Close and score OKRs

It's been a few months since your ambitious brainstorming session to set quarterly goals. Week after week you've stayed diligent with your check-ins.

Now the quarter is ending and you get to find out how close you came to achieving the goals you set.

How to close out your OKRs

When you close an OKR in Viva Goals, you reflect on how well you did in achieving an objective or key result (KR).

Your score is typically based on the progress of the success metric or progress of the key results. Users can also take into account other pieces of information, such as unexpected challenges, and choose a different score.

Timing: The ideal time to score and close your OKRs is the final two weeks of the quarter, or if necessary, within the first few days of the new quarter.

To score your OKRs for your time period, you first have to begin closing them. We recommend that you close all KRs that roll up to an objective before you close that objective. To begin the closing process for your OKRs:

  1. Go to the key result you want to close.

  2. Select the More Actions dropdown.

  3. Select Close.

A side panel will appear, where you can begin the scoring process for your OKR.

How to score OKRs

Scores in Viva Goals reflect progress toward an objective or key result on a scale of 0 to 1. The score is typically based on the progress of the success metric or key results. But users can also take into account other qualitative factors and manually override the suggested score. At the end of the relevant time period, a score in the range of 0.6 to 0.8 is generally positive.

Scores aren't meant to be a performance review. They mainly signal whether you chose the right objectives. If an objective gets consistently low scores, consider reevaluating its relevance. Or, if you consistently score high, try challenging yourself with more ambitious goals.

Once you've begun the closing process, you'll then be able to assign a score to your objectives.

The following fields are displayed:

Field Description
Metric This field pertains to the degree of completion that has been achieved for your OKR and may be represented by a KPI or a percent complete. In this field, you'll enter your final number.
Overall status By default, Viva Goals will set your status to closed. To be able to close the OKR, this status must remain closed.
Score Based on the above inputs, Viva Goals will recommend a score for your OKR, which is a simple calculation of your completed percentage mapped to a score between 0 and 1. You can choose to accept the Viva Goals-recommended score or override it with many your preference based on the perceived outcome.
Continue working on this in another time period? This is a field where you designate whether you want to move the objective to another time period to keep working on it. That action postpones completion of the OKR until the next quarter. Select Yes or No based on preference.
Closing note This is a note about the OKR you're closing. We recommend you enter an assessment of the success/failure of the OKR and any suggestions you have for including it in future time periods.

Screenshot shows where you score an OKR.

After you fill in all of the fields, select Close to save the update. The OKR dashboard will update to show your final status, a grayed-out OKR, and a number at the end of the row.

Screenshot shows a closed OKR in the dashboard.

You may be wondering why a score of 1.0 is orange? After all, you completed 100 percent of the objective. Well, remember that the ideal OKR should be challenging but attainable. A score of 1.0 may indicate that you need more ambitious objectives.

Objectives in Viva Goals get scored automatically after all key results under them are scored. The score is determined by averaging the percentage completion rates of the associated key results. However, sometimes the sum is greater or lesser than the parts. You can change the calculated score from the admin dashboard on the OKRs & Projects tab.

Screenshot shows the OKRs & Project tab.

When to modify your score

When you score and close your OKRs, Viva Goals automatically generates a score for you. Let's say your objective was "Secure the next round of funding for my startup" and your KR was "Meet with 10 potential investors for coffee this month." Standard scoring would look like this:

  • If you met with eight investors this month, your score would be 0.8

  • If you met with only two investors this month, your score would be 0.2

Why would you want to modify your score?

If you met with eight investors, and two of them ended the meeting early, four of them turned you down, and two of them not only turned you down but said that your company idea would never work, you might downgrade your score from a "successful" 0.8 to a more realistic 0.3. You went to many meetings, but you're far from getting funding.

  • If you met with eight investors this month, your score would be 0.8.

  • If you met with only two investors this month, your score would be 0.2.

Why would you want to modify your score?

If you met with eight investors, and two of them ended the meeting early, four of them turned you down, and two of them not only turned you down, but said that your company idea would never work, then you might downgrade your score from a "successful" 0.8 to a more realistic 0.3. You went to a lot of meetings, but you're far away from getting funding.

