, edit or add a Sub-goal
  3. Edit the Owner of the goal, adjust the due-date, time period, or add a description
  4. View or edit the team or Collaborators associated with the goal
  5. Edit or add Parent goals
  6. Add Supporting work such as a project or Portfolio

Even if the goal is public, private projects and Portfolios attached to the public goal will only be visible to people with access to that private project or Portfolio.

To edit a goal, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

Adding or editing your company's mission statement

find mission statement

To add or edit an existing mission statement:

  1. Navigate to the Goals section in your sidebar
  2. Click on the Company goals tab
  3. Click on the mission

add mission statement

After writing down your mission, you can click Add to save it or Cancel. You can also add a title for your mission or leave the default title ‘Mission.’ Changes will be visible to your entire Organization.

Adding or editing your company’s mission statement can only be done by Organization Admins.

Track goal activity

Business and Enterprise users can identify the ways in which the goal has been modified, expectedly and unexpectedly, since its conception.

Activities are interactions that are recorded.

By scrolling to Activity on the left pane users can see a set of tasks that are being completed to accomplish the goal.

activity

View a historical trail of changes in activity in order to:

  • Conduct a look-back analysis
  • Assess the process for blockers
  • Forecast similarly shaped future goals
  • Track the activity to inform decisions

In the left space, users have room to write clear, well-defined, time-bound, measurable, and attainable goals. The right pane gives you the opportunity to link parent goals and supporting work.

Editing your progress settings

You can edit a goal's progress settings after setting it, including changing the update method (Automatic or Manual) and changing the metric type (eg. % to $), the initial value, and the target value.

To edit your goal’s progress settings, click on the drop-down arrow next to your goal header and select Edit progress settings.

edit progress setting 1

From the next window you can; change the metric type, the number of decimals, the initial value, the target value, or the current value.

edit progress setting 2

To edit a goal’s progress metric, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

Notifications

Notifications will be triggered for the goal owner and Collaborators when:

  • The metric type and target value have been set for the first time
  • The metric type or target value has been changed
  • You are added/removed as the owner
  • You are added as a collaborator
  • Someone has liked a goal you own
  • The date/time period of a goal you own has been changed
  • The metric type and target value have been set for the first time for a goal you own or collaborate on
  • The metric type or target value has been changed for a goal you own or collaborate on
  • A goal status update is sent for a goal you are owner or collaborator on

Note that you never receive notifications for actions you took yourself.

Notifications will not be triggered if only the initial value or current value has been adjusted.

Request a goals status update

profile settings

Users who are not the goal owner will now see an option to request a goal status update when visiting the goal’s detail page. This works the same way as requesting a project status update. When clicked, this generates a task for the goal owner that requests they update the goal.
Owners can post status updates (existing behavior), but will not see the option to request an update Goal editors (non-owners) can post status updates and request an update

Updating your goal’s progress

You can update your goal’s progress at any time by clicking on the goal from your goals’ list view and selecting Update.

screen of goal status overview

Goal Status Updates will allow you to give written context when updating the Status and Progress of a goal. With Status history, you can track the historical progress of a goal and provides a record of a goal’s progression.

Goal Status Updates allow you to:

  • Communicate relevant insights when reporting on the Status and Progress of your goals
  • Let goal stakeholders know when the Status or Progress metric of a goal they care about has changed and why, so they can make comments, unblock, take action, or report up as needed.

screen of set a status of open goal

Click on Set a status to select the status of your goal.

screen of set a status update extra info

In your Status Update, you can include:

  1. The progress of your goal using percentage
  2. A summary of how the goal is progressing
  3. What has been accomplished so far
  4. What is blocking the goal’s progress
  5. Next steps

You can then click Post.

To update a goal’s progress, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

Closing a goal

From the Update progress page:

You can close your goal at any time by clicking on the goal from your goals’ list view and selecting Update progress.

screen of set a status of closed goal

To select the status of a closed goal, go to Set a status. Select one of the options below the section Closed, and click Post.

Through the drop-down arrow next to your goal's name:

You can also close a goal by clicking on the drop-down arrow next to the goal name and selecting Close this goal.

close goal four

From here select the desired status and click Save.

Goal celebrations

celebrations

When a goal status is changed to a closed status: “Achieved” gets a big celebration (many creatures) “Partial” gets a small celebration (1 creature)

To close a goal, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

Deleting a goal

You can delete a goal by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the goal name and selecting Delete goal.

delete goal

To delete a goal, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

Goals privacy

You can make a goal private when creating a goal by selecting “Private” under Privacy.

add Goal 1

Edit an existing goal’s privacy settings

Click into the desired goal from your goal’s list view.

edit an existing Goal 1

From here, click on the Share icon in the top right corner.

edit an existing Goal 2

Next, select “Make private” or “Make public”.

edit an existing Goal 3

To change a goal’s privacy setting, Members of the goal must have Can edit access.

For common questions regarding individual goal privacy, please see our Goals Privacy FAQs.

Goal comments

You can now comment under goals to ask questions, enable discussions, provide additional information or offer insight to anyone with access to the goal in question. Goal comments enable contextual communication and collaboration to all of those with access to goals. You can use goal comments to draft goals with collaborators and align on goals with stakeholders. You can also use goal comments to share Appreciations to celebrate wins and make your team members feel valued.

comments

Key use cases

Clarity of work

  • One of the main benefits of using goals, over tasks or projects in Asana, is everyone in the company has a shared space, that defaults to the company level view of goals. This reduces confusion about "What are our goals and how do I find them" and they stay top of mind for you and your team.

Connects work to purpose

  • Increases employee engagement and team motivation because teams have a clear understanding of how their work relates to company goals.

Helps teams understand what’s happening in the company

  • See how teams are tracking toward their goals in real-time, to see if initiatives need course correction and to recognize good work.

Drives results

  • Reduces worry that teams are working on things that aren’t strategic priorities by allowing teams to connect their goals to ladder up to company-level objectives.

Creates understanding around outcomes

  • Tracking progress and status throughout the goal’s lifetime avoids the frustration of not understanding why goals were hit or missed at the end of the cycle.

For more information on how to use Goals, check out the Planning company goals: objectives and key results (OKRs). Looking for goal-setting best practices and ideas? Download a digital copy of our Asana Playbook to OKRs.

Goals FAQ

You can check out some common questions on Goals in our Goals FAQ article.

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