The Difference: Key Results vs Contributing Goals

When creating goals, you must also create at least one of either Key Results or Contributing Goals.

Key Results

Key Result measures the progress of the goal. Key Results are owned by and updated by the owner of the Goal.

In Atiim, Key Results come in four forms: milestones, metrics, Salesforce data or Jira-linked data (all that measure KPI progress in your KRs and ultimately OKR goals) .

Milestones are appropriate for Key Results that cannot be easily measured, but can only be either complete or incomplete. Metrics are appropriate for most Key Results, as they are measurable and track progress as updated. Salesforce queries are only visible after integration with Salesforce and automatically update from information in Salesforce. Jira progress automatically updates from updates in Jira when Jira integration is activated.

In many cases, at the top levels, executive levels, group levels, and team levels, you will not see any Key Results. Key Results will typically only be seen at the bottom of the goal alignment tree and be owned by junior employees. These employees will own and update their Key Results. When aligned, the progress from these Key Results will flow upward as Contributing Goals.

Contributing Goals

Contributing Goal adds the progress on a lower-level goal to that of a higher-level goal. Unlike Key Results, Contributing Goals are owned by another person, not by the owner of the goal to which it is contributing.

Thus, a Contributing Goal is a more junior goal which aligns to and drives the progress of a more senior goal. However, a junior goal is not necessarily less important–just owned at a lower level of the organizational hierarchy. For example, the CEO owns the very top goals of the organization, the most senior goals. A VP will own department goals which are junior to the CEO’s Top Corporate Goals.

Every Contributing Goal can also have its own Key Results junior contributing goals. The process of senior goals containing successive levels of junior goals is called cascading.

What else? How do you think about setting KRs on the goal or just using contributing sub-goals to measure progress?

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!



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