Measuring Progress

Setting Metrics to Measure Progress

Being able to count on accurate, up-to-date objective progress lends to confidence and promotes transparency within an organization.

Betterworks has enhanced metric tracking features and flexible objective progress calculation to make sure everything is measured accurately. This framework also allows for more realistic OKR-style tracking. These settings are optional; objectives can be as simple or complex as needed.

Metrics enhance and add measurable detail to key results. Key results have metrics associated with them during the creation process. One example of this is 0/100 percent complete - you can change the units as desired.

To edit a metric after an objective is created, go to the key result that you'd like to edit:

  • Click "Additional Actions" (...)
  • Click "Quick Edit"

A side panel will appear and you'll see the the option to clear the metric.


Range Settings

Range settings are most typically used when measuring various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). For example, an organization may measure customer churn this way (i.e. less than $2.4M churn). They'd set the target metric as $2.39M, then the ceiling red amount to $2.4M. When updating progress, anything over $2.39M is considered red.

To set a range metric, create or edit an objective and enter a target value and unit for an associated key result:

  • Click "Advanced options" to open more progress settings
  • Click "Set a range for this key result" and input floor and ceiling breakpoints
  • Click "Save"

Range floor

  • Values < the yellow breakpoint will fall within the yellow range
  • Anything 86% and above in this example is looked at as an achievement
  • Anything 75% < the red breakpoint will fall within the red range

Range ceiling

  • Values > the yellow breakpoint will fall within the yellow range
  • Values > the red breakpoint will fall within the red range

Reduction Settings

To create a reduction metric, navigate to the objectives list page or create a new objective:

  • Enter a new key result or edit and existing key result
  • In the target value field, enter the target value to achieve 
  • Click "Advanced options" to expose the “Enter starting value” box
  • Click into the box
  • Enter the starting value in the text field. 
  • Click "Save"

When adding a new reduction metric, the starting value displays before the target value. This means they’ve done it correctly; the point is to reduce the starting value to the target value.

To track progress against this metric, the user should enter the current value of the unit. For example, if the item being measured is average call time and that call time reduced from 45 to 30 minutes, the user would check in with 30 minutes as the amount.

Users can also track reduction progress for objectives, not just metrics. To track reduction progress on an objective, there must be at least one numerical metric for the objective.

  • Open the "More options" menu during objective creation process, or edit an existing objective
  • Go to "Progress Settings"
    • If anything other than "Average all key results" is selected, you'll have the ability to set a starting value and also set a target metric for the objective


  • Enter a starting value and any other options that may apply to this objective
  • Click "Save"

Metrics and Non-Metrics Combined

The basic types of objective measurements haven’t changed. Objective progress is measured in two ways.

  • Key results are actions and achievements that contribute to objectives.
  • Key results have metric attributes, which have a specific target value and unit that track objective progress.
    • For example, a metric could have a target of “800,000” and a unit of “Dollars”

Users can set key results, with or without metrics, during the objective creation process, or afterward, in the objective list page. They can add key results at any time, so they can use objective creation to focus on the objective itself, without worrying about making decisions about progress types.

objective progress is calculated based on whether the objective uses key results with or without metrics. By default, Betterworks calculates objective progress as an average of the progress made on the items that are one level below that objective. These are usually Key Results but could be other sub-objectives.

  • If an objective is measured by combined metrics and key results progress is calculated as an average of both.

  • If an objective is measured by key results only, progress is calculated as an average of the key results.
  • If an objective is measured by metrics with only one unit, progress is calculated as an average of the metrics.

  • If an objective is measured by one type of metric only, progress is calculated by adding the metric values together.

Users can further customize objective progress by setting a custom objective target.

Using Metrics for Overall Progress

If an objectives metrics are all tracked with the same unit (for example, four different metrics, each with a unit of dollars), the overall progress for the objective is calculated as a sum of all metrics corresponding to that unit.


In this example, the five metrics have targets that total up to 850,000 dollars. Once this objective is created, its progress is tracked by adding up the values of the four metrics and comparing the total against the overall target value of 850,000 dollars. This objective's target is set to $800,000, so the target value may be achieved without achieving 100% of each key result’s value.


Manual Progress Settings

Some users may not want objective progress to be calculated by averaging metric values and key results. They can use the “Progress Settings” option to calculate Goal progress exclusively by metric values.

For example, an account executive with a sales revenue objective may judge most of her progress by the revenue metric, but also wish to show the actions she is taking to achieve that objective. She tracks her work by revenue, training sessions, and other accomplishments, and she wants to see all of them in her objective, while only calculating progress based on revenue earned.

She can use the “Progress Settings” option to calculate her objective’s overall progress based only on the revenue metric, while continuing to track her work with key results.

  • Click Progress Settings in the objective creation or objective list pages.
  • Click "Update progress manually on the objective." 
  • Enter a target value and unit for this objective
    • In this example, the sales rep wants to contribute $500,000 toward quarterly progress, so that amount becomes the target and unit


  • Optionally, click "Enter a starting value" to reveal a text field in which to enter a starting value
    • Using this field turns the objective into a reduction objective
  • Click "Save"

The metrics that contribute to objective progress are indicated by a gray target icon and appear alongside any metrics that are part of the objective’s progress calculation. The grey target is an indicator that the metric unit beside it is contributing to the objective’s overall progress.


Automatic Updates

By default, when you set a target and link it to a metric on your objective, that target is fixed until you update it. However, sometimes you need to track multiple key results with the same unit, or you update the metric on which the target is based, and you want the target to reflect the change.

If you set the initial target to 10 customer calls, then add 5 more calls later on, the target value will update as long as they’re tracked by the same unit.

It’s easy to set target values to update automatically.

  • Navigate to the objective list page and click "Additional Actions" (...)
  • Click "Progress Settings"
  • Set the target value and choose a unit.
    • If you’ve already customized the target, your previous settings will appear, then, check the box marked "Auto"
  • Click "Save"

Checking the “Auto” checkbox makes the objective’s target value update automatically based on changes to the value of the unit assigned.


Can I edit my objectives once I start making progress?

Yes. You should absolutely edit your objective to reflect the latest understanding of how to achieve an outcome. All edits are tracked in the Objective Timeline, so you can change whatever you like without losing the history of your objective. 

How do I change the target value of my objective?

On the objective edit page, open the Progress Settings option and update the target value.