Webinar Recap | Viva Goals

Thank you for your interest in “Viva Goals | Demystifying OKRs and Aligning for Success​.” If you were able to join us for the webinar, we sincerely thank you for being there. We hope you had as much fun getting to learn about Viva Goals and how you can customize it to the fullest extent as our speakers did sharing their knowledge with you. 

Didn’t get a chance to catch our session live? We’ve got you covered.

This Session:

Viva Goals provides an intuitive platform to help teams achieve their objectives more efficiently right within the flow of their work – Microsoft Teams. Viva Goals embraces the OKR framework helping companies align their objectives, measure success, and champion their goals. Understanding Viva Goals allows your organization to set specific and measurable goals and achieve them within a timely manner. If you’ve never even heard of Viva or OKRs? Or you’re even just wanting to learn more. Don’t stress, you’ve come to the right place. In this webinar recording, Eric Overfield, Danielle Wells, and Maude Tanguay, provide an in-depth view of the fundamentals of OKRs and break down Microsoft Viva, while showing you how to install and configure it. If you’re seeking valuable information, live demos, and practical tips look no further.  


Episode Takeaways:  

  • OKR fundamentals, including how to write an effective OKR  
  • How to champion an OKR program at your organization  
  • What Viva Goals is and how it can help your OKR program thrive  
  • How to install and get Viva Goals running in your workspace today! 

Show Links:

Key Takeaways 

6:00 – What are OKRs  

OKRs align your organization’s mission and values, bringing your team a greater sense of value to their work.  

“Let’s start with what the heck is an OKR. O for Objective is what is to be achieved and why. And KR or key results, benchmark and monitor how we get to the objective. They are specific, time-bound, and aggressive, but realistic. Good OKRs force you to re-evaluate low-priority or non-value-added activities, and reduce, automate, or outsource them so you can focus on what really matters. OKRs should be the basis of your most important conversations, meetings and work plans”. 

7:35 – Why OKRs?  

OKRs allow us to define our focus and stray away from things that our distracting us from reaching our objective.  

“OKRs allow us to have collective, transparent goals and clear expectations to meet those goals as a team. Objectives and Key Results should align with our company’s core values and mission, this helps your team better understand expectations, celebrate wins, and anticipate risks. And OKRs help your team say one of the most important words in OKR management…. no.”  

8:35 – The fundamentals of OKRs 

Limiting objectives to five and empowering employees to define their own OKRs that are specific and measurable allows organizations to focus on their specific goals, making it easier to achieve them.  

“Using OKRs effectively to achieve results usually takes a few cycles. As you embark on your OKR journey here are a few things to remember: first OKRs should be data-driven, measurable, and committed, but your team should also be able to pivot, this means adding, modifying or even deleting, OKRs if circumstances change mid-cycle. This is especially true as you launch OKRs in your organization. The rule of five is key to delivering focus. Limit objectives at any level to at most five. And no objective should have more than five key results. Most team and individual OKRs will be cascaded from top-level organizational OKRs to ensure company-wide alignment. But you should also empower team members to define their own OKRs, including key initiatives and projects. And ensure sure you include individual team members in the collaborative process of writing team OKRs.” ailable on the mobile device only, by default. So, on the mobile device in Teams when you go to Viva Connections, you have an opportunity to see the Dashboard as its own thing. You can add it to a web page in SharePoint as it’s added as a web part, so that you may see the Dashboard on a web page as well.“ 

12:00 – The 4 OKR superpowers  

There are 4 OKR superpowers that allow our organizations to achieve our goals efficiently.  

“The first is focus so we can commit to priorities. Every time you commit to something you forfeit your chance to commit to something else. By giving your team clear direction through organizational and north-star objectives you help them understand where they should be focusing their efforts. Superpower 2 is align and connect for teamwork. One of the keys to OKR success is alignment so your team can see how all the work they’re doing is working towards a common goal. Superpower 3 is to track accountability, now OKRs will go through cycles of creation, revisions, adaptions and finally scoring, wrap-ups and retrospectives. The final superpower is stretch for amazing. At the end of each cycle – we close out our OKRs by scoring them. This is typically done on a 0 – 1 scale. These stretch goals are celebrated as wins at 70% or higher!” 

14:20 – 4 ways to own an OKR  

There are 4 ways a team or individual can own an OKR: they can own a whole OKR, an objective, a key result or not at all.  

