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With so many different goal-setting software solutions available, figuring out which is right for your team is tough. You know you want software to help you add structure to your goal development process to help your team set, track, and achieve their goals, but you need to figure out which software is best. In this article, I'll help you make your choice easy by sharing my insights on the best goal-setting software for organizations and workplace teams.

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The 10 Best Goal Setting Software Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes basic details about each of my top goal setting software selections. You can view pricing details and the availability of free trials or demos side-by-side to help you find the best software for your budget and business needs.

Tools Price
PerformYard From $5-$10/user/month
Performance Pro From $2 to $7/employee/month
Lattice From $11/user/month
Leapsome From $8/user/month
ClearCompany Pricing upon request
Primalogik From $159/month for up to 25 users
OKR Board for Jira by Oboard Pricing upon request From $7/user/month
Quantive Results From $18/user/month
Kallidus Perform Pricing upon request
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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How to Choose a Goal-Setting Software

As you work through your own unique tool selection process, keep the following points in mind:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the challenges you're trying to overcome. This will help you clarify the features and functionality the goal-setting software needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who will use the tool and how many licenses you'll need. For goal-setting software, you'll likely want employee-level access for your entire workforce, with special access for your HR administrators and managers. Once that's clear, it's also useful to rank the needs of your different users to identify the key priorities for your power users, managers, and employees, to ensure they're all met.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as performance management software, learning management systems, or feedback collection tools. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together, or alternatively, if you can replace multiple tools with an all-in-one goal-setting software.
  • What outcomes are important - Review the capabilities you want to gain or improve, and how you will measure success. For example, you may want a tool to standardize portions of the employee goal-setting process, so everyone follows the same structure. You could compare tool features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to achieve, you could waste a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the tool selection alongside your existing workflows and systems. Evaluate what's working well, and the areas that are causing issues that need to be addressed.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Goal Setting Software

Here’s a brief description of each goal setting software to showcase each system’s noteworthy features, plus screenshots to give you a snapshot of their user interface.

Best combined performance and goal management software with continuous feedback features

  • Free demo available
  • From $5-$10/user/month
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Rating: 4.8/5

PerformYard’s performance management software integrates goal tracking with performance reviews, check-ins, and continuous feedback to create a holistic employee development experience.

Why I picked PerformYard: Their cascadable goal feature makes it possible to link goals from top-level company objectives and OKRs down to individual employee or shared team goals, broken down into more manageable parts. To ensure all elements of employee progression are transparent, their goal analytics dashboard produces clean charts and stats that are available to management and executives, as well as the individual employees themselves.

Their system is fully customizable, giving you the flexibility to provide feedback to your employees or check in on their goals whenever it works for you, including daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. You can also customize the timing of your performance review cycle too, as well as the forms and question templates that work best for your organization.

PerformYard also helps managers celebrate goal achievements either privately or publicly so all team members can witness employee progression firsthand. On top of all that, co-workers can also provide feedback to other colleagues directly too through their 360-degree feedback feature.

Integrations are available with many commonly used software systems, including, ADP, BambooHR, Gusto, Microsoft Teams, Paycom, Paylocity, Rippling, Slack, UKG Pro, and Workday.

Best for tracking goals within the performance appraisal process

  • Free demo available
  • From $2 to $7/employee/month
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Rating: 4.4/5

Performance Pro is a performance management application for small to mid-sized organizations that integrates performance management with compensation management strategies and tools. Their goal-tracking capabilities are included in their performance appraisal workflow, helping managers monitor goal progress during performance reviews.

Why I picked Performance Pro: I included Performance Pro in this list because of their focus on implementing HR best practices throughout the performance review process. I also appreciate the link between goals, performance, and merit-based salary increases which helps motivate employees to reach and exceed their goals.

Key features include tools for setting goals, conducting performance reviews, and evaluating competencies, including 360-degree feedback and development planning. The platform also provides a comprehensive library of competencies and job descriptions, along with capabilities for tracking and reporting on performance metrics.

An integration is available with Compease to help with merit-based compensation increases and planning.

Best goal-tracking software for improving strategic alignment across all levels

  • Free demo available
  • From $11/user/month
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Rating: 4.7/5

Lattice’s platform combines performance management software with goals & OKRs, and employee development features. It was designed to help people become high performers and achieve their personal goals.

Why I picked Lattice: Their software helps organizations achieve strategic alignment across all levels of staff through transparent goals that are linked to top-level business objectives. It also helps to increase employee engagement by integrating objectives into continuous processes such as 1:1’s, status updates, and performance reviews.

