Goal planning requires teamwork. The most effective goals align with your partners’ roadmaps and your overall company strategy—so you’re all working together on complementary priorities. But while stakeholder feedback is an important part of the goal setting process, it can be difficult to manage without a concrete process.
That’s where a team goals planning template can help.
A team goals planning template is a pre-made guide to help your team draft, approve, and finalize their goals. It outlines actionable steps in the goal-setting process and ensures you loop in the right stakeholders at the right time. With a template, you can standardize how your team sets goals—and follow the same consistent process during each planning cycle.
Goal planning is a collaborative process. Your team needs to draft goals, share them with stakeholders, incorporate feedback, and keep track of approvals. It’s hard to do all that with a static Excel spreadsheet or in lengthy email threads. Instead, a digital team goals planning template gives your team one central place to create their goals—and collaborate with stakeholders.
With a digital template, you can:
See a bird’s-eye view of your team’s goal-setting process—including which tasks are in progress, pending approval, and approved.
Assign tasks with clear owners and due dates, so it’s clear who’s accountable.
Use automations to streamline work and seamlessly assign and organize goal-setting tasks.
Share simple approval tasks with stakeholders—so they can approve or request changes to goals with a single click.
Communicate directly on review tasks, centralizing feedback in one place.
Visualize your process in different ways without doing extra work. See it as a list, Kanban board, calendar, or timeline.
Share your template with stakeholders so they have real-time visibility into your goal-setting process.
Easily adjust due dates and assignments if circumstances change.
Goal-setting shouldn’t happen in a vacuum. To create the right objectives—and ensure they fit into overarching company goals—you need input from stakeholders. Usually, this at least includes a team manager, but you can also request feedback from senior leaders and close partners on other teams.
When setting goals, keep these best practices in mind:
Most team goal-setting happens yearly, but you can also set monthly or quarterly goals if your team tends to move faster. It’s a good idea to align your team’s goal-setting cadence with your company’s strategic planning process, which typically happens around the new year.
Give employees plenty of guidance to ensure they format their objectives according to your team and company expectations. Building in a structure also helps standardize your team’s goals and make them easier for stakeholders to understand. It’s also a good idea to use a goal-setting framework to ensure objectives are concrete, attainable, and actionable. For example, you can use:
Objectives and key results (OKRs): This framework pairs business goals with the metrics, or KPIs, used to measure success. Formatted as “I will [objective] as measured by [key result],” OKRs are a good way to make sure your team’s goals are measurable.
SMART goals: The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Following this framework ensures you include all the ingredients you need for your goal to be successful—like choosing a specific time frame to achieve your goal.
In addition to writing out goals, you should ask team members to identify who will be involved in achieving their objectives. This step can also help inform who should provide feedback on the goals before you finalize them. When identifying stakeholders, it helps to use guidelines like:
RACI charts: RACI charts identify who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed for a given project. Creating a RACI chart helps team members choose who should approve and provide feedback on goals vs. who should just be informed once they create their goal.
RAPID framework: The RAPID framework focuses on how you’ll make decisions over the course of an initiative. It identifies five roles: Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide. RAPID is particularly helpful when making larger decisions with a lot of stakeholders—so if your goal is high-impact, it can be helpful to create both a RACI and a RAPID.
Our template helps you manage and track tasks through each stage of the goal-setting process. We’ve set it up with four sections: drafting, pending approval, approved, and created. As your team moves work through each stage, automations instantly assign subtasks outlining the work that needs to be done to move to the next stage—like assigning and completing stakeholder approvals. Depending on your team’s unique process, you can customize the template by adding new sections, automations, and color-coded custom tags.
At its most basic, this template includes four key steps for team goal planning:
A manager assigns a task, asking their team member to draft their objective. Make sure to include guidelines in this task—like which goal-setting framework to use and how to identify key stakeholders.
The team member drafts their goal according to team and company guidelines, then passes it on to stakeholders to review.
Stakeholders review and approve the goal. Approvers usually include a manager, but can also be high-level team leaders and close partners on other teams. At this stage, approvers can request changes to the goal before giving their final go-ahead.
The team member finalizes their goal and shares it more broadly. If your team uses a project management platform like Asana, this is when you would officially input objectives into the platform’s Goals feature—so you can connect goals to the work that supports them.
Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.
Approvals. Sometimes you don’t just need to complete a task—you need to know if a deliverable is approved or not. Approvals are a special type of task in Asana with options to “Approve,” “Request changes,” or “Reject” the task. That way, task owners get clear instructions on what actions they should take and whether their work has been approved or not.
Automation. Automate manual work so your team spends less time on the busy work and more time on the tasks you hired them for. Rules in Asana function on a basis of triggers and actions—essentially “when X happens, do Y.” Use Rules to automatically assign work, adjust due dates, set custom fields, notify stakeholders, and more. From ad hoc automations to entire workflows, Rules gives your team time back for skilled and strategic work.
Subtasks. Sometimes a to-do is too big to capture in one task. If a task has more than one contributor, a broad due date, or stakeholders that need to review and approve before it can go live, subtasks can help. Subtasks are a powerful way to distribute work and split tasks into individual components—while keeping the small to-dos connected to the overarching context of the parent task. Break tasks into smaller components or capture the individual components of a multi-step process with subtasks.
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.
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.
Zoom. Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.
Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack.
Using a project management platform with goal-setting functionality can help you track goals—and collaborate with your team—in one place. For example, Asana’s Goals feature lets you create and share goals with your team, plus link to the work that supports your objectives. In addition, you can automatically track progress toward goals and share templatized status updates with just a few clicks.
You can use this template for any goal—whether your roadmap is a month or a year long. Regardless of your timeline, it’s important to craft goals with care, so you can get the buy-in you need from managers and project partners.
Get our team goals planning template with a free trial of Asana today.