Business Goal Tracking

Team tracking their business goals

What is goal tracking?

After business goals are clearly defined, it’s important to track goal progress along the way. When a business tracks its goals, it is easier to monitor whether everything is going according to schedule. Additionally, goal tracking can help clarify ideas, focus efforts, ensure time and resources are used efficiently, and increase the chances of achieving the company’s most important objectives. 

Why is tracking your goals important? 

Tracking the goals of your organization enables you to align everyone’s efforts toward the same high-level objectives, so everyone can be sure they’re contributing to the company’s growth and progress. Additional benefits include: 

  • Clarity of purpose

  • Greater unity and camaraderie

  • Increased productivity 

  • Fewer mistakes 

  • Improved proficiency 

  • More opportunities for future projects 

  • Better chance of meeting budget targets

  • Increased satisfaction 

How to establish goals and timelines. 

Establishing goals and timelines is paramount in achieving short- and long-term business objectives. To effectively manage goals and instill reachable timelines, teams should follow these principles

  • Achieve alignment—Collaborate with executives to determine the top priorities and use the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework to establish how to cascade goals and align them.

  • Set SMART goals—Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Learn more about SMART Goals.

  • Create a timeline—Use an enterprise work management platform to select attainable deadlines and help you visualize roles, tasks, milestones, and deadlines. A timeline creates a sense of urgency and accountability to help you stay on schedule and reach your goal.

  • Measure and track progress—Discuss weekly progress with direct reports in one-on-one sessions and create a feedback loop. 

  • Implement coaching and support—Use the feedback loop to improve individual and team performance. Give strengths-based feedback whenever possible. 

  • Recognize hard work and encourage development—Acknowledge accomplishments, both small and large, and develop opportunities for team members to grow and advance in their roles. 

What is the difference between setting and tracking a goal? 

Setting goals can benefit your business by helping you look into the future, decide the results you want, and make a plan to help you get there. With clearly defined goals and incentives at the highest levels of the organization, team members will be more likely to set and reach their own individual goals. Although setting and tracking goals go hand in hand, they are not the same. 

Tracking a goal helps you and your team follow through with the plan and maintain motivation until you see the results you want. The Workfront Align application helps you track progress in real time, offering constant visibility to keep everyone on the same page, so you always know whether your goals are on track or at risk, and you can make adjustments as needed. With Align, business leaders can: 

  • Consistently communicate strategic objectives and success criteria across the organization.

  • Proactively guide team members and eliminate roadblocks, with real-time data that indicates where work is misaligned or stuck.

  • Inspire confidence and engagement in every team member. 

  • Accelerate performance by eliminating wasted time and resources, and optimizing talent. 

  • Track performance to goals in real time to achieve the right results. 

With the right tools, you can empower your team members to do their best work and keep all work strategically aligned, top to bottom. 

How to track progress on goals. 

Tracking goal progress is a great way to keep your team motivated. Small wins help motivate every team member. Companies often overlook these small victories, even though they can help teams accomplish much bigger initiatives. Without an effective way of measuring progress, larger projects can start to feel overwhelming. 

Set objectives.

Before you start tracking progress on goals, establish a shared vision with your team. Define and set clear objectives to ensure every member knows what they need to do and the expectations they must meet. Most importantly, explain the why. Your team will be more likely to embrace tracking their progress if they understand the reasons behind the request.

Identify Key Results. 

Breaking down objectives into smaller steps helps employees and managers stay on track. Determine where you can break down objectives into smaller steps and help your team meet Key Results (KRs). KRs help teams measure their progress toward a goal. 

Create milestones. 

Next, you should develop milestones to accomplish on the way to the overarching goal. Like a teacher breaking down a chapter into units, leaders who specify incremental accomplishments leading up to the finish line will help their team members stay focused on the next best actions they need to take. 

Apply metrics to your milestones. 

Setting up reliable metrics can help you to track progress on goals. KRs sometimes include a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or a metric. You need a measurable indicator to let you know whether you’ve accomplished the milestone or not.

Create checkpoints. 

Creating checkpoints will remind you to check in with how your team is doing. They’re a reminder to pause, assess your team’s progress, and celebrate any milestones reached.  Whether you choose a monthly or quarterly cadence, checkpoints are a time to analyze and evaluate whether your goals are going according to plan and whether corrective action is needed.

Incorporate software and tools. 

A work management solution allows team members, project leaders, and stakeholders to monitor the collective efforts toward team goals. The platform can integrate with existing tools, so your team can work in the online environments they’re accustomed to while remaining connected to workflows, deadlines, and other work details. 

ADP case study

ADP’s Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) department dealt with complex projects, and they lacked standardized processes for tracking and completing their work, resulting in an excess of administrative busy work. 

With the help of a work management solution that included KPI tracking capabilities, ADP was able to track projects more thoroughly, resulting in enhanced cross-department visibility. With clear standards streamlined through KPI reporting, HRO could customize and assess performance. This enhanced visibility helped the team prioritize work better so they could make more informed business decisions. 

Reach your goals.

Nearly every business understands the importance of setting goals, but monitoring your progress in a concrete, measurable way is another thing entirely. Tracking your goals using milestones and other metrics is essential if you want your team members to remain motivated to reach the finish line—and celebrate their accomplishments along the way.

See Workfront in action

In this interactive tour, you will get hands-on experience using Workfront. You will learn how Workfront enables the enterprise to:

  • Connect strategy to delivery
  • Iteratively plan and prioritize work
  • Collaborate across teams and divisions to get work done
  • Streamline and optimize processes
  • Measure and report on progress
  • Deliver against your strategy