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:
- Aspirational goals often help teams make steady progress over time toward a seemingly impossible goal.
- Rather than following the same path, Aspirational goals make a new path for innovative ideas to reach those goals.
- 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:
- The way to attain the desired objectives is made clear by the organization when choosing Committed OKRs.
- The desired result of 100% is always attainable.
- Employees often don’t push themselves when the objectives are met in Committed OKRs.
Few Examples of Committed OKRs and Aspirational OKRs:
For example, a sales team committed to OKR might be:
KR1: Close first 6 enterprise customers
KR2: Achieve sales average from lead to closed of 27 days
KR3: 15% increase in Q1 revenue for the Asian Market
To make it Aspirational we could make it look like this:
KR1: Get 15 big customers to change over to our product over competitors
KR2: Achieve sales circle average from leads to closed of 15 days
KR3: 30% increase of Q1 revenue for the Asian Market
Key Difference between Committed Goals and Aspirational Goals:
How to decide between committed OKRs and aspirational OKRs?
If your organization is just introducing the framework or is still in the rolling-out phase, committed OKRs will work best.
Your team’s motivation and engagement will increase as each goal is accomplished. Additionally, teams quickly develop the habit of using committed OKRs and incorporate them into their workplace culture.
However, if you have previously used the framework, aspirational OKRs can work wonders for you.
It takes time to establish a result-driven workplace culture. It calls for perseverance, discipline, and a change in management and employee perspectives. So you ought to start out easy and concentrate on mastering the methodology first and put in place the procedures required to make it function.
Your teams would feel overworked and under pressure if you set aspirational OKRs right away. Key Results that are overly ambitious quickly become overwhelming.
A new methodology requires time to learn. You can take into account aspirational OKRs once your teams have grown accustomed to the framework and it has a place in their daily work lives.
How to grade committed vs. aspirational OKRs for your organization
An OKR’s grade is simply the average of the scores of its Key Results. Grading brings a key difference between Committed OKRs and Aspirational OKRs.
In committed OKRs, the objectives are predefined by the organization and the results are always attained 100% which is a success.
But when coming to Aspirational OKRs the grading system is a lit bit dazed. Since the aspirational goals are audacious goals, the objectives are not attained. A team achieving above 60% is considered as success in aspirational goals.
Choosing between a Committed OKRs and an Aspirational OKR largely depends on you, your team, and what your organization wants to achieve. Both have their own use cases and work well together. Both OKRs have their advantages and disadvantages, but choosing the right one to achieve your objectives highly depends on you.
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