Unmanaged business goals don’t work. Here’s what does.

Headshot kontributor Alicia RaeburnAlicia Raeburn
22 Maret 2024
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Summary

Many large companies struggle to achieve their strategic goals due to implementation challenges. Learn five common goal management obstacles and solutions, including ways to enable better visibility, flexibility, accountability and resource allocation.

Designing goals is a routine part of planning in every enterprise organization. In theory this should be simple—you set goals, make a plan to achieve them, and adjust as needed. The reality turns out to be much different.

In truth, many companies struggle to hit their goals. One study reported that 90% of executives at companies with annual revenues of $1 billion did not achieve all their strategic goals. The reason? Implementation. But well designed processes can help you avoid this issue.

By confronting these common challenges, and solving for them, you can more effectively manage—and achieve—your goal.  

Discover the power of connected goals

When you connect your goals to your work, you can track and measure progress in real time.

Learn more

5 common goal management challenges and how to solve them

1. Connecting work to company goals

The challenge: 

A lack of ongoing visibility can make it hard for teams to align their daily activities and projects with broader organizational goals, leading to misdirected efforts and resources. Plus, when employees struggle to see how their day-to-day activities impact company-wide goals, they’re less likely to feel engaged and motivated. 

Research by Asana has found that only about one-quarter (26%) of employees have a very clear understanding of how their work relates to their company’s goals, and only 16% say their company is very effective at setting and communicating goals.

The solution: 

Implement a goal-setting and tracking system that connects individual and team activities directly to organizational goals. One of the easiest ways to do this is to manage your goals in the same space that you work. This ensures that every task and project is directly linked to larger objectives. 

Use work management platforms that connect individual tasks and projects to higher-level goals. This helps employees see the direct impact of their work, gives leaders visibility into progress, and eliminates lengthy status update meetings.

2. Having flexible goals that can adapt to change

The challenge: 

When setting goals, it’s impossible to know the exact outcomes. Most companies use data and historical inputs to make their best estimates on what they’ll be able to achieve, and by when. But in reality, both internal and external factors will force you to adjust. In static platforms, adjusting goals can be extremely time-consuming and inefficient.

The solution: 

Foster a flexible goal-setting process that allows for mid-cycle adjustments. When goals are connected directly to the work, it’s much easier to adjust them as needed. This provides clarity for all stakeholders, without them needing to routinely review and adjust their supporting work. With agile goal management tools, you can enable quick updates and ensure changes are communicated efficiently across the organization.

3. Providing accountability and ownership

The challenge: 

Ensuring that individuals and teams feel a sense of ownership and accountability for their goals can be challenging, especially in larger organizations where goals are set at a high level. Employees might not have visibility into how goals are set, or why, leading to confusion about which initiatives apply to their teams.

The solution: 

Make larger goals accessible across the organization. Provide visibility into why you’re prioritizing these goals, and the impact they’ll have on the company. With the right goal management platform, you can connect these organizational goals to team goals and KRs. And every goal will have an owner, so teams know exactly who to go to for information about that work.

4. Sourcing accurate data to measure progress and impact 

The challenge: 

Without updated and accurate data, organizations can struggle to measure their progress. This absence of concrete data can hinder an organization's ability to make informed decisions, adapt strategies in real-time, and identify blockers. 

This makes it especially challenging to determine if you’re hitting goals, leading to wasted resources as you chase outcomes that might already exist. 

The solution: 

If your work is connected to your goals, you don’t need to hunt for data—it’s already there. With work management platforms that store your goals, you can see updates and progress in real time. If a team completes an associated KR, the goal will automatically update. With the right platform, you can use dashboards and reporting features to quickly and easily assess these updates. 

5. Allocating resources across projects and teams

The challenge: 

Even in the largest companies, resources are finite. The dynamic nature of goals mean that resource needs can fluctuate, which makes resource allocation especially difficult. There are two common pitfalls for resources: the overcommitment of resources to certain projects, leading to burnout and reduced quality, or the underutilization of resources, resulting in missed opportunities and decreased productivity. 

The solution: 

For proper resource management, organizations need to be able to visualize their entire project portfolio, and the goals they support, in a single, unified platform. When leaders have visibility into all available resources and the work they’re currently supporting, they can quickly and easily shift personnel, budgets, and tools as needed. 

With a work management platform, it’s easier to see when everyone is aligned on goals, timelines, and resource availability. And when leaders have visibility into goal progress and work, they can make better decisions on how to allocate resources and support their teams.

Align work and goals in one platform

In the fast-paced world of enterprise companies, aligning work with overarching goals is not just an ambition—it's a necessity. By embracing a unified platform that intertwines goal setting with daily operations, companies can foster a culture of accountability, ensure the precision of data-driven decisions, and dynamically adjust to the evolving business landscape. As you navigate the complexities of corporate goal management, integrating work and goals in a single platform could be the blueprint for future-proofing your success.

Learn how Asana can help your organization set, design, and achieve your most ambitious goals.

Discover the power of connected goals

When you connect your goals to your work, you can track and measure progress in real time.

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