**In this article:**

1. What Are Outcomes?

2. Mapping the OKR Terminology to Businessmap

3. How to Create an Outcome?

4. How to Edit an Outcome?

4.1. How to edit an Outcome’s custom field settings?

4.2. How to edit an Outcome's Outcome Rule

4.3. Moving initiatives with Outcomes across different boards

5. The Outcome Options

5.1. Closed Initiative Outcome Options

5.2. Open Initiative Outcome Options

6. How to Update the Current Value of an Outcome?

7. Adding a Historic Outcome Value

8. Types of Outcomes and Corresponding OKR Examples

8.1. Decrease Outcomes

8.2. “Keep Below” Outcomes*

8.3. “Increase” Outcomes

8.4. “Keep Above” Outcomes*

9. What Do the Outcome Colors Indicate?

10. Outcome Trend Window

10.1. Outcome Trend Graph

10.2. Outcome Checkpoints

11. Outcomes and Templates

**1. What Are Outcomes?**

The Outcomes feature allows you to implement the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) framework or track goals in general, regardless of the actual approach. Historically, Businessmap has been a valuable tool to help you track the progress of work. Now we make it possible to also track whether this work brings you the results you were planning to get.

**2. Mapping the OKR Terminology to Businessmap**

### Objectives = Initiatives

Surprisingly or not, we have always had the notion of Objectives in Businessmap. These are the initiatives that you know so well. So, if you want to create an objective, just create an initiative.

### Key Results = Outcomes

If we assume that a given initiative represents an objective, we can think of the Outcomes as its key results. All outcomes live under a section at the top of the initiative details, labeled “**Define desired measurable outcomes**.”

**3. How to Create an Outcome?**

**Important:**

- An outcome must always be attached to a
**custom field**of type Number or an**Outcome rule*** - The current value of the outcome is the same as the value of the custom field
- Changing the current value will change the value of the custom field and vice versa

***** This refers to **Outcome Rules** (short for Calculated Outcome Value rules). To get an in-depth understanding of what they are and how to configure them, please check our dedicated Outcome rules guide.

To create an Outcome, select the desired initiative, and open the Outcomes window by clicking on the area just below the menu, pictured in the image below.

The following modal window will show up:

Go through fields 1 to 7 and fill in the corresponding data:

**(1)** **Create a new outcome** by:

- selecting an existing Custom field (that is of type Number)
- creating a new Custom field
- selecting an existing Outcome rule
***** - creating a new Outcome rule
*****

***** This refers to **Outcome rules**.

**(2)**** Set Current Value **— This is the value of the outcome at this specific moment in time. Setting the current value of an outcome is equivalent to setting the value of the corresponding custom field. For Outcome rules, the current value is calculated automatically and cannot be edited from this window.

**(3)** **Summary** — Write down a summary of the Outcome in the corresponding field in order to outline the goal more specifically.

**(4)**** Starting Value** — The value that the outcome starts out with (0% complete). This is the value that the progress of the Outcome is measured against.

**(5)** **Target Value** — The value of the outcome that you want to achieve and by reaching it, you would consider the Outcome fulfilled.

**(6)**** Operator** — This field has 2 possible values: or more/or less. This operator defines if your desired result should go above or below the Target Value.

**(7)**** Weight** — This value indicates how important this outcome is in relation to the other outcomes in the initiative (if any). Note that the weight is not a percentage. It's just a number, which will be compared relatively to the rest of the weight parameters (in the case of multiple outcomes per initiative).

**Important:** The progress of the outcome is calculated by comparing the Current Value field with the Starting Value and the Target Value. The possible values are between 0% and 999%.

**4. How to Edit an Outcome?**

### 4.1. How to edit an Outcome’s custom field settings?

When you're in the process of creating an outcome and decide that you want to modify the custom field that will be used for this outcome, you will be able to make the desired changes directly from the selection window.

When selecting a custom field for an Outcome, you will see a pencil icon next to it. Clicking on the icon will take you to a window where you can edit the custom field on a Board Level.

If you need to edit the custom field on a Global level (for example if you want to change the name of the custom field) you will have to click on the link in the disclaimer at the top of the window. This will take you to the setting of the Custom Filed on a Global level.

### 4.2. How to edit an Outcome's Outcome Rule

Similarly to how you would edit an Outcome's custom field, you can modify an Outcome rule from the “associated field/outcome rule” dropdown and clicking on the pencil icon next to the rule.

Please refer to our Outcome rules article for a step-by-step guide.

