Weekly goals tracking is one way to help projects run more smoothly. It can be a great way to help achieve your goals by breaking larger challenges down into more bite-sized goals that are easier to achieve and measure.
This short article introduces the concept of weekly goals in the context of project management and everyday life, to help you appreciate how they can help you manage your projects more effectively.
Additional reading: 16 Best Task Tracker Software 2023
What are weekly goals?
Weekly goals are a very useful tool in project management to break larger and more complex projects into smaller, more achievable goals. One example of this in everyday life would be having a large-scale goal of buying your first house. This goal typically takes years, so it makes sense to break it into smaller parts – saving money on a monthly basis, researching the local real estate market, or working out what your needs are for a house.
In the world of project management, weekly goals are a way of setting short-term, concrete, and achievable goals. This makes it easier to manage the project as well as providing you with a sense of achievement on a weekly basis.
Why is it worth tracking weekly goals?
Without tracking progress on goals, it’s hard to know how the overall project is progressing. Tracking weekly goals is, therefore, a great way of keeping track of progress, uncovering issues, and resolving those issues before they can derail a project.
Weekly goals are good to track specifically because a week is a long enough period to carry out tasks and make significant progress, but short enough that you can make changes and identify issues before they become major problems.
How to track weekly goals
There are different ways to track weekly goals and different kinds of weekly goals to track. The OKR technique is one approach. It consists of coming up with an objective. Each objective then consists of 3-5 key results. The Objective and Key Results are where the OKR acronym comes from.
The team then breaks down the key results into actionable tasks and aims to complete them during the set timeframe – in this case, a certain chunk each week.
Another approach to tracking weekly goals is called NCT which stands for Narrative, Commitments, and Tasks. In this approach, the team writes a short description of what it wants to achieve – the narrative – and then comes up with 3 – 5 objectively verifiable commitments which they commit to achieving. The team then tries to come up with tasks that would help achieve the commitments.
Below you can see how an NCT weekly goal template looks in Temahood.
The third option teams may choose to work and track weekly goals is by working in Agile Sprints or Kanban iterations. This way, the team chooses which tasks are pulled from the prioritized backlog and committed to being completed during the week. Then, at the end of the week, the team holds a review meeting, discussing what went right, and wrong, and what they should do better at in future Sprints.
Here is a weekly goal tracking example using Sprints in Teamhood.
The point is, there are multiple approaches a team can take for tracking weekly goals. The key is to research some options and then choose the one that works best for you. Even if you are working with projects that have larger cycles, introducing weekly goal tracking can help bring visibility and a better understanding of the progress.
It may be best to keep it simple, in which case the most common model of setting and tracking goals is the trusty old SMART framework, which means you have to come up with goals that are:
- Specific – the goal must be clear
- Measurable – the weekly goals should give tangible results
- Relevant – a weekly goal should make sense in the context of the broader project or the strategic goals of the business
Weekly goals examples
There are lots of examples of weekly goals. A marketing department might want to launch a new smartphone onto the market. This is a massive undertaking, so it makes sense to break down the marketing campaign into weekly goals, as follows:
- Week 1:
- Define the value proposition
- Get photos taken of the product
- Week 2:
- Get the Design team to mock up product web pages and social media images
- Set up an email campaign to existing customer segments
And so on.
Of course, the goals themselves are flexible, depending on what is realistic to achieve with the time and resources you have available. This flexibility is one of the strengths of the weekly goals-tracking approach.
Here are some more examples of weekly goals to achieve longer-term objectives:
Career goal: get a promotion at work
- Make sure to meet all deadlines
- Volunteer for extra tasks
- Sign up for a training course to upskill
- Network with others in your industry
Financial goal: save money for a deposit on a house
- Research savings accounts with the highest rates
- Open a savings account
- Work out how much of your weekly or monthly salary you can save after paying your financial commitments
- Set up a direct debit to save that amount automatically from your checking/current account
- Make an expenses diary that tracks all spending, and work out which spending you can do without
- Consider getting a second job or setting up a source of passive income
Health and fitness goals:
- Get a minimum of seven hours sleep per night
- Drink eight glasses of water per day
- Eat 30 different plant-based foods per week
- Go to the gym once a week (or increase to twice per week, or three times a week)
- Walk a minimum number of steps every day – and track progress using a wearable device
- Cook dinner at home from scratch every night
- Cut out all sugary and carbonated drinks from your diet
These are all examples of how to take large, longer-term goals and break them down into more manageable, practical goals whose progress is easier to measure.
Using a goal-tracking tool
We hope you’ve found this a useful introduction to the benefits, mindset, and techniques of weekly goal tracking. But thinking about how this can benefit you is just the start. If you’re interested in choosing a goal-tracking software that can help you manage your projects more effectively, check out our comparison blog:
Or take a look at some Kanban Board OKR templates in Teamhood:
Passionate content marketer looking to bring better solutions to the project management space.
2020 - Present Marketing specialist at Teamhood.
2014 - 2020 Marketing manager for Eylean.