An Online Workspace for OKR, Projects and Tasks

Caglar Ekim

The power of Workiom comes from not only being able to create various apps for managing specific functions but also being able to connect these apps into a unified workspace. As an example of how Workiom can be used in almost any department of a company, we will conceptualise a workflow where teams can manage their tasks, projects and quarterly goals in a connected manner. We will use the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) framework to define quarterly goals and key results to achieve these goals. Then we will link our projects and tasks to these key results to unify the strategy and purpose of every action to a high level plan. Also we will link tasks and projects to each other, so that we can follow the progress of each project with the tasks linked to it. 


So we will start with creating 3 apps; OKR, Project Management and Task Management. Then we will start customizing them by adding lists, adding fields and linking them to each other. Let’s define the process by steps to better understand: 



Step-1: Creating Apps and Lists


We will plan and create all the lists beforehand to be able to link them when we start working on the fields. Here is our planned lists:


OKR

  • Objectives: High level objectives for each department and each quarter.
  • Key Results: The related results that are required to achieve each objective.
  • Quarters: Making quarters a separate list and linking it to objectives makes it easier than using static lists because the number will increase as the time passes by. 
  • Departments: Also tracking the departments in separate lists will enable us to have more flexibility. (rather than having a static list field) 


Project Management

  • Projects: Main list for listing all projects and their details
  • Meetings: A calendar of meetings linked to each project
  • Files: A file organisation system to manage project-related files


Task Management

  • Tasks: Main list for listing all tasks and their details
  • Time Tracking: A time tracking system to manage time-spent for each task



Step-2: Adding the fields for each list


Now we will need to go list-by-list to add all the information fields we want to track. We will use different field types and explain the reasons for specific configurations. We will also create Linked Lists for connecting all 3 apps. We will have projects and tasks that are linked with each Key Result. We will also have tasks that are linked with projects.

Here is the list of fields for our example use case. Feel free to add other fields or remove the fields you find unnecessary.


OKR - Objectives:

  • Objective : text field, the title of the objective. Automatically created as ‘name’, we can change it. 
  • Department : linked list, linked to the departments list, no need to select ‘Allow Multiple’ because each objective should be owned by one department.
  • Quarter : linked list, linked to the quarters list, we can select ‘Allow Multiple’ if an objective may possibly cover 2 or more quarters. 
  • Key Results : linked list, linked to the key results list, we need to select ‘Allow Multiple’ because each objective will have more than one key result. 
  • ** Score : we will create this field later, after we created ‘score’ field for Key Results. We will create a rollup field, choosing ‘Key Results’ as the linked list, ‘Score’ as the rollup field and ‘Average’ as the operator. So that this field will show the average score of all related key results. 

OKR - Key Results:

  • Key Result : text field, the title of the key result. Automatically created as ‘name’, we can change it. 
  • Objective : linked list, automatically created when we linked objectives to key results. We may edit the name for a better look. 
  • Department : lookup field, we should select objectives list and ‘Department’ field.
  • Quarter : lookup field, selecting objectives list and 'Quarter' field.
  • Owner : user field, the responsible person for each key result
  • Status : static list with options; ‘New’, ‘On Track’, ‘Behind’, ‘At Risk’, ‘Done’, ‘Failed’. We can choose ‘New’ as default value for new records. 
  • Target Date : date field, it may be the end of the quarter or earlier according to the context. 
  • Score : currency field, we can choose number field or currency field without selecting a currency icon. We will track the progress of the key result by updating the score between 0 and 100.
  • Projects : linked list, we will create a link with the external app ‘Project Management’ and select the ‘Projects’ list to link with. We will select ‘Allow Multiple’ because there might be more than one project for each key result. 
  • Tasks : linked list, linked to the Tasks lists within the Task Management app. A task may be either directly linked to a key result or it may be part of a project. This field is used in case the task is not part of a project and linked directly. 

OKR - Departments: 

  • Department : text field, the name of the department
  • Objectives : linked list, created automatically upon the linking objectives list to departments. 

OKR - Quarters:

  • Quarter : text field, we can create a structure like ‘2021 Q1’, ‘2021 Q2’ ... 
  • Objectives : linked list, created automatically upon linking the objectives list with quarters. 


Project Management - Projects

  • Project Name : text field
  • Description : text field, multi line option is selected because we want the description to be long and informative. 
  • Tasks : linked lists, linked with tasks list in Task Management app. We should activate ‘Allow Multiple’ because each project can have more than one task. 
  • Stage : static list, we will add the stages for our projects. You may change the stages according to the flow of your typical project. We add ‘Not Started’, ‘Planning’, ‘Execution’, ‘Control’, ‘Completed’. 
  • Start Date : date field, we are not selecting ‘Add Time’, because we only need the day the project starts. 
  • End Date : date field, again we don’t need to select ‘Add Time’ option. 
  • OKR Key Result : linked list, this is automatically created when we linked Key Results to Projects.
  • Meetings : linked list, linked to the Meetings list so that we can add project-related meetings.
  • Files : linked list, linked to the Files list. Alternatively we can add a new file field to directly add files in this list. 

