If the 'Enable aligned objectives' option is enabled in your company settings, you can select to have an objective unaligned or aligned. If you are creating an objective and don't see this option enabled, reach out to one of your account administrator.
What is the point of aligning objectives? It can take 4–5 years to set up goals that cascade from the top down, which is way too slow for the normal pace of business. Instead, the Check-in encourages Company and Department objectives to be set at the top quarterly or semi-annually followed by individuals creating and aligning their own objectives, which saves a ton of time.
If your objective is already created and you need to go back and align it with a parent objective after the fact, you can do so by editing the objective and aligning.
Create an aligned objective
1. Click on 'Features' from the left navigation.
2. Click on 'Objectives'.
3. You will land on the 'All objectives' page.
4. Click on the Create a new objective button.
5. Name your objective.
6. Choose who the owner of the objective should be. Account administrators can make anyone the owner. Reviewers can make their immediate direct reports the owner, as well as themselves. Reporters can only make themselves the owner.
7. Decide who the objective is for: A Person, A Group, Whole Company
8. Select the type of objective you are trying to create based on who the objective is for.
If you are creating a group objective, choose the group that the objective is for.
9. Align your objective with a parent objective. Your manager's objective(s) will appear at the top of the list, as this is the logical structure of the OKR methodology. Following your manager's objectives, all other objectives will be listed in alphabetical order by the title of the objective.
You can filter by objective type: Company-wide, Department/group types, Individual, or by Owner.
10. Choose whether your objective should impact the parent objective's progress. Impacting progress= any updates made to this objective will automatically update the progress of the parent objective.
11. Create key results to measure your Objective under the 'What are your key results?' section. Key results can be measured in percentage, dollar, number, or completed/not completed. Other currencies can be found by clicking the ... option.
Make sure to give your key results a title or else your objective will not save.
12. Aligned objectives' start and end dates must match exactly or fall within the start and end dates for the parent objective. 15Five defaults to match the parent objective's dates.
13. Add your privacy settings; Public, Check-in permissions, or Specific-people. For more information on these settings, see this article.
14. You may see a question titled 'Who can update and edit this objective?'. This option, if enabled, allows you to add groups or people as editors for the objective. Adding people in this section will allow the selected people and/or groups to edit, manage, update, and delete your objective. Use cases for this option: team objectives, objectives being worked on cross collaterally, objectives managed by two teammates.
15. Finish your objective by clicking the Create objective button.
Impact of child objectives on parent objective progress
Let's say you have one company-wide objective, with one key result, and four child objectives owned by various team members, impacting its progress. Each child objective/team member would contribute to 20% of the completion of the company-wide objective, and the key result itself would also contribute 20% to the total completion.
If you like numbers, like the nitty-gritty, like taking it a step further, keep reading. What if you have three key results and two child objectives whose progress impacts the parent?
- We have 5 items that are contributing to the progress of the parent objective- each contributes 20% to the total progress.
- One key result is measured by complete/not complete. That key result is complete. This key result contributes 100% of 20% to the parent objective OR 20%.
- The second key result is measured by %, starting value= 0% target value= 100%. That key result is 35% complete. This key result contributes 35% of 20% to the parent objective OR 7%.
- The third key result is measured by #, starting value 15 target value 50. That key result is currently at 42. Progress is 42-15=27. Total progress needed is 50-15=35. This key result is 77% complete (27/35=77%). Ultimately, this key result contributes 77% of 20% to the parent objective OR 15%.
- One child objective is 75% complete. This objective contributes 75% of 20% to the parent objective OR 15%.
- The other child objective is 10% complete. This objective contributes 10% of 20% to the parent objective OR 2%.
- 20%+7%+15%+15%+2%= 59% total progress for the parent objective