Explore  

This article discusses functionality that is included in the Enterprise+ plan. Please contact us if you would like a live demo or would like to try using it in your account.

Aha! Roadmaps | Best practices for tracking OKRs

How will you evaluate success? Many companies use objectives and key results (OKRs) for setting goals and monitoring progress. It provides a management framework for defining what you want to accomplish and how you will measure progress.

Enterprise+ plan customers can set OKRs at each level of your organization, starting with company objectives at the top and then defining supporting objectives at each layer underneath — such as divisions, subdivisions, and individual teams. This kind of alignment between tactical work and business outcomes helps the entire organization focus on what matters most.

Here is an example of a company-level OKR for a SaaS company:

Objective: Increase recurring revenue by 15 percent

  • Key result 1: Add 50 new customers per month

  • Key result 2: Reduce churn to less than 3 percent per month

  • Key result 3: Increase average subscription to $300 per month

Aha! Roadmaps provides an effective solution for managing OKRs. A flexible workspace hierarchy makes it possible to set objectives at each level of your organization and establish roll-up relationships between levels. You can link any Aha! record type directly to your objectives. And you can track and report on results as you go. This enables you to show exactly how you will deliver against your objectives and communicate progress along the way.

The best practices in this article explain how to configure your Aha! Roadmaps account to support the OKR management framework. You will learn how to apply the OKR framework across product lines, link work to key results, and report on your progress.

Note: Some organizations also set OKRs for individual team members. This article focuses on managing objectives across your organization.

Click on any of the links below for recommendations on how to manage OKRs in Aha! Roadmaps:

Configure your workspace hierarchy

You will want your workspace hierarchy to match the way your organization sets OKRs. For example, a smaller company might set OKRs at two levels — the overall company level and then for each individual product or team. A large organization typically needs to capture OKRs across additional layers, such as division and sub-division levels. You can use workspace lines and workspaces to create as many levels as you need. This ensures you can connect objectives throughout your organization.

The screenshot below shows how a large software company might structure its workspace hierarchy in Aha! Roadmaps to manage OKRs at three levels — company, portfolio, and product.

You can also create workspace lines to represent different business functions. Choose the type of workspace that is best suited for what you do — such as IT, project management, business operations, and marketing. This gives teams of all types a central place for setting objectives and creating strategic plans.

Top

Configure your account

OKRs are comprised of two components — objectives and key results. Goals are the main record type you will use in Aha! Roadmaps for defining objectives. Once you enable Objectives and key results in your workspace settings, you will see that "goals" are renamed "objectives." And each objective has a new Key results tab.

You can enable the OKR framework for individual workspaces, or enable it at the workspace line level, and set each child workspace to Inherit from the parent line. This way, every workspace in your product line will be aligned around the same structure.

Top

Define your objectives

Now it is time to start setting those OKRs. Follow a top-down approach that starts with defining overall company objectives. Then create supporting objectives at each level of your hierarchy. Add a time frame, overall success metric, and description for each objective. Use the Roll up to workspace line field on each record to establish relationships between objectives at each level of your hierarchy. We recommend making this field required to drive consistency throughout your organization.

Use the AI writing assistant to create a first draft of your objectives. Refine the first thoughts into an objective description you are proud to share.

Top

Define key results

You can add as many key results as you need. Each has its own Target metric, or the result you are working toward. You can also note a Starting metric to benchmark where you are today and then update the Current metric regularly to see how much you progress. Link initiatives, releases, epics, and features back to the key results they support.

Top

Connect work to strategy

Create a unified plan for accomplishing your objectives. Define initiatives to show the high-level efforts you are planning and link them to objectives at each level of your hierarchy. Then, use your strategy to guide the implementation of work. Define releases in the individual workspaces and prioritize epics and features that best support your strategy. You will want to link these work items to workspace objectives and initiatives so you can see how everything ties together.

Connect features to objectives and initiatives.

Top

Track key results

You want to monitor performance and quickly identify any issues so you can make course corrections as needed. So set a regular cadence for updating your key results. You might want to assign a weekly or monthly to-do so the team keeps this information current. For each key result, update the Current metric and add a manual progress calculation.

Configure objectives so that their progress calculates automatically from key results, or based on the percentage of linked work completed. For example, you could auto-calculate the progress of objectives in the following way:

  • Workspace-line objectives: Calculate from child objectives

  • Workspace objectives Calculate from workspace key results

  • Workspace initiatives: Calculate from releases or features

  • Releases: Calculate the progress of releases from features

  • Features: Calculate the progress of features from requirements, remaining estimate, or to-dos.

You can set default progress calculation methods at the workspace level, and even inherit defaults from workspace lines.

Many engineering teams capture the percent of work completed for features in their development system. You can easily sync the progress field for features in Aha! Roadmaps with the progress field in Jira, Azure DevOps, and Rally.

Top

Report on progress

Time to create the list reports, pivot tables, charts, and custom roadmaps you need for tracking your OKRs. You can choose from more than 75 example reports or build your own using the intuitive Aha! report builder. Add saved reports to a presentation or dashboard, or share as a live webpage or PDF.

In the example below, we have crafted a pivot report showing the status and progress of our key results nested inside their objectives. We can click any key result to see more details, including related work items. All of this information helps us see how we have performed and what we need to keep working on.

Pivot table of objectives and key results.

The hierarchy report is ideal for visualizing relationships across objectives, initiatives, releases, and features. This helps you quickly see if your strategy is linked correctly at each level of your hierarchy. Gaps in the report help you quickly identify records — such as releases or features — that are not yet linked to a strategic objective so you ensure data consistency.

Hierarchy report

Use the strategy roadmap to visualize the timing and progress of initiatives. You can include initiatives across multiple workspace lines and workspaces in one view. You can also layer in the tactical work underway, displaying releases and features in the context of each initiative.

Strategic roadmap showing dependencies between features.

Regardless of the goal-setting framework your organization uses, what matters is defining strategy in a way that clearly communicates what you want to accomplish and defines the criteria for success. If you need help configuring your account to define and track goals across your organization, contact us at support@aha.io. A member of our Customer Success team will respond to your request fast.

Top

If you get stuck, please reach out to our Customer Success team. Our team is made up entirely of product experts and responds fast.

Suite overview
Aha! Roadmaps
    Overview
      Account management
      Integrations