Project Management - Meetings

  • Meeting Name : text field
  • Project : linked list, automatically created when we linked projects to meetings. 
  • Date & Time : date field, we also select ‘Add Time’ because it is important for the meeting use case. 
  • Details : text field, Multi Line enabled. 
  • Meeting Notes : text field, Multi Line enabled

Project Management - Files

  • File Name : text field
  • File : file field
  • Explanation : text field, multi line. 
  • Project : linked list, automatically created when we linked projects to files.


Task Management - Tasks

  • Task Name : text field
  • Status : static list, with steps ‘New’, ‘Planned’, ‘In-progress’, ‘Pending’, ‘Done’, ‘Blocked’
  • Explanation : text field, multi line
  • Responsible : user field
  • Due Date : date field
  • Priority : static list, with options ‘Low’, ‘Medium’, ‘High’. We can also add color codes that represent the urgency level. 
  • Project : linked list, automatically created when we linked projects to tasks
  • OKR Key Result : linked list, automatically created when we linked Key Results to Tasks 
  • Files : file field, to add task-related files.
  • Time Tracking : linked list, linked to Time Tracking list. 
  • **Total Time Spent : rollup field, we will add this field after we created Time Tracking list’s fields. We will select ‘Duration’ field and ‘Sum’ operator for the rollup.

Task Management - Time Tracking

  • Name - formula, text field. We can add the task name and Duration of the tracking record. 
  • Task - linked list, automatically created when we linked tasks to time tracking. 
  • Start - date field, with time
  • End - date field, with time
  • Duration (Min) - number field, alternatively you can choose to create a formula for calculating automatically from start and end times. But I prefer to add manually in case I want to skip the start, end times to add the duration directly. 
  • Person - lookup field, taken from the linked task’s ‘Responsible’ field.


Now we have completed adding the fields. We can start populating data and see the workflow in use. There are sooo many things that can be added to these apps. We can add reports, automations, integrations with external tools, such as time tracking plugins. We will enhance it by adding some automations and reports as examples but keep in mind that you can get creative here and brainstorm about your own workflow, what kinds of automations you can implement or what metrics you would like to track… 



Step-3 : Creating New Views

Views offer different perspectives to look at our data. Both as the visualisation of data and as the scope of it by using filters. Workiom offers 3 views; Table, Board, Calendar. The default view is Table view for all the lists we created. Now we will add new views and use filters with them. There is no limit to the number of views you can create. We will show a few examples of different approaches to creating new views. 


Adding Kanban Boards for Status Tracking:

  • OKR - Key Results : “Status”
  • Project Management - Projects : “Stage”
  • Task Management - Tasks : “Status”



Adding Calendars to Show Due Dates and Timetables:

  • OKR - Key Results : “Target Date”, colored by “Status”
  • Project Management - Projects : “Start Date” and “End Date”, colored by “Stage”
  • Project Management - Meetings : “Date & Time”
  • Task Management - Tasks : “Due Date”, colored by “Status”


Examples for New Views with Filters: 

In order to create new views that show filtered versions of our lists, we will first create the view type, then apply the filters. 

  • Table View that only shows Key Results for 2021 - Q1
  • Table View that only shows Projects which are linked to a specific Key Result
  • Board View that only shows the Tasks assigned to the user

Step-4 : Creating Reports

Let’s create a few reports to get an understanding of the reporting feature and dashboards in Workiom. Every application has its own dashboard and we can add various reports using the lists’ data. Reports reflect the access permissions of the data, which means if someone does not have access to certain lists, they cannot view the related reports. 


There are 5 visualisation options for reports; summary, bar chart, pie chart, stacked bar chart and table. To read more about reports, you can check out the knowledge base articles here. Here are a few examples for what we can create: 


2021 Q1 - Key Results (number of results per status) 

We created a bar chart that shows the number of key results for each status. We applied a filter to only show the key results for 2021 Q1.


Key Results Report
Configuration

# of Late Tasks

We created a simple summary report to monitor the number of tasks with past due date and where the status is not ‘Done’.

# of late tasks

Step-5 : Automating the Workflow

Automation is a deep topic where many things are possible. For the purpose of this post, we will give 2 example automation rules and leave the rest for your imagination. (plus the passion for productivity)

Kickoff Meeting Automation

Our first example is to plan a Kick-off Meeting for every new project. We will choose 'Record Created' in the Projects list as the trigger for our automation and 'Create Record' in Meetings list as the action. We will map the fields of the newly created meeting as shown below. The date for the meeting will be the start date from the project.

Due Date Reminder Automation

Our second example for the automations is about reminders. We will create a reminder notification for the tasks to remind the assignee there is a due date coming in 2 days. So, we will choose 'Time Trigger' as the trigger type and 'Notify User' as the action type. We will add some dynamic content to the notification text, so that the user can get more informatioç

Setting the time trigger
Adding dynamic content

Step-6 : Invite Your Team

Now that we have a fully functioning workspace, we can invite our team member to start collaborating with them. You can have a brainstorming session to further customize your workspace:

  • new ideas for views and filters
  • ideas to create a smart notification system in which no one is missing a single deadline
  • list of performance metrics to track with the reports
  • sensitive data that requires limited access permissions
  • other functions that you can add to your connected, unified workspace

Remember that you can always get in touch with Workiom's support team for further customization needs.

Here is how to invite your team to your workspace:

  • On the left side bar, click on 'Settings' and then 'Users'
  • Click on 'Create New User' on top right corner
  • Fill the necessary information and click on 'Save'