Create an objective

15Five's Objectives feature enables teams to record, measure, and align their goals. This article walks through how to create an objective and select appropriate objective settings.

In this article, you will learn...



Research conducted by Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham shows that goals/objectives are extremely effective at increasing performance and engagement. When individuals set Objectives, they consciously decide on the goals they want to accomplish and within what timeframe, which steers behavior, energizes, and directs an individual's attention. Objective setting leads to greater effort, which improves performance. Cited above: "Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey." by Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham.



If you are an account administrator, you can set permissions for the Objectives feature here, including who can create company-wide objectives, who can create/edit/manage objectives, and much more.

Create an objective 

Objectives are what an organization, team, or individual wants to accomplish, and are typically qualitative and time-bound. Follow the steps below to create an objective.

1. Click on Objectives in 15Five's main, left-hand navigation.

2. You will land on the 'All objectives' page. From here, click Create a new objective.

3. Give your objective a name. The name should concisely and accurate describe the goal of the objective.



Here are some examples of Objectives in the most common categories where a company wants to create impact: "Recruit & hire phenomenal people to take us to the next level (company growth)", "Raise the bar on product UX (quality)", "Sustainable repeatable lead generation (revenue)". Here are some examples of not so great objectives: "Interview 5 applicants for Design Lead April 30", "Increase code coverage to 90%", "Hit 732 ICP leads by end of Q2", "Build out accurate job descriptions for 75% of our jobs." The first set of examples are great Objectives because they’re time-bound, qualitative, and meaningful— words like “raise the bar” and “phenomenal” are designed to motivate. In contrast, each of the not so great objectives above is too quantitative and specific, which may make them great key results.

4. Choose who the owner of the objective should be. The person selected here should be the main stakeholder responsible for the objective's completion. Please note that the names that appear in this dropdown menu will vary based on your company's set permissions for Objectives.

5. Decide whether the objective is for: A person, A group, or The whole company. The options that appear in this section may vary depending on set objective settings, and you may only see the option to create objectives for some of these options.

If you select 'A group' and your company has objective creation for group types enabled, you will be asked to select what group type the objective is for. By default, the only objective type that appears in this list is "Groups," meaning that you can only assign objectives to groups that have the group-type "Group." If you'd like to have the ability to assign objectives to groups in other group types, an account admin can configure what types of objectives your company can create on the 'Configure Objective types' page (in-app link only accessible to account admins).


After selecting the appropriate group type, select the group you want to assign the objective to from the dropdown menu.

6. If aligned objectives are enabled for your company in objective settings, you will see the option to align this objective with a parent objective. Read more about aligned objectives in our "Align an objective with a parent objective" Help Center article.


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


7. If Objectives tags are enabled in your company's settings for Objectives, you will see the option to add a tag(s) to your objective. If you are unsure what tag(s) to use for your objective, it's best to leave this field blank and add in the tag(s) by editing the objective at a later date.

8. Now's the time to create key results to measure your objective.



Key results are are concrete, specific, and measurable, and describe how you’ll accomplish the Objective. The objective is the "what," and the key results are the "how," "where," and "when." Here are some examples of good potential key results for the objective "Design a flexible method for customers to categorize and find data": 1) Have discovered the top 3 pain points from enterprise customers through interviews and the annual feedback survey, 2) Have validated solution with engineers and internal stakeholders with 100% approval on design, 3) Have validated the best solution with 2 customers through feedback that has 80% avg. approval on the design.

9. Choose a name for the key result. If you do not name the key result, the objective will not save.

10. Select how to want to measure the key result. Measurement options are: percentage, currency, number, or completed/not completed. For currency values other than $, click ..., Other currency, and use the drop-down to choose the currency that applies.

11. If your company has the Jira integration enabled, you can link your key result(s) to Jira issues using the 'Link to' option at the bottom right of your key result field.



All key results contribute equally to the overall completion of the objective. If the objective also has child objectives, the child objectives and key results will each contribute equally. For example: if an objective has three key results, each key result will contribute 33% towards objective completion. If an objective has three key results and two child objectives, each item will contribute 20% towards the objective completion.

12. Add in the objective's start and end dates. If the objective is aligned to a parent objective and set up to impact the parent objective's progress, the dates set here must be the same as or fall within the parent objective's dates. 




Account admins can customize your company's business calendar and update frequency for objectives under "Scheduling details" on the Objectives settings page.

13. If the "Who has the permission to update and edit my objectives?" option is enabled in your objectives permissions settings, you will see a question titled "Who can update and edit this objective?" This section allows you to add groups or people as editors for the objective. Adding people or groups here will allow those selected to edit, manage, update, and delete the objective.

If you are allowing people to update and edit this objective, they will be automatically added as viewers of the objective, even if 15Five permissions or Specific people is selected. Use cases for this option: team objectives being worked on by a group, objectives being worked on cross collaterally, objectives managed by two teammates. 



Objectives that you have been given access to edit will not appear on your Check-in. You will not receive a notification that you have been added as an editor. The objectives you are able to edit will need to be accessed through the 'All objectives' page. The same goes for giving access to other people/groups.

14. Select the appropriate privacy setting for your objective: Public, 15Five permissions (meaning that anyone who can see your Check-ins can see the objective), or Specific people (you and your manager always, and anyone else you choose to include). For more information on these settings, refer to our "Visibility settings for objectives" Help Center article.




If you'd like for the objective to be private to only you and your manager, select "Specific-people." Your name and your manager's name will be auto-populated; simply don't add anyone else's name in the field. 

15. Click the Create objective button, and you're done! The objective can now be seen on the Objectives dashboard.

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