Measuring Progress

Setting Metrics to Measure Progress

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

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

Metrics enhance and add measurable detail to Milestones.

Helpful Reminder: Goals = Objectives and Milestones = Key Results

Milestones 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 and outlined in this article.

To edit a metric after a Goal is created, navigate to the Milestone/Key Result you wish to edit, click on the "..." additional actions button on the Milestone, and click the Quick Edit function. A side menu will appear, and you will see the option to remove. Here, you can remove your metric and start over, if you wish. 



Range Progress Settings

  1. To set a range metric, create or edit a Goal and enter a target value and unit for a Milestone
  2. Click Advanced options to open more progress settings
  3. Click Set a range for this Milestone and input floor and ceiling breakpoints
  4. Click Save.


Reduction Progress Settings

To create a reduction metric, navigate to the Goal list page or create a new Goal.

  1. Enter a new Milestone or edit and existing Milestone. In the target value field, enter the target value to achieve. In the example below, the desired result is to reduce average call time to 20 minutes, so the target value is 20 minutes.
  2. Click Advanced options to expose the “Enter starting value” checkbox.
  3. Click the checkbox. A text field appears.
  4. Enter the starting value in the text field. In this example, the starting value is 45 because the current call times are 45 minutes and the user wants to reduce that number.
  5. 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 average 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 Goals, not just metrics. To track reduction progress on a Goal, there must be at least one numerical metric for the Goal.

  1. Open the More options menu during Goal creation process, or Edit an existing Goal and select the Progress Settings button in the pop-out window.
  2. If anything other than average all Milestones is selected, you'll have the ability to set a starting value and also set a target metric for the Goal as noted below.Screen_Shot_2017-07-24_at_4.55.43_PM.png
  3. Enter a starting value and any other options that may apply to this goal.
  4. Click Save.

Metrics and Non-Metrics Combined

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

  • Milestones are actions and achievements that contribute to Goals. For example, a milestone could be “Complete orientation class with all new sales reps.”
  • Milestones have metric attributes, which have a specific target value and unit that track Goal progress. For example, a metric could have a target of “800,000” and a unit of “Dollars.”

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

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

  • If a Goal is measured by combined metrics and Milestones, progress is calculated as an average of both.

  • If a Goal is measured by Milestones only, progress is calculated as an average of the Milestones.

  • If a Goal is measured by metrics with only one unit, progress is calculated as an average of the metrics.

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

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

Using Metrics for Overall Progress

If a Goal’s metrics are all tracked with the same unit (for example, four different metrics, each with a unit of dollars), the overall progress for the Goal 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 Goal 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 Goal’s target is set to $800,000, so the target value may be achieved without achieving 100% of each Milestone’s value.



Manual Progress Settings

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

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

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

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


  1. Optionally, click "Enter a starting value" to reveal a text field in which to enter a starting value. 
  2. Using this field turns the Goal into a reduction Goal. 
  3. Click Save.

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


Automatic Updates

By default, when you set a target and link it to a metric on your Goal, that target is fixed until you update it. However, sometimes you need to track multiple Milestones 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.

  1. Navigate to the Goal list page and click the "..." additional actions button.
  2. Edit and access the Progress Settings section and select "Progress Settings."
  3. Set the target value and choose a unit. If you’ve already customized the target, your previous settings will appear in this modal. Then, check the checkbox marked “Auto.”
  4. When you’ve made the changes you need, click Save.

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



How often should I check in?

Try to check into your Goals at least once a week. A check in doesn't necessarily show positive progress, but rather awareness of the Goal and your efforts to complete it.

Check in weekly and provide an update on the work you're doing to achieve your Goal, even if you didn't complete a Milestone or advance the metric. Your colleagues and manager will appreciate it! 

Can I edit my objective once I start making progress?

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

Of course you should follow the procedures your organization uses to make major changes to work Goals. If you need to communicate with your manager and coworkers about why a Goal is changing, be sure to do that as well.

How is the Goal progress color calculated?

This status is calculated by Goal progress / expected progress. Expected progress assumes the Goal will be completed on a linear timeline.

  • If the Goal's current progress is no more than 25% behind expected progress, the Goal will be green
  • If the Goal's current progress is at least 25% behind expected progress, the Goal will be yellow
  • If the Goal's current progress is at least 50% behind expected progress, the Goal will be red
  • This means that if a Goal has no progress it will not change to red until it is half way through the allotted time.

How do I change the Target Value of my Goal?

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

How do I set up advanced progress settings?

Advanced progress settings can be configured via the Progress Settings section in either the Goal create or Goal edit page. Locate the "Actions" button (signified by an ellipsis), select "Edit" and then select "Progress settings".

Advanced progress settings allow you to set range and reduction settings for your Goal.

Why is my Goal red after only one day?

Any Goal older than one day will have a sliver of red at the beginning, this is our system's way of prompting you to begin working on your Goal.