The end of the quarter (and another year) means it's that time again: time to set new goals. Not just annual business goals, but also quarterly goals, monthly goals, and especially personal new year resolutions.
One part of your mission when setting goals for your company, departments, or teams should be to share those established goals with the rest of the company. It will let everyone know what direction they should be rowing.
If you're already working in Wrike, you and your team can also use it to create visibility into established goals and track progress on the way to achieving them.
Building Annual Plans in Wrike
Annual planning is an essential part of a successful business. It provides direction for the entire organization, defines what teams will focus energy on, and synchronizes activities of different departments to maximize resources. But in order to do all that efficiently, the entire company needs visibility into the annual plans.
You can build annual plans in Wrike following our suggestion, or using your own format.
Create a folder called "2016 Annual Plans" at the top level of your account and right-click the folder name to share it with the entire company.
Inside that folder, create project folders or tasks for all of the different priorities and big initiatives of the year. You can assign responsible directors or managers to the work, so everyone knows who to talk to if they have questions about that objective. From there, you can drill down into immediate key actions by building out tasks, setting deadlines, and assigning the steps to the appropriate parties.
Finally, use Custom Fields to make notes on budgeting — data in Custom Fields can be restricted to only show for certain user groups in your account, so your private information stays that way. If you don't have access to Custom Fields, just write information you'd like to share with the entire team in your task descriptions.
Establishing Quarterly Plans in Wrike
Since quarterly plans only cover 3 months instead of an entire year, it's easy to brainstorm new ideas right in Wrike.
On the Wrike content marketing team, we create a project folder called something like "Q2 Ideas", and then individuals on our team can create a new task for every idea they have inside that folder.
Inside their task descriptions, team members can add pertinent details if their idea requires a more detailed breakdown, or they've suggested a completely new undertaking and they've already thought out a majority of the work and substeps needed to make the idea a reality.
This method of brainstorming and sharing also allows our team to see if someone else has had a similar idea, so we can combine efforts and dump our parallel brainstorms into one big task.
After everyone has input their ideas, we have a meeting to vet those ideas for go-no go decisions. We project the "Q1 Ideas" folder onto the big screen in our meeting room, and then discuss all of the propositions as a group. We can assign task owners and schedule due dates for ideas we definitely want to proceed with; defer ideas we think are good for a future quarter; or cancel tasks that just aren't in line with our overall vision.
Once we decide what ideas we're moving forward with, we reorganize those tasks into our main work folder structure, and build out complete project plans with subtasks for the big ideas.
Tracking Progress Using OKRs
If you're someone who loves quantifying goals and hitting numbers, consider implementing OKRs and using project tracking tools to monitor progress. "OKRs" stands for "Objectives and Key Results." It's a system for setting goals (Objectives) and the steps necessary to achieve those goals (Key Results), popularized by Google. It's something we do at Wrike. You can set up an OKR like this:
O: Publish regularly on blog
KR: Write at least 3 blog posts every week
KR: Research 10 new post ideas at least once per week
KR: Build a backlog of 10 posts to publish later when inspiration fails
Notice how the Objective is broad, and the Key Results are more direct supporting steps toward reaching that goal. You can read all about OKRs in our post on using OKRs for quarterly planning. In the meantime, here are a few quick tips on OKR creation:
- Start every O and KR with a verb. This ensures they are actionable.
- Make sure every KR includes a number. This ensures it is a measurable action that you can finally mark as complete.
- Make sure your goals are slightly out of reach. They shouldn't be laughably hard to attain, but if you make them just a little more difficult than you typically would, it will inspire you to work harder to go the distance.
We wrote an entire post detailing exactly how you can implement the OKR system at your company using Wrike. Take a look.
Setting Personal Goals Using Wrike
It can't always be about work, work, work! Every person should set some personal improvement goals to help maintain that work-life balance. When you decide on what yours will be, track them where you're already tracking the rest of your work — in Wrike!
You can create a private folder at the top level of your Wrike account that no one else will be able to see. Turn each of your resolutions into a task, and if you know what it will take to turn those resolutions into a reality, break down those steps into subtasks. Create recurring tasks for things you know you'll need to do every week to reach your goal, assign them due dates for the end of each week, and mark them as complete as you make progress.
Are you one of those people who never knows what to set for your New Year's Resolution? Here are some examples of what Wrikers are aiming to improve in 2016:
- Practice a new language at least 3x week using the Duolingo app
- Get better at doing
- Read 10 business-related improvement books
- Volunteer at the dog shelter at least 1x per month
- Keep one plant alive all year
- Reconnect with old friends
Using Wrike for Goal-Setting
Are you using Wrike to set and track your goals? Tell us your story and share how it has helped keep you on track in the comments below!
If you have questions about best practices for goal-setting in Wrike, ask away in the comments and we'll get back to you with our advice.