Key features in Lattice’s software include goal trees that break big-picture goals down into smaller components, and automated reminders that ask employees to update their goal progress periodically, as you configure it. Data is updated in real-time, giving managers and leaders a birds-eye-view of how teams are performing, including analytics and visualization tools. Their system also includes modern performance management features such as 360-degree feedback, performance review comment sentiment analysis, and custom question templates.

Integrations are available with common HRIS and HCM systems including ADP, BambooHR, Namely, Rippling, Personio, Workday, and Zenefits, as well as popular systems such as Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, and Slack, among others.

Best for linking goals & OKRs with performance management and employee development

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $8/user/month
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Rating: 4.8/5

Leapsome is a people enablement platform with a focus on performance management, goals & OKRs, employee development, and employee engagement.

Why I picked Leapsome: Their system helps companies create a culture of alignment, accountability and transparency across all levels of the organization through a continuous cycle of goal setting, tracking and reporting at the company, team and individual levels.

To ensure goals are always top-of-mind for users, Leapsome integrates their goal management features across their other modules, including their 1:1 check-in tools and continuous feedback loops. You can use Leapsome to create 1:1 meeting agendas with your goal status embedded at the top—a helpful way to ensure progress is touched upon during each meeting.

To reduce your administrative set up time, Leapsome also supports recurring goal cycles with fixed timelines that can be easily tweaked on a quarterly or annual basis. Their goal tree feature also adds an interesting visual element to the goal-tracking process, creating a visible link between individual or team goals that shows how they’ll contribute to the company’s overall success.

Integrations are available with many popular productivity tools, including Active Directory, GSuite, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Okta, OneLogin, and Slack, as well as with popular human resource information systems (HRIS) like ADP, BambooHR, HiBob, PayFit, Personio, Rippling, and Workday.

Best talent management platform with integrated goal-management features

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.6/5

ClearCompany is a talent management platform that organizations can use to set individual and team-wide goals and measure progress. It combines features such as reporting, analytics, and real-time feedback to create a comprehensive suite of tools for teams to use.

Why I picked ClearCompany: Their software makes it easy for users to stay organized by allowing them to set due dates for tasks and assign those tasks to specific individuals or groups. This helps ensure everyone is aware of what needs to be done and when, which can drastically reduce time wasted due to confusion or miscommunication. ClearCompany also offers additional support such as templates and best practices that help make goal creation easier.

The software includes powerful analytic tools that allow you to gain valuable insights into your team's performance as a whole, as well as that of individual team members. ClearCompany offers a range of pre-built reports that are generated from real-time data covering all aspects of a team’s operations, including employee engagement surveys and performance reviews. Admin users can also create custom reports based on specific metrics or KPIs that are relevant to their business.

Their feedback-gathering feature allows users to solicit feedback from team members to gain insight into how well things are going internally and externally. This helps organizations understand what's working well or needs improvement, and provides clarity on how to move forward with projects or initiatives to achieve desired results. Feedback gathered can include quantitative metrics and qualitative opinions from stakeholders across all levels of an organization.

Their team alignment feature helps teams stay connected and motivated through frequent communication. This includes integrated applications such as Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other popular communication tools. Team members can share documents, access reports remotely, and send messages directly from within the app.

Integrations are available with 100+ popular HR software solutions, including Absorb LMS, eSkill, Google Calendar, GrowthPlay, HR Avatar, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Predictive Index, Skill Check, Slack, and many others.

Best for providing 360-degree feedback on goals and performance

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $159/month for up to 25 users
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Rating: 4.6/5

Primalogik is a performance management tool that helps organizations promote transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement by collecting feedback from multiple sources and facilitating ongoing performance conversations. 

Why I chose Primalogik: Primalogik allows organizations to collect feedback from multiple sources, including managers, peers, and subordinates, which ensures a comprehensive view of an employee's performance and helps identify areas for improvement. When combined with the software's platform for managers and employees to collaborate on SMART goals that align with organization objectives, the tool is able to help teams provide honest, unbiased feedback on employee goals and set better goals in the future.

The tool also offers engagement surveys to gather employee feedback and measure employee satisfaction and engagement levels. These surveys can be conducted anonymously and in real-time, providing a safe space for employees to share their feedback and suggestions. Robust analytics and reporting capabilities are also included, and are customizable to meet the specific needs of each organization.

Integrations include Google Workspace, Microsoft Azure, Bamboo HR, Okta SSO, and ADP Workforce Now.

Best for adding OKR goals to your Jira environment

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

OKR Board for Jira by Oboard is a goal-setting software that integrates directly with your Jira environment.