### 4.3. Moving initiatives with Outcomes across different boards

When you are moving an initiative from one board to another, the system will display a warning message (see image below) if a custom field that is part of the initiative's Outcomes is not added to the new board. You can add custom fields from the **Custom fields** section in the Board Sidebar.

**5. The Outcome Options**

### 5.1. Closed Initiative Outcome Options

You can open a visualization of an Initiative's Outcomes by clicking on the target icon in the top-right corner. Furthermore, from this window, you can filter the board by each Outcome to visualize only other initiatives with the same outcome.

### 5.2. Open Initiative Outcome Options

Once you have saved an Outcome, you can access the following functions from the three dots menu on the right side — **(1)** **Edit**, **(2)** **Values**, **(3)** **Trend**, **(4)** **History**, and **(5)** **Delete**.

**(1)** **Edit** — Allows you to edit all outcome properties, including the initially selected custom field.

**(2)** **Values** — This function lets you add/edit/delete historical data for the outcome’s values. This can be used for correcting wrong entries and creating historical data for the outcome. Watch this short video on how to edit an Outcome's historical data for a step-by-step walkthrough.

**Important: **The timezone used for entering values for the Outcomes is the one configured in the Businessmap account, as opposed to the one configured on the individual user's operating system. If those timezones are different, there may be an error where an Outcome Value may fail to be saved because it is "in the future" according to the timezone in Businessmap.

**(3)** **Trend** — Here you can open the Trend window to see past outcome values plotted on a graph, as well as future projections in some cases.

**(4)** **History **— This is the history log of all changes made to the Outcome, including the time it was created, current value changes, and adding/editing checkpoints.

**Note:** You have to update the initiative details/save changes to delete the Outcome successfully. If you choose not to do so, the Outcome will not be deleted.

**6. How to Update the Current Value of an Outcome?**

The current value of Outcomes is directly tied to the value of the Custom field it tracks. Each change in the value is recorded and used to create the trends chart.

To update the current value of an outcome, do one of the following (the two actions are identical):

Click on the value itself and type in the new value:

Update the corresponding custom field:

**Notes**:

- This does not apply to Outcomes that use Outcome rules. They calculate the current value automatically through the
**Enforce recalculation**function. - Updating the outcome's value will update the corresponding custom field and vice versa.
- Click on
**Update card**to save the changes, so the Outcome tracker icon and the corresponding custom field can be updated with the new values.

**7. Adding a Historic Outcome Value**

You can open the Outcome Values Menu to add historic Outcome values.

From the Outcome Values menu, you can create as many historic values as needed.

**Important:**

- You
**cannot**add a new outcome value for a future date.

You**can**edit or delete all outcome values. You can also change the time of each entry. In certain cases, you will be warned with a pop-up about how a change will affect the other outcomes and the custom field value if you make such a change.

**8. Types of Outcomes and Corresponding OKR Examples**

There are four types of Outcomes in Businessmap:

### 1. Decrease Outcomes

**“Decrease” Outcomes**, where the Target Value is lower than the Starting Value and the operator is "or less."

For Example: Decrease Cost per lead from **$5**** ****starting value** to **$****3.5 ****target value** (currently **$****4.20 ****current value**)

### 2. “Keep Below” Outcomes*****

**“Keep Below” Outcomes**, where the Target Value is higher than the Starting Value, and the operator is "or less." This type of Outcome has only 2 states -true (100%) or false (0%).

For example: Starting from **4.5% ****starting value**, keep Churn Rate below** 5% ****target value** (currently** 3% ****current value**)

### 3. “Increase” Outcomes

**“Increase” Outcomes**, where the Target Value is higher than the Starting Value and the operator is "or more."

For Example: Increase MMR from** $4k** **starting value** to **$9.5****k** **target value** (currently **$8.95****k ****current value**)

### 4. “Keep Above” Outcomes*****

“**Keep Above” Outcomes**, where the Target Value is smaller than the Starting Value and the operator is "or more." This type of Outcome has only 2 states -true (100%) or false (0%).

For Example: Starting from **58 ****starting value**, keep NPS above** 50 ****target value** (currently **48 ****current value**)

*** Projected values for Outcomes of the 'Keep above/below' type:**

When drawing a projection until the target value, the dates that come after the date of the target value are ignored. This projection only extends up to the date of the target value. If the projection exists, it will end on the date the outcome will be fulfilled. If the value has always been above/below the target, meaning the outcome has always been fulfilled, the projection will not be drawn. If there's no target date, the baseline will be drawn 30 days into the future.

**9. What Do the Outcome Colors Indicate?**

### Setting the Initiative's deadline

If you add a deadline to your initiative, the predictions for the completion of the outcomes will be calculated with the deadline in mind. Additionally, adding a deadline to your initiative will enable the colors on the outcome tracker, which will indicate if you are on target with the outcome progress or not.