On the other hand, if you met with only two investors, and one of them thought your idea was promising, and the second one agreed to give you $1 million in funding, you could certainly upgrade your score from a "failed" 0.2 to a "mission accomplished": 1.0.

In other words, you can modify your score to focus on the outcomes, not the outputs.

Scoring guidance

The Viva Goals Scoring Guidance feature allows users to add guidance for others to see how progress should be tracked or how a score should be calculated.

If your organization has Scoring Guidance enabled, users can define how they track progress of an objective and how to score it at the end of the time period.

This option promotes transparency and understanding throughout your organization and the progress of your OKRs.

How to add scoring guidance

To add scoring guidance, select Add Scoring Guidance when you create or edit the objective.

Screenshot shows where to add scoring guidance.

Then, type your objective's guide for progress and scoring. Below, we br identified milestones included in shipping a new feature and corresponding percentages of completion.

Screenshot shows the scoring guidance.

After you set scoring guidance for an objective, to view it select the information icon next to the name or time period.

Screenshot shows view the scoring guidance and status for a sample objective.

When you make check-ins, the scoring guidance will be displayed for user reference.

Second screenshot showing view scoring guidance and status for an employee's OKRs.

Best practices for closing and scoring OKRs

- Keep the evaluation simple. If your objective is to increase traffic to your website by 20 percent, and you increased it by 15 percent, give yourself a 0.75.

- Low scores don't always equate to low performance, and vice versa. Both low and high scoring have something to teach your organization. OKRs that get low scores help you learn and improve future processes. High scores raise questions about whether you're setting ambitious-enough goals as an organization or playing it too safe. In either case, you have a solid benchmark of what to do next.

- Review OKRs with your team. If you're a manager, here are the steps to take at the end of the OKR cycle:

  • Close out all team OKRs and review the assessment on the team OKRs with all of your team members, both at the next team meetings and in one-on-ones.
  • Share your notes on why team OKRs got the scores they did and invite team members to provide feedback, reflections, and ideas for how this cycle's lessons can be applied for the next OKR cycle.

If you're an individual contributor, review your assessment, share your observations with your manager and get their feedback.

How to roll over unfinished objectives

Sometimes objectives don't get completed. Evaluate the objective to see whether it's still relevant and attainable. If it is, you can easily roll over the objective to the next time period.

How to postpone objectives

Sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, a business may need to pivot and reprioritize goals for the quarter. With Viva Goals, you can postpone objectives and deprioritize them during the current time period while allowing them to remain visible for later on.

  1. Go to the objective you want to postpone.

  2. Select the check-in symbol at the right side of the progress bar. If the current progress is 0, the status will be Postpone by default. For anything other than a 0, the status will be Closed by default.

  3. For the Continue working on this in another time period option, choose Yes

  4. The chosen objective, its key results, and projects will be postponed to the next quarter, which implies that it will be cloned automatically to the next quarter.

  5. Provide the closing note, and select Close to close the objective and continue working on it in the next quarter.

    Screenshot shows where you postpone on objective.

    • If you want to postpone it, select the More actions symbol. Provide a reason for postponing, and select Postpone to finish the process.

How to measure progress to-date on postponed objectives

There are two methods of measuring progress in Viva Goals: Percent completed and KPI (success metric). By default, progress is reset when an objective is postponed to the following time period. You can choose to preserve the progress you made prior to postponement.

Screenshot shows the postpone dialog box where you chose to preserve or reset current progress.

Percent completed

When the objective is postponed to the next time period, you start working on it from the ground up in terms of progress.

KPI

Progress will be reset to the current value. For instance, you want to publish ten blogs, and you've published five blogs this quarter. When you postpone this to the next quarter, your starting value will be 5, not 0.

How to decide whether to close or postpone an objective

When the progress is 0

If the current progress is 0, the status will be Postponed by default. A progress of 0 potentially means you haven't started working on the objective, or the work you did hasn't moved the needle on the objective.

When the progress is anything but 0

If the current progress is greater than 0, the status will be Closed by default. This is because there's been substantial progress made, and you might want to close the objective with the progress you're at. However, you can also postpone this objective to chart progress toward the desired goal.