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Goals: Aspirational OKRs vs Committed OKRs

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A goal is a vision or an idea that a group of people or individuals envision to achieve the commitment before a timeline or a deadline. Goals can be long-term, intermediate, or short-term.  

When setting goals for an organization or individuals, Goals are divided into two categories: Committed Goals (Sticking to the regime and not deviating from the plan) and Aspirational Goals (Thinking outside the box and achieving the unexpected). Understanding the difference between Aspirational Goals vs Committed Goals will help you explain better to your company and use the methodology to motivate the team and nurture results-driven culture. 

Let’s now dive deep into the world of OKRs and understand which is more suitable for you. 

Before having a look at the difference between Aspirational OKRs vs Committed OKRs, We need to understand OKR first to get to a conclusion.  

What is OKR? 

The objective and key results (aka OKRs) framework is used for defining measurable goals and tracking their progress. A goal-setting framework with indicators and metrics to help ensure that the business is moving in the right direction, OKR is a potent yet easy-to-master tool. It not only assists you in achieving your main objectives but also assesses the performance of your team and informs you of the level of employee engagement. Since OKRs are very transparent, it allows an ease of alignment among the team to accomplish the end objective.  

Your team’s capabilities will be stretched by ambitious OKRs. However, the organization and occasionally the team using them will determine how far to stretch them. It may be useful to understand the distinction between Committed OKRs and Aspirational OKRs otherwise called Moon Shots or Roof Shots, two popular categories of stretch goals, in order to avoid misunderstandings.  

But why do we call them Moon shots and Roof Shots? Let us find below a brief description. 

What are Aspirational OKRs? 

To aspire, To have a vision, To innovate new ideas, and travel outside the box to achieve those audacious goals of your company can opt for Aspirational OKRs as your primary OKR. Aspirational OKRs should be set with high bars where they are loft and ambitious goals where 100% completion is likely impossible. Achieving these OKRs can lead to huge success for your organization but the risk of failing is high also in this outcome. Aspirational OKRs are also called moonshots as the term implies, it’s about aiming high. When the company chooses to opt for Aspirational, the company must be ready to think and innovate new ideas and test out new waters and must not be worried about failing. Most of the time the team may not achieve 100% of the objective but the outcome it brings will be helpful for the organization moving towards a greater objective. Aspirational OKRs are usually chosen by companies, and teams who are aware of and have been using OKRs. 

Advantages and disadvantages of using Aspirational OKRs: 

  1. Aspirational goals often help teams make steady progress over time toward a seemingly impossible goal. 
  2. Rather than following the same path, Aspirational goals make a new path for innovative ideas to reach those goals. 
  3. By setting a bar high, the employees and teams are motivated to think bigger and achieve more together. 

What are Committed OKRs? 

Following the path to achieving set by the organization and having a predefined way to achieve is another term for Committed OKRs. Committed goals are the ones that your team knows how to achieve so they fully commit to attaining 100% on the progress bar. Committed OKRs are also called roof shots implying achieving the predefined objective is enough. The team is expected to achieve 100% results at the end of the quarter. It stretches the team but the goals are realistic and all the key results and metrics must be met fully and on time. Companies that are new in the field of OKRs are companies who think achieving the desired result is enough are the ones who opt for Committed ORKs. Committed OKRs ensure teams focus on priorities where there is less room for failure. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Committed OKRs: 

  1. The way to attain the desired objectives is made clear by the organization when choosing Committed OKRs. 
  2. The desired result of 100% is always attainable.