Outcomes only get colored when the initiative they are a part of has a **Target Date** (Deadline or Planned End Date) and has been started (moved to the “In Progress” section, i.e., has an (Actual) Start Date).

### Outcome colors

**Purple (Completed)**- the outcome is fulfilled at 100% (or more).**Deep Green****(On Track)**- the outcome is between 90% and 100% fulfilled OR the actual Outcome progress is higher than or equal to the expected Outcome progress.**Light Green (Trending)**- the outcome progress is between 70% and 90% OR the difference between the expected and actual progress is between 0.1% and 15% OR the deadline/planned end date or the date of the most recently passed checkpoint is in the past and the actual progress is between 70 and 90%.**Orange (Off-track)**- the outcome is less than 70% fulfilled OR the difference between the expected progress (based on the Target Date) and the actual progress of the outcome is between 15.1% and 30% OR the deadline/planned end date or the date of the most recently passed checkpoint is in the past and the actual progress is higher than or equal to 50%.**Red (At risk)**- the difference between the expected progress (based on the Target Date) and the actual progress of the outcome is higher than 30.1% OR the deadline/planned end date or the date of the most recently passed checkpoint is in the past and the actual progress is lower than 50%.**Grey/No color**- the outcome progress is below 89.99% and the Initiative does not have a deadline or planned end date, or any checkpoints.

### Outcomes of type “keep above/below”

As mentioned above, outcomes of type keep above/below have 2 states - true (100%) or false (0%). Due to this, colors for such outcomes' statuses would either be Purple (Reached - 100%) or Red (At risk - 0%).

### Additional factors that affect Outcome colors

While the above are the general guidelines for the way the Outcome Tracker uses color to display the progress of the Outcome, the following things can affect the calculations behind it as well:

- Historical Current Values entered before the Initiative was created/before it entered the “In Progress” section (or was started for Timeline Initiatives)
- When the first Current Value is added to the initiative after its Start Date. E.g., the initiative has been started, but the first Current Value is added 1 week after the start date. The projection and Outcome Tracker calculations will be calculated based on the time this first Current Value was added instead of the start date of the initiative.

**10. Outcome Trend Window**

You can access the Outcome Trend graph by clicking on the Outcome tracker.

There are two things of note here: the Graph visualization and the Outcome Checkpoints.

### 10.1. Outcome Trend Graph

Every outcome trend graph has a **Baseline**. The baseline is the line that connects the starting value and the target value of an Outcome. It should serve as a guideline and keep you on track toward the completion of your target.

In addition to that, there are 5 possible lines on the Trend graph that can be visualized in different scenarios:

**(1) Actual**— This is the line that visualizes all values of the outcome through time. It is always present if you have at least one value that has been added to the Outcome.**Note:**The data for this line is accumulated daily, and if there are two values recorded on the same day, the one recorded later in the day will be displayed. If no value has been added on a particular day, the value from the previous day is used.**(2)****Projection until Deadline**— This is a projection of the outcome progress and the expected outcome value up until and on the initiative's Deadline.**(3)****Projection until Planned End Date**— This is a projection of the outcome progress and the expected outcome value up until and on the Planned End Date of the initiative.**(4)****Projection until Target Value**— This is a projection about how much time it would take for the Outcome to reach the Target Value. The projection will be shown if the trend direction is towards the target and if the target value can be reached within the set time frame (based on the Deadline or Planned End Date).**(5)****30-day projection**— If there is no set Target Date on the initiative, you will be able to see a 30-day projection of the Outcome value.

There may be no projection available in this window if the Outcome doesn’t have a Current Value.

**The projection line is calculated using the Least Squares method (the same that Excel uses when you extend a numeric row). This method does not account for seasonality in the data.**

**Note: **You can modify your outcome values and/or details directly from the Outcome Trend window.

Once you change a value from the Edit Outcome window or by entering the new values into the outcome statement at the top of the trend graph, the status (percentage) of the outcome will be automatically updated as well as the Outcome Trend graph. Every change in the current outcome value will automatically update its custom field value in the initiative, too.

**Outcome Trend Graph for Completed Outcomes**

Similar to the Initiatives and Outcomes Management Dashboard, the Outcome Trend graph will not display a projection if the target date has passed. The graph will show a projection until the target date only. The target date is the latest date between the initiative's deadline, planned end date, or a checkpoint.

### 10.2. Outcome Checkpoints

Under the Trend visualizations, you can find the **Checkpoints menu ****(1)**, where you can **add progress checkpoints ****(2)** to the graphs and **edit or delete** them **(3)**.

