Published on

Best practice when using Viva Goals and OKRs


Best Practices for Tracking Your Progress in Viva Goals

Viva Goals is a goal-setting and management solution that aligns teams to your organization's strategic priorities, driving results and a thriving business with OKRs. But how do you use them effectively? What are the best practices to set, track and review your Viva goals and OKR?

In this blog post, I will share some best practices for tracking your progress with Viva Goals. so you can stay focused, motivated, and aligned with your team and organization!

1. Align your goals

Align your goals with your organization's vision and strategy. Viva Goals allows you to see how your goals are connected to your team's and your organization's goals. This helps you understand how your work contributes to the bigger picture and stay motivated. You can also align your goals with your organization's values and priorities, such as diversity, inclusion, sustainability, or innovation.

2. Check-in regularly

One of the key benefits of using Viva Goals is that it allows you to check-in with your OKRs anytime, anywhere. Checking-in means updating the status of your key results, adding comments or feedback, and adjusting your plans as needed.

Checking-in regularly helps you:

  • Stay on track with your goals and priorities
  • Communicate your progress and challenges to your team and manager
  • Celebrate your wins and learn from your failures
  • Identify any risks or blockers that need attention
  • Adapt to changing circumstances or expectations

You can check-in with your OKRs in Viva Goals by clicking on the Check-in button on the top right corner of each key result card. You can also use the Review dashboard to see an overview of all your OKRs across different time periods.

3. Use projects to break down key results

Sometimes, achieving a key result may require multiple steps or tasks that need to be completed. So Break down your goals into smaller steps. Sometimes, big goals can seem overwhelming or daunting. To overcome this challenge, you can break down your goals into smaller steps or milestones that are easier to manage and accomplish. For example, if your goal is to write a book by the end of the year, you can divide it into steps like "Outline the chapters", "Write the first draft", "Edit and revise", etc.

In Viva Goals, you can use projects to break down key results into smaller milestones or deliverables.

Projects help you:

  • Organize your work into manageable chunks
  • Track your progress more granularly
  • Assign owners and due dates for each project
  • Integrate with other tools like Microsoft Planner or Azure DevOps

You can create projects in Viva Goals by clicking on the Add project button on each key result card. You can also view all your projects across different OKRs in the Projects tab.

4. Use integrations to sync data from other sources

Another way to track your progress in Viva Goals is to use integrations to sync data from other sources. Integrations allow you to connect Viva Goals with other tools or systems that you use to measure or manage your work.

Integrations help you:

  • Automate data updates for key results
  • Avoid manual errors or inconsistencies
  • Save time and effort
  • Access real-time information

You can use integrations in Viva Goals by clicking on the Add integration button on each key result card. You can choose from a variety of integrations such as Microsoft Power BI, Excel Online, Google Sheets, Salesforce, Jira Cloud, etc.

5. Score and close OKRs at the end of each time period

Finally, at the end of each time period (usually quarterly), you should score and close OKRs in Viva Goals. Scoring means rating how well you achieved each key result on a scale of 0% (not at all) to 100% (fully). Closing means marking each objective as completed or canceled.

Scoring and closing OKRs helps you:

  • Evaluate your performance objectively
  • Reflect on what worked well and what didn't
  • Recognize achievements and areas for improvement
  • Share feedback with others involved in OKRs
  • Prepare for setting new OKRs for next time period

You can score and close OKRs in Viva Goals by clicking on the Score button on each objective card. You can also use the Review dashboard to see how well you scored across different time periods.

6. Make use of SMART

OKR helps align individual, team and organizational goals with measurable outcomes. But how do you make sure your OKRs are clear, realistic and achievable? That's where SMART comes in.

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. It is a set of criteria that can help you define your OKRs and evaluate their success. Let's look at each element in more detail:

  • Specific: Your objective should be clear and concise, answering the questions of what, why and how. For example, instead of saying "Increase sales", you could say "Increase sales of product X by 10% in Q1 by launching a new marketing campaign".

  • Measurable: Your key results should be quantifiable and trackable, using metrics that indicate progress and completion. For example, instead of saying "Improve customer satisfaction", you could say "Achieve a Net Promoter Score of 8 or higher by the end of Q1".

  • Achievable: Your objective and key results should be challenging but realistic, based on your resources, capabilities and constraints. For example, instead of saying "Become the market leader in product X", you could say "Increase our market share in product X by 5% in Q1".

  • Relevant: Your objective and key results should be aligned with your vision, mission and values, as well as with other goals at different levels. For example, instead of saying "Launch a new product Y", you could say "Launch a new product Y that solves problem Z for our target customers".

  • Time-bound: Your objective and key results should have a clear deadline or timeframe for completion, creating a sense of urgency and accountability. For example, instead of saying "Grow our social media presence", you could say "Grow our social media followers by 20% in Q1".

Using SMART criteria can help you create effective OKRs that drive performance and results. SMART can also help you communicate your OKRs to others, monitor your progress and celebrate your achievements.

7. Don't forget to Celebrate

Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures. Achieving your goals is not only rewarding but also motivating for yourself and others. You can use Viva Goals to share your successes with your manager or colleagues and receive recognition or praise for your hard work. You can also use Viva Learning to discover new opportunities for learning and development based on your achievements or gaps in skills.


In conclusion, OKRs and Viva goals are two complementary frameworks that can help organizations and individuals achieve their desired outcomes. OKRs are useful for setting clear, measurable and ambitious objectives that align with the organization's vision and mission. Viva goals are useful for defining the values, behaviors and actions that support the achievement of the OKRs. By using both frameworks together, organizations and individuals can foster a culture of excellence, accountability and continuous improvement.