“There are 4 ways a team or individual can own an OKR. They can own a whole OKR so they share an objective and its key results. They can own only an objective, so the teams share the objective but have different key results that they have the ability to track and effect. They can share only a key result so the teams share or contribute to the same key result but have different objectives which they are looking to achieve. Or not at all, the teams don’t have any dependencies between them.” 

18:06 – Aspirational vs committed OKRs  

There are aspirational and committed OKRs and the two differ in terms of what they encourage.  

“Aspirational OKRs encourage risk-taking. Committed OKRs need to happen, and when one becomes at risk during a cycle, course correction needs to take place.” 

23:00 – Viva Goals  

There are four actions (the 4Cs) that you will perform in Viva Goals: cascade, create, check-in and Close.  

“So, there are four actions that you’re going to perform in the platform itself, so it is a tool to support a strategy around you. So, what you’re going to do on the platform is action based it’s not the strategy around it. So, we’re going to cascade the OKRs and how they align with each other. And you’re going to create, of course, your OKRs, your key projects and your key initiatives. You’re going to check in, which is an important part of the care framework, which Danielle mentioned earlier. And you’re going to close which is the last step, where you want to reflect on what happened, how it happened, how did it go? And capture all those comments to move forward.” 

23:52 – Putting the 4Cs into action 

Once you understand what the four actions are, we actually have to put them into action to accomplish our goal.  

“If you want to put that into action, this is kind of the three phases that you want to keep at the top of your mind. This example is quarterly. You can have semesters. You can have bi-annually or annually that depends on the size of your organization and your departments. In a quarter, for example, you would take phase one, which is really cascading, creating, thinking, and the strategy around your OKRs and then creating it on the platform. That’s about two weeks. The bulk of your semester is really at that phase two, which is the check-in. Then, at each of those check-ins you’re going to track, you’re going to record, you’re going to look at what your KPIs look like. And then at the end, phase three, at the very end of your timeframe, you’re going to close, you’re going to reflect and then start another time period.” 

28:44 – Configuring Viva Goals  

Once you’ve installed Viva Goals, you can configure it through the Viva Goals web app.  

“As of today, we have to do that through the Viva goals web app. So, we’re in Viva Goals, within Viva Goals there are a few things that I care about, one is the organization. So, create or join an organization. This is an organization within Viva Goals. There are also some things that I want you to think about when you’re administering Viva Goals. So, things you want to think about are who can join this org? So, if anybody can or if it’s restricted to specific members when a user is added. Are they a regular user or an observer? An observer’s someone who can basically look at the data entity. A regular user can actually create OKRs and work with them in more detail.” 

37:12 – Cascading in Viva Goals  

The first step in Viva Goals is Cascading, creating the strategy around your OKRs.  

“So the thing that’s important in the dashboard of the OKRs is your time period at the top here. So here we’re set up into a quarterly, fiscal year. Another thing that I really like is the viewing options here. I like to have everything at a glance. So, the expanded view shows me everything by default, all kind of cascaded out.” 

38:03 – Creating in Viva Goals  

The second step in Viva Goals is creating the OKRs.  

“So, once you have cascaded, you know how your OKRs are planned, you know how it’s going to happen, then you’re ready to create them. So here, you’re going to tag your OKRs, you’re going to define if it’s an individual OKR or an organization OKR. So, you can pick that, you can pick your time period, when do you want it to start, when you want it to end, and which timeframes? In options, you can decide whether it’s just like a more private one or if it’s something that everyone can access and can play with.” 

40:07 – Check-in in Viva Goals  

 The third step in Viva Goals is to check-in on each of your OKRs that you’ve set to monitor its progress.  

“In this example, the one objective of the team is to simplify and clarify the project messaging presentations of the things that we do. You can see that it’s aspirational and underneath we do have the key results that are more measurable, more tangible and easier to measure. So, you really have traceability and accountability for everything that you’ve decided and aligned on as a team within the platform.” 

43:35 – Closing in Viva Goals  

The Last step in Viva Goals is to reflect on your Goals and develop a plan for moving forward.  

“The last thing you’re going to want to do is close. Let’s pretend that we’re at the end of the semester now, and nothing has moved. So, what I’m going to want to do is, I’m going to close it into the more action menu here, you’re going to just go into close and here you have that side panel that pops in again. This is the rating score, so you’re going to want to reflect and attribute a score to it. How did you do? You want to capture all those thoughts and the different processes. The good things. Bad things, really your post-mortem around you so that the next semester you can learn and grow, and you have that traceability.”  

Stay tuned for our next webinar on September 29th where we will break down converting Figma designs to PowerApps automatically!

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