Align an objective with a parent objective

If the 'Enable aligned objectives' option is enabled in your company settings, you can choose to have an objective unaligned or aligned with a parent objective—meaning the objective is a crucial part of the larger objective's progress. If you are creating an objective and don't see this option enabled, reach out to one of your account administrators.  

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-wide 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.

Guide 📖: How To Launch, Track, and Achieve Your Objectives and Key Results

Success Center article 🗒: Convert a key result to a child objective
 
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Tip

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.

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Create an aligned objective

1. Click on Objectives from the left navigation.

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2. You will land on the 'All objectives' page.

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3. Click on the Create a new objective button.

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4. Fill out all fields before until you reach the alignment options. 

5. 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. 

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6. Once aligned, decide whether you want the objective to impact the progress of the parent objective or not.

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7. Finish filling out all other fields. If editing an existing objective, ensure all fields are correct before saving the updates.

8. Finish your objective by clicking the Create objective button. 

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Guide 📖: Advice On How To Rollout OKR Software To Your Entire Company

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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
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