Learn how to use Status Hero's Goals feature to track longer-term projects and initiatives with your team
Goals in Status Hero allow your team to track and see progress against projects and initiatives. They are as much about communication as they are about alignment. Most remote and hybrid teams suffer from an “alignment gap” because the tools they currently use do a poor job of keeping teammates focused on the big goal. These tools are too close to the daily work.
This typical “alignment gap” is a source of enormous frustration for so many teams: competing priorities, infighting, disconnection, lack of focus, overly large meetings, and more. Everyone is working feverishly, but it seems like no progress is being made toward the big things that matter to your team. This gap can be excruciating for a leader who has to deliver results.
Goals in Status Hero fill that gap.
Each Goal exists as sort of a short-lived micro-blog with regular, rich context updates right alongside the Goal. No longer will you get to the end of the quarter only to be reminded of that goal you set at the beginning that you haven’t heard anything about in 90 days.
You’ll go from the present day of having a fuzzy understanding of what your team is doing to a totally new way of working with a living high-level view of what’s going on without the surprises.
Benefits of Status Hero's Goals
Goals maintain alignment over the long haul
It’s one thing to plan goals every quarter or year; it’s another thing entirely to actually stick with them over weeks and months. If goals exist as part of a presentation or doc that people have to actively seek out, you’re not setting yourselves up for success. Goals in Status Hero help teams maintain alignment in two unique ways:
- Every goal you’re participating in shows up on your daily check-in screen* (which you get a reminder about). This means that when your team is planning their day, they are reminded of the major priorities, making it easy to focus on the most important things.
- Goal owners get reminders via email, Slack*, and Teams* when it’s time for an update. That keeps goals top of mind and ensures that the current state of every goal stays fresh.
Goals eliminate the worst flavor of meetings
There are plenty of good meetings. In a remote or hybrid context, face-time is critical for building relationships and team cohesion. And then there are status meetings. They’re usually long, usually boring, always a time and money drain. Goals replace status meetings with a living 30,000 foot view of where your priorities stand and blog-like updates, freeing calendars and saving a whole lot of time and money.
Goals maximize autonomy
Autonomy is a key component to an engaged, motivated team, and the key to making autonomy work is by giving everyone the context they need to make quality, independent decisions that are aligned with the needs of the company.
Goals eliminate surprises
Progress alone isn’t a reliable signal for understanding whether or not a goal is on track, because progress isn’t linear. You need a predictive signal to fill in the blanks. Goals track confidence alongside progress to give you a quick, clear, accurate signal of where things stand — and critically — do it early enough to be actionable.
Goals help teams build genuine remote & hybrid culture
Team culture doesn’t happen through bot-powered “ice-breakers”. Team culture happens when people share their successes, failures, challenges, experience, insights, and knowledge and everyone else responds in kind. Goals equal more trust, empathy, and respect.
Goals create a living 30,000-foot view of what your entire team intends to do
In most companies, it’s at minimum, an enormous effort to figure out where things stand across the entire org. With goals, it’s an instant read.
Goals Best Practices
The smallest unit of measure should be “project sized”.
Goals are about the big picture over periods of time, not granular tasks. With that in mind, the smallest unit of measure for a goal should be “project-sized”. Keep in mind that every goal assumes that whoever “owns” the goal will provide updates on it. Don’t make a goal for it if you don’t want to report on it! Roll it up with a similar goal into a broader objective instead.
Creating effective Status Hero goals
Goals come in infinite flavors, but you should ask yourself two questions before creating a goal in Status Hero:
- Will this be helpful for me to see every day? Goals in Status Hero show up on your daily check-in sidebar*. Ideally, you want a goal that’ll help you maintain focus on the kind of progress you want to make.
- Do I want to write about this? Remember that goals in Status Hero are essentially short-lived micro-blogs about a particular subject. If you don’t want to write about it or don’t think you’d have anything to say, consider a different goal.
Keep it focused
Goals exist to create focus. Creating too many goals is inherently counterproductive. People should own one to two goals max. It keeps focus high and “alignment effort” low.
Goals are great for team professional development too
No one’s stopping you if you want to make a “Let’s improve our accessibility” goal that you use to share, learn, discuss, and reflect.
Goal owners shouldn’t only be managers
If only a few people own goals, only a few people get heard. When everyone owns a goal, everyone has a dedicated venue to share their work.
Goals are most effective when they’re not handed down
Alignment requires buy-in, and buy-in happens when everyone has a hand in crafting their goals. Consider a cascading approach where the manager/leader sets a top-level goal, and folks underneath create their own goals that support it.
Higher level = lower frequency
Consider longer cadences like bi-weekly or monthly for team goals, and weekly cadence for individual goals. That means whenever it’s time to provide a team goal update, you’re guaranteed to have updates from supporting goals on tap.
Using Goals - The Basics
To create a new Goal, access the "Goals" section in the left-hand navigation menu and select the "Create a Goal" button.
Enter a title for your goal. We recommend something short that describes the objective.
Enter a description. This is where you can list out the details of the Goal, deliverables, and key results.
Select whether the goal is a team-wide one or individual.
Team goals are best suited for larger projects involving multiple people.
Individual goals are meant to be used for projects owned by a single person or as a way to create roll-ups to larger team goals. Individual goals can be nested under Team Goals.
Assign the goal to someone. This is the person that will be responsible for providing updates on the progress.
Select the start and end dates for the goal.
Set the update cadence. Consider longer cadences like bi-weekly or monthly for team goals, and weekly cadence for individual goals.
Save your goal.
Editing, Archiving or Deleting a Goal
To edit, archive, or delete a goal, click on the goal and select the "..." menu to the right of the goal name.
Users will receive email, Slack*, and Teams* reminders according to their goal's update cadence. Updates can also be provided at any time by accessing the goal and selecting "Post an update". Other team members will receive the update via email, Slack*, and Teams*.
When posting an update, enter the highlight or big takeaway as the Summary.
Select whether the status is "On track", "At risk", or "Off track" and provide an indication of the % complete.
Lastly, provide more details and context in the body.
Viewing Goal Updates
You can view a stream of goal updates on the Goals page in the right-hand section. This list is ordered with the most recent updates on top, across all goals. Click on a goal to view its complete update history. Comment and react to goal updates, just like check-ins.
Note: Goals is currently in beta mode. If you're interested in trying it with your team, reach out and we'll enable it for your account.
*Not available in beta