This brief tutorial will guide you through creating OKRs in Ally. Remember that planning out your OKRs beforehand is not only a best practice in general: but it is the lifeblood of the OKR process. To learn more about best practices for writing OKRs, click here.

Creating the Objective

You can create an Objective from:

  1. The Individual, Team and Organization pages 

  2. The list page

  3. A Template - 'Sample OKRs'

First, navigate to the individual, team, or organization that the Objective is for. Go ahead and click on the New Objective '+' button. 

In the dialog box that pops up, the main things to specify are the following:

1. A short, but descriptive name for the objective

2. Ally contextually fills in the following Details, but you can edit them if you need to:

  • Type: Specify the type as individual, team, or organization level corresponding to where the Objective fits in the organization

  • Owner: This is the user who owns this Objective - best practice suggests that every OKR have a clear owner even if it is a team or organization objective

  • Time Period: The quarter or time period this Objective belongs to

3. Outcome: Add the outcome for the objective. The objective is set to go to 100% complete by default. Alternatively, you can choose to measure the outcome with a metric by setting the start, the target, and the unit. Right now, Ally supports two types of units - % and numeric.

4. Progress: Progress indicates the different modes that’ll help you measure the outcome. You can measure progress manually, or have progress update automatically. Automatic updates can be via rollup from key results, or from a data source which can be any of Ally's rich integrations. Learn more about the different progress modes here.

5. Alignment: Set the alignment to show why accomplishing this objective matters. Progress from this objective will automatically roll up to its parents.

These can always be edited later - be sure to check out the advanced options below; for now, go ahead and save your Objective when you’re done.

Note: The key results dialog box will look a little different if you have chosen to configure your OKRs by selecting the 'Objectives are always aspirational, key results are always measurable' option. You will notice that the Create Objective view will just have the Progress section. This is because when you've configured your Objectives to be aspirational and Key Results to be measurable, the progress of the objectives will either be updated by roll up from the progress of key results or manually. Learn more about OKR Model Configuration Rules.

Creating Key Results

Key Results contribute to achieving the objective; if all the KRs are accomplished, then the objective must be achieved, so choose them accordingly. Find the objective you just made and select ‘Add Key Result’. This will allow you to edit inline.

You can also hover over it and click on the Add Key Result button from the 'More options' which appears to bring up a more detailed dialog box.

The dialog box that opens up will look familiar. One key difference you will notice is that it’s already aligned with the parent Objective. 

Note: The key results dialog box will look a little different if you have chosen to configure your OKRs by selecting the 'Objectives are always aspirational, key results are always measurable' option. Learn more about OKR Model Configuration Rules.

Using Templates

Ally makes it easy to jumpstart the OKR process by providing templates for common Objectives across different verticals in an organization. To create an Objective from a template, select ‘See Sample OKRs’ and choose from our extensive library of presets ranging from Sales and Marketing Objectives to People and Product Management. 

From here, you can tweak the template Objectives - or any other Objective - to your company’s specifications by using the handy Edit functions available on the Objectives page. You can also hover your cursor over the Objective to find the Edit option. 

Now go forth and let your OKRs multiply - but not by too much, eh? 

Advanced options when creating OKRs

There are several advanced options when creating OKRs. For example, you can expand the 'Progress' section and specify how to track the Objective’s progress to the goal. You can choose from either

  • Measured as a goal towards 100% completion: Ally will show the progress in terms of percent completed to the goal.

  • Add a metric: This gives you more control to set a custom KPI. You will have to define the name of the metric, the target, and starting point yourself.

Ally also allows you to automatically update the progress of your Objectives by integrating with tools like Jira, Smartsheets, or VSTS. To read more about these integrations, view our detailed articles here.

Many of these options are available under 'More Options' in each section. Some examples under the 'Details' section:

  • Tags and Description: Add tags to group similar OKRs together and enter a short description of the objective if necessary. Learn more about tags here.

  • Private objectives and key results: Control who can see your OKRs. Available with an Enterprise subscription. Learn more here.

  • Objective Delegation: Designate another individual to keep this objective up to date. Available with an Enterprise subscription. Learn more here.

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