**Important:** The checkpoints change the baseline for the trend calculation based on the target value and date of the checkpoint.

**How to add a checkpoint**

Clicking on the “plus” sign on the left-hand side will open a window to create your checkpoint. All you have to do is add your checkpoint’s details, such as “name,” “value,” and “date.” This will plot your checkpoint with a given numeric value on a specific date across the line.

By clicking on your newly created checkpoint, you have the option to edit/delete it. Editing/deleting a checkpoint recalculates the trend graph.

Once you add checkpoints, you will notice that the baseline figure in the Outcome Trend changes. That’s because the graph recalculates the linear projection toward the checkpoint’s target value and date instead of the entire outcome. This allows you to have a more precise measurement of how you’re progressing over time toward your main goal.

**Note:** If your initiative/objective doesn’t have a deadline, the baseline’s linear projection will be visualized until the last available checkpoint.

**Checkpoints visualization and colors**

Visualization of checkpoints both in the past (before the first value date) and in the future (after the deadline/planned end date) is possible, and these would be taken into consideration when calculating the baseline trend graphs. The trend line would continue toward the last checkpoint (one in the future incl.), and the baseline would start with the first checkpoint (one before the start date incl.)

**Important:** Checkpoints aligned with the Start/Target date have a higher priority in the baseline calculation.

Outcome checkpoints' progress is visualized in a similar way to the Outcome itself:

**Purple (Reached)**- checkpoint progress is at 100% or more.**Deep Green (On track)**- checkpoint progress is between 90% and 99.9%.**Green (Trending)**- checkpoint progress is between 70% and 89.9%.**Orange (Off track)**- checkpoint progress is between 30% and 69.9%.**Red (At risk)**- checkpoint progress is at 29.9% or less.

When calculating checkpoint progress (and therefore - its color), the system takes into consideration the actual value, the last checkpoint value, and the current checkpoint value. If an actual value is missing, the starting value would be considered. If a last checkpoint value is missing, the starting value would be considered. Similarly to Outcomes, checkpoints for outcomes of type keep above/below will only have two colored statuses that represent their progress — Purple (Reached - 100%) or Red (At risk - 0%).

**The checkpoint progress formula**

Checkpoints' progress is calculated using the following formula:

**[(Current value – Start value) / (Target value – Start value)] * 100**

**Note: "**Current value" is the Outcome value at the checkpoint date.

**Practical example:**

If we use the above image as an example, let's take a look at the period between the Start date and checkpoint A:

The Current value is 50, the Start value is 0, and the Target value is 10 (checkpoint A).

Using the above formula, we have the following result:

**(50/10) * 100 = 500%** - **Purple**

Now let's take a look at the period between checkpoints A and B:

The Current value is 40, the Start value is 10 (checkpoint A), and the Target value is 41 (checkpoint B).

Using the same formula, we have the following result:

**(30/31) * 100 = ~96% **- **Deep Green**

Now let's take a look at the period between checkpoints B and C:

The Current value is 30, the Start value is 41 (checkpoint B), and the Target value is 28 (checkpoint C).

Using the formula, we have the following result:

**(-11/-13) * 100 = ~85% **-** Green**

Now let's take a look at the period between checkpoints C and D:

The Current value is 50, the Start value is 28 (checkpoint C), and the Target value is 100 (checkpoint D).

Using the formula, we have the following result:

**(22/72) * 100 = ~30% **-** Orange**

Now let's take a look at the period between checkpoints D and E:

The Current value is 50, the Start value is 100 (checkpoint D), and the Target value is 200 (checkpoint E).

Using the formula, we have the following result:

**(-50/100) * 100 = -50% **-** Red**

**Checkpoint colors for Outcomes of the “keep above/below” type**

In these Outcome types, when checkpoints are taken into account, they can distort the graph either upward or downward.

The colors of the checkpoints in the trend are as follows:

- For "keep below," if the checkpoint value is below the target value, it will always be “at risk" (red). If it's greater than or equal to the target value, it will always be “reached” (green).
- For “keep above,” if the checkpoint value is above the target value, it will always be “at risk” (red). If it's less than or equal to the target value, it will always be “reached” (green).

**11. Outcomes and Templates**

If you have a repeatable process where your goals are always the same, you could save yourself some additional clicks by embedding the outcomes in a template.

When creating a new initiative, just pick the template that was preconfigured with the outcomes, and they will be added to the initiative automatically:

**Note: **If your template contains an Outcome that has Checkpoints, the checkpoints will not be applied when you create a new initiative from this template.