Only this time last year, Viva was the new kid on the block with only two of the modules available to play with.
It was the talk of the Microsoft 365 community, which was awash with the familiar blend of excitement, speculation, and a pinch of scepticism. Fast forward to now, Viva is becoming well-established and sits at the heart of all conversations we are having with our customers.
In October last year, Microsoft acquired Ally.io and it was no secret that it will eventually join the Viva family. Last month, Microsoft finally unveiled the fifth Viva module: Viva Goals – an OKR based goal setting and tracking solution.
Firstly, what is an OKR?
If you’re sat there wondering what an “OKR” is, rest assured, you are not alone. I have no shame in admitting that the day Microsoft acquired Ally.io was the day I learned what an OKR was. However, after lots of reading, I can see their greatness and understand why they have gained so much popularity in recent years.
OKR stands for ‘Objectives and Key Results’ and is a framework designed to support organisations in setting and tracking ambitious, org-wide, goals to help them deliver results. The idea is that using OKRs can help you drive strategic direction in your business and have absolute focus on the most important tasks.
What I personally like about OKRs and what makes the model unique is it relies upon complete transparency. For OKRs to be successful, everyone must be able to see any objective or key result at any time. This transparency fosters better goal alignment across the organisation, no matter where you sit in the org chart.
Microsoft Has Entered the Game
Thousands of organisations, including Microsoft, have turned to OKRs in recent years to communicate purpose, cultivate culture, and achieve common goals. The way OKRs encourage a shift away from output to outcomes suits an increasingly hybrid and remote world. The emergence of Viva Goals is a signal that Microsoft believes in OKRs and their significant role in the overall ‘Employee Experience’.
Viva Goals brings OKR management front and centre in Microsoft 365, which is my contrarian way of saying ‘into the flow of work’. Remember, OKRs are all about alignment and transparency, so where better to put them than where 270 million of us are spending most of our time each month, in Teams.
Viva Goals leverages integration with Microsoft Teams and Azure DevOps to make it nice and easy to create, manage and share OKRs across your business. With the Viva Goals app in Teams, you can:
- Collaboratively create measurable goals, define success, and assign owners within and across your teams.
- Update your progress, customize dashboard views, and generate quick links to showcase goals and outcomes.
- Connect to a data source, such as an Excel workbook, to automatically update progress.
- Celebrate success and build a culture focused on alignment and impact.
Getting Started with Viva Goals
Viva Goals is currently only available in Private Preview (and only in English) but according to the M365 Roadmap will start rolling out to those of you subscribed to Viva in August this year.