Clear goals are like a north star—they guide your team and help them decide how to prioritize and tackle work. But only 26% of knowledge workers clearly understand how their work contributes to company goals, and that’s a problem. Too many teams set objectives in a tool they don’t regularly check, so they end up gathering dust. You need a goal-setting framework that lives in the same place work happens—so instead of setting and forgetting goals, you can actively work toward them every day.
That’s where an objectives and key results (OKR) template comes in.
An OKR template is a reusable guide that helps you set objectives and key results for your team. This goal-setting methodology allows your team to set and track measurable goals, following this simple formula:
I will [objective] as measured by [key result]
Instead of starting from scratch each business quarter, you can just copy the template and fill in predefined fields for each objective and key result.
Following an OKR template helps you standardize the goal-setting process. It acts as a roadmap each time you set goals, prompting you to follow the same steps and document the same information each time. And when everyone on your team uses an identical template, you ensure that each team member follows the right steps to create quality goals.
When it comes to goals, execution is everything. It doesn’t work to just set and forget your goals—you need to regularly track your progress and make them visible to your entire team. And unlike static documents and Excel sheets, a digital OKR template makes sharing and tracking goals easy.
When you create your OKR template in a project management tool, your goals live where work happens. They don’t get lost in a tool you don’t regularly check—instead, your whole team can see and reference them daily. Your goals are directly connected to your work, and everyone can track progress toward key results in real time. Plus, once you create one digital OKR template you can easily reuse it every time your team needs to set new goals for the quarter, half, or year.
When you create a digital OKR template, you can:
Standardize the goal-setting process for your entire team or company.
Ensure team goals don’t get lost by creating them where work happens.
Outline key information every team member should include (like owner, timeline, and status).
Share your goals with key stakeholders.
Show how you’re progressing towards initiatives in real-time.
Easily update goals if timelines or priorities change.
Attach relevant documents like Google Sheets, Google Docs, images, or videos.
Quickly create new goals each quarter, half, or year.
As the name implies, there are two important pieces to OKRs: objectives and key results. You need space for both in your template—the higher-level objectives you’re aiming for, and the measurable key results you’ll use to track progress. And since each objective can have more than one KR, it’s best to nest key results in your template and organize them directly beneath the objective they support. You can do this by creating sections for each overarching goal, then filling in each section with individual KR milestones.
Next, you need a way to quickly see the status of each KR and the progress you’ve made toward achieving it. The best way to do this is by adding two custom tags—one to track status (like on track, at risk, or achieved) and another to track percent completion. Finally, add another custom tag to indicate the timeframe for when you aim to achieve each key result.
To give your team some additional guidance, you can open up each template KR task and fill in the task description with instructions. That way, everyone on your team will follow the same structure when choosing and describing their key results.
A digital OKR template works well for individual teams, but you can level up your goal-setting process with Asana’s Goals feature. Instead of just working on the team level, Goals is an organization-wide tool that can help your entire company set, track, and communicate about goals.Set and achieve goals with Asana
Milestones. Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal.
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
Adding tasks to multiple projects. The nature of work is cross-functional. Teams need to be able to work effectively across departments. But if each department has their own filing system, work gets stalled and siloed. Asana makes it easy to track and manage tasks across multiple projects. This doesn't just reduce duplicative work and increase cross-team visibility. It also helps your team see tasks in context, view who’s working on what, and keep your team and tasks connected.
Start dates. Sometimes you don’t just need to track when a to-do is due—you also need to know when you should start working on it. Start times and dates give your team members a clear sense of how long each task should take to complete. Use start dates to set, track, and manage work to align your team's objectives and prevent dependencies from falling through the cracks.
Dropbox. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
Microsoft Teams. With the Microsoft Teams + Asana integration, you can search for and share the information you need without leaving Teams. Easily connect your Teams conversations to actionable items in Asana. Plus, create, assign, and view tasks during a Teams Meeting without needing to switch to your browser.
Your goal-setting cadence depends on how quickly your team moves. Most teams set goals annually, but some fast-moving companies set half-yearly goals, quarterly goals, or even monthly goals. If you set long-term goals, be sure to schedule regular check-ins to track your progress.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how many goals to create, but it’s generally best to stick with less than ten objectives. The fewer goals you have, the more focused your team will be.
As a manager, you can share your OKR template with team members to standardize the goal-setting process across your entire team. You can also use the template to collaborate on team objectives. Once you fill out your OKR template, it’s a good idea to share your goals with stakeholders to help them understand your team’s top priorities and the metrics you use to measure success.
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Learn how to create a customizable template in Asana with a free Premium trial today.