My favorite Viva Goals feature - multi alignment - and how I use it.

Microsoft

Hi everyone!  I wanted to share my thoughts around a personal favorite feature of mine, multi-alignment in Viva Goals, and how we’ve been using it both internally at Microsoft and across some of the customers I work with. 

 

There are three primary use cases I’ve found for multi-alignment and I’m going to walk through each of those below.

 

“Promoting” a key result to be aligned to the team and department level

I was working with a team here at Microsoft and their leader was very much so a delegator.  When it came to goal setting, they wanted to see what the team came up with first, and then provide input.  So they had their team of 7 create goals for each of their representative organization and present those back to the leader. 

 

From there, the leader then picked out a handful of Key Results they wanted ‘promoted’ up to their level.  What I really mean by ‘promoted’ is that they were multi-aligning the key results that were selected to be aligned to both levels of objectives.  One key result object, but aligned to multiple levels of objectives. 

 

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There was representation from each organization and the beauty of doing this in Viva Goals, was that there needed to be only one update on the key result, but it was viewable and contributing across multiple objectives.  Saving time and keeping them aligned. 

 

Contributing to both an Objective and as a sub-KR

Many times I run into or work with teams that want to manage their goals in two different ways.  The first side of the house might be focused solely on the numbers. 

 

“Away with these ‘Objectives’ just show me the targets were trying to hit and how they break down across our regions” I heard them say.  We accomplished this by setting a Key Result and then creating sub-Key Results and sub-sub Key results underneath.  All creating a big tree of contributions that worked well for them. 

 

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On the flip side, the other team was also focused on similar targets, but made them a part of a cohesive OKR that included more than just the targets themselves.

 

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As you can see above, both sets of goals across these teams included Key Results from the other. 

 

The difference was, rather than creating two different key results to track the same target, which would require two sets of owners and two sets of updates, we used the same single key result object and multi-aligned it as both a sub-KR and to an Objective. 

 

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You can see above, Viva Goals made this much easier to save time and keep them aligned.  Multi-alignment strikes again.

 

Aligning one KR to multiple Objectives

The last example here is also like those above, but rather than aligning across levels or across goal objects, we’re aligning across teams.  The biggest draw of having a more rigorous and managed goal setting program is the alignment you achieve across your company.  Well, what’s the best way to achieve that alignment and make sure we’re all focused on the same outcomes?  Sharing the same outcomes, of course!

 

In many cases when I’m working with a team, new relationship or old, I like to have a conversation about where we can share the same outcomes to ensure that we’re both moving in the same direction. 

 

With Viva Goals we can quite literally share the same key results, even if they’re aligned to different Objectives or living alongside different other outcomes.

 

I took a single key result object and multi-aligned that to two different objectives across two different teams, making sure they both are progressing towards a common outcome.

 

How have you all been using multi-alignment? 

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