Microsoft Viva Goals is now generally available. Viva Goals offers a lot of interesting features and integration with external systems, but in this post, I go through the basic setup and configuration. I will show you how to configure an organization and start working with objectives and key results.
Plans and Pricing
Viva Goals requires a dedicated license for each user. There are 2 ways to get it – get a Viva Suite license (all Viva apps are included) or get a dedicated Viva Goals license (6$ user/month).
If you do not have Viva Suite but you want to test it out, you can use a Trial license. The Trial version covers 50 seats and is valid for 60 days. It is a great option to create objectives and goals, assign them to users and teams, and track progress. IT should give you a detailed view of existing features and capabilities.
Pricing page – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-viva/pricing.
An organization in Viva Goals is the top entity or object. It can be mapped to an entire organization or a large department within the organization. The recommended approach is to create a single Organization and we will do this in this chapter.
1. Navigate to https://goals.microsoft.com/. There are 2 main options – Settings (1) and Create Organization (2). It is a good idea to check Settings and configure who can create Organizations (every licensed user can do this by default).
2. In the Settings pane select who can create Organization and Save your choices. I suggest switching to Specific people or groups or Only global administrators.
3. You can now create your first organization. The only required field is the Organization name – put here your company name. By default, anyone in Office 365 can join this Viva Goals Organization. You can change this setting and allow only selected users to access this organization.
4. In the next step, you can add members. This is optional and you do this later from the Organization settings.
5. Welcome! Your brand-new Viva Goals Organization is waiting for you.
Users and Groups
There are 2 methods to grant users access to Viva Goals. You can invite a user by typing the name of that user or add a group with members (Microsoft 365 group, Distribution groups, and Security groups are supported).
Important – Only one group can be invited to Viva Goals! If you want to invite an entire organization, use one group with all users inside.
How to add users
1. Go To the Admin section in the left-hand menu, open the User section, and click Add members button
2. You can add users manually one by one or using groups
3. You can automatically send an invitation email. Keep in mind that users from the group without licenses won’t be able to log in.
Important – members of a group will be visible in the system when they login into Viva Goals. Members added manually are visible immediately.
Teams are basic structure objects in Viva Goals. You create organizational structure from departments to individual teams. Each team has its Owner and can relate to one parent team. This allows you to build a structure with relationships.
How to create and configure a team:
1. Open the Admin page and go to the Teams section. You can find there all the existing teams in your organization. To create a new one, click the Add Team button.
2. Enter Name (1), Team Owner (2), Team Type (3), Parent Team (4), and Details (5). Only name and owner are mandatory. To add a parent, select an existing team from the Parent Team drop-down.
3. Create as many teams as you need to reflect your organizational structure.
4. To add members to a team, click the ellipsis for the selected team and go to the Manage Members option.
5. Now you can add members to the group but this time you can’t add groups. Only users are allowed!
Objectives and Key results
This is the key part of Viva Goals. Objectives and Key results are the main part of the OKR methodology. Before you start configuring objectives and result you should define your success criteria. Configuration can be fixed but bad objectives equal bad outcomes.
- Objectives are the goal you want to achieve. Objectives are actionable, aspirational, and meaningful.
- Key Results are how you’ll achieve your goal. Key Results are focused, measurable, and ambitious. Key Results are OUTCOMES.
- Key Initiatives and Projects are focused efforts that help you achieve your Key Results. Key Initiatives/Projects are OUTPUTS.
How to create an objective
1. To add a new objective, go to Organization OKRs and click Add an objective button. You can do that from any other section with OKRs (for example, My OKRs, North Team OKRs).
2. Enter the title for your objective and click Create
Now you can add key results to the objective
1. Select your objective (1) and click Add button (2) in the Key results section
2. Enter Key result title (1). By default, progress is selected as manually updated (users update progress manually by editing each key result). You can configure it to automatically get updates from a selected data source (for example, JIRA, SQL database, Azure DevOps).
3. Add additional Key results in the same way. The objectives page will display your Objective with related Key results.
There are sample OKRs templates that you can use to practice creating objectives.
1. On an OKRs page click on See Sample OKRs
2. Select a sample from the list and click Add. Samples are categorized so you can easily find one.
3. When it’s done you close the sample page and check your new Objective.
You’ve just configured your Viva Goals, added some users, created teams, and created your first objective with key results. Now you are ready to configure objectives for teams and departments and assign them to users.
If you’re not familiar with OKR methodology you should learn the basics and how to properly create objectives, key results, and projects. There are plenty of good sources on the Internet.
I suggest starting with the online course Get started with Microsoft Viva Goals available on Microsoft Learning portal (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/viva-goals-get-started/). It is based on Viva Goals so you will learn 2 things at a time.