What is Aggregated Progress
Aggregated Progress is the average progress of all sub-objectives that are aligned to a particular higher-level Objective.
It's an important metric because it allows you to:
- Easily track the cumulative progress of the OKRs in your organization in real time
- Identify which Objectives and Key Results are lagging behind
- Analyze what causes the OKR progression to not develop through the session as planned
- Realize how well the supporting objective benefits the main one
Aggregated Progress Basics
Before diving into the Aggregated Progress calculation, it's important to identify a few OKR methodology basics that are related to the topic as well.
To make things more visual, let's use a standard OKR tree. We'll deep dive into the Aggregated Progress and all associated terms and calculations.
From the image above, we can easily identify what the total number of the Objectives is (Hint: it's 9). These are Increase first response speed (1), Improve satisfaction with support (2), Improve performance of support team (3), Improve technological infrastructure (4), Research and improve customer satisfaction (5), Improve intervention process (6), Improve annual budgeting process (7), Improve employee experience and satisfaction level (8), Make company profitable (9).
Also, in the provided image, all the child-parent Objective alignments are being visualized. Based on that, we can infer that all the objectives in this example are aligned to the Make company profitable Objective.
How is that relevant to the Aggregated Progress concept and the way it's been calculated? The answer is simple: identifying the total number of Objectives and their alignment is crucial for understanding how Aggregated Progress is being defined and calculated.
It's important to remember that Aggregated Progress is the average progress of all the sub-objectives that are aligned to an Objective! Having said that, although the total number of the Objectives in this example is 9, the total number of assigned objectives to the "Make company profitable objective" is 8. The objective attainment of the "Make company profitable" is not included when calculating its Aggregated Progress!
At this point, this might sound a bit illogical and misleading. However, below, we'll provide a detailed calculation example that will clear all doubts and questions out.
Aggregated Progress Terms Definition
Now, after we have identified all the Objectives and their alignment, let's identify a few basic terms for additional clarifying purposes.
- Key Result Attainment = that is the progress (shown as a %) of an individual Key Result assigned to a specific Objective.
Key Results progress can be manually or dynamically set. Read the respective articles to learn more about it.
- Objective Attainment = that is the average of all the Key Results attainment assigned only to it. It is calculated by summing up the KR progress and dividing it by the total number of the assigned Key Results.
Example: let's calculate the Objective attainment of the "Improve performance of support team" Objective.
The total number of this objective's Key Results is 3 (Survey support team for perceived bottlenecks, Increase customer satisfaction rate to 9, Decrease the time to resolution rate). The sum of all of its Key Results is 149% (0% + 89% + 60%). Thus, the Objective Attainment is 50% (49.6666 to be more exact). We calculated this by dividing the sum of the KR attainment by the total number of KRs being assigned to this objective (149%/3 = ~50%).
- Aggregated progress = the average progress of all the sub-objectives that are aligned to an Objective. The Aggregated Progress is, therefore, calculated by summing up all the sub-objectives' attainment divided by the total number of the associated Objectives.
Example: let's calculate the Aggregated Progress of the "Research and improve customer satisfaction Objective (Aggregated Progress 2 example in the picture above)".
The total number of aligned Objectives is 4 (Increase first response speed, Improve satisfaction with support, Improve performance of support team, Improve technological infrastructure). The sum of all the associated sub-objectives is 138% (58% + 50% + 30% + 0%). Thus, the Aggregated Progress of the "Research and improve customer satisfaction" objective is 34% (138%/4).
Note: KR Attainment, Objective Attainment, and Aggregated Progress are three different terms. However, they're directly co-related and used interdependently.
Aggregated Progress: Basic calculation example
Calculating Aggregated Progress of the "Make company profitable" objective.
We already know that the number of all the aligned objectives in this particular example is 8. We only need to calculate the sum of all the Objectives' attainment in order to find out be able to calculate the Aggregated Progress for "Make company profitable".
The sum of all the objectives' attainment in this example is 220% (0% + 30% + 50% + 58% + 82% + 0% + 0% + 0%). Thus, the "Make company profitable" objective's Aggregated Progress is 27% (220%/8).
Notes on using Aggregated Progress
Aggregated Progress metric should be used as an indicator of anomalies and a learning tool.
There is no guarantee that the excellent execution of child objectives will result in the same type of execution for the parent objective. In that case, one should inspect the possible causes. Many times, child objectives are just not as helpful as one has thought in supporting the parent objective.
In addition to this, when both individual and aggregate progress are low, one should examine the causes of this. Typically, in practice, this signals that the team has switched/lost focus which could be fine if it is intentional.
5 Takeaways from this article
- Aggregated Progress and Aggregated Attainment (as rarely seen) mean exactly the same thing!
- Aggregated Progress is applied only to a specific session! Having said that, the aggregated progress for Q1 2019 and the aggregated progress for Q2 2019 are not directly related to each other. In addition, the aggregated progress of Q1 2019, let's just say, DOES NOT affect the aggregated progress in Q2 2019 at all.
- Remember that Aggregated Progress is the average progress of all the sub-objectives that are aligned to an Objective. It's calculated by summing all the aligned Objectives Attainment divided by the total number of all the Objectives!
- Although Key Results attainment, Objective attainment, and Aggregated progress/attainment are all different terms, they're being used in a direct correlation.
- So that the Aggregated Progress concept is properly understood, its associated key terms (Key Result Attainment and Objective Attainment) must also be understood properly.