Why I picked OKR Board for Jira: You can use the platform to establish your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), and then connect them with your epics, issues, and projects right in Jira. It's a great way to keep your projects and initiatives aligned with your broader goals, and keep goals top of mind in project planning through execution.

The OKR builder offers a hierarchy that's both flexible and customizable. You can set up your goals in whatever way makes the most sense for your business or team, and create multiple levels of cascading goals. You can also group OKRs together as they relate to specific initiatives, departments, timelines, or teams. The software has powerful reporting and analytics capabilities as well, so you can track your progress and identify areas for improvement.

Other features included in the platform are roadmaps, custom weights and levels, and private workspaces.

The native integrations available include Jira, Confluence, and Salesforce, and the REST API allows you to build integrations with other tools and systems if needed.

Best all-in-one software for managing goals, OKRs, KPIs, and tasks

  • 30-day free trial + free plan available
  • From $7/user/month
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Rating: 4.8/5 offers dedicated OKR software with additional features for task management, performance management and employee engagement.

Why I picked Their software can track any type of goal using 7 different types of key results, and comes with 400+ pre-built KPIs (key performance indicators) that you can customize to start tracking your corporate goals easily and quickly. Their OKR template (shown above) is also easy-to-use and walks you through the process of setting an OKR in less than 5 minutes.

Other key features included in’s platform are flexible task tracking tools that let you prioritize and set deadlines, with the ability to break major tasks up into minor sub-tasks, plus a kanban style view for tracking progress. You can also set up links between tasks and key results, so your progress dashboards update automatically as items are completed.

As well, with, OKRs are also linked to employee performance, giving a full picture of an individual’s achievements during their performance review. This helps to provide an unbiased picture of an individual’s performance, while aligning their employee development goals with corporate objectives.

Integrations are available with 40+ popular software applications including Chrome, Gmail, Google Calendar, HubSpot, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, Slack, Snowflake, Wrike, Zapier, Zendesk, and many others.

Best for its collaborative strategic planning tools

  • Free plan + 14-day free trial available
  • From $18/user/month
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Rating: 4.6/5

Quantive Results is a strategy execution platform designed to help businesses align their data and personnel around a common mission and clear goals.

Why I picked Quantive Results: This software offers a range of features that support your strategy planning, cross-departmental alignment, and goal setting. There's a focus on collaboration in strategic planning, with tools like whiteboards and retrospective templates to help your leadership team work together towards a plan.

When it comes to goal setting specifically, both OKR and KPI tools are included in the platform. You can set cascading goals, assign KPIs to specific teams or employees, and link related goals to one another. The software also has AI tools that help you set your KPIs and suggest relationships between OKRs.

Key features include pre-built OKR templates, multi-level goal setting, multiple key result types, tags, OKR and task alignment, automated notifications, advanced access permissions, and reporting and analytics tools.

Integrations include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Asana, Miro, Jira, SurveySparrow, BambooHR, Workable, Humaans, and Rally, among others. You can also access additional integrations with a paid Zapier account.

Best goal setting software for centralizing employee performance management

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.5/5

Kallidus Perform is a cloud-based performance management software that helps managers keep their teams on track. It provides a central place for storing goals, tracking progress, and sharing feedback.

The software is designed to improve communication and collaboration within teams. It provides employees with a clear overview of their goals and objectives and allows managers to set and monitor progress against these. The software offers various tools for communicating goals and monitoring progress, such as a goal-setting wizard, reports, and dashboards. Its manager dashboard gives managers a birds-eye view of their team's performance.

You can gather informal employee feedback through employee recognition and goal-setting features. With employee recognition, users can give colleagues kudos for a job well done, which helps boost morale and keep employees engaged. Goal setting helps keep employees on track by providing them with specific goals to work towards. And the software's customizability facilitates the integration of the software with existing systems within an organization, helping optimize workflows and improve efficiency.

Pricing for Kallidus Perform is available upon request.

Other Options

Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best goal tracking app list:

  1. Asana

    Well-known productivity tool suitable for tracking team or company goals, including multiple visual views

  2. Inspire

    Best goal setting software for mastering the OKR learning curve through advanced training resources

  3. Engagedly

    Employee development platform well-suited for team member goal alignment and employee engagement.

  4. Knovos Cascade

    Strategic project management software with tracking for goals, KPIs and OKRs.

  5. Goalscape

    Dynamic goal visualization tool, well-suited for large team goals and industries with tight security restrictions


    Modern OKR software with a useful Objective Explorer and a two-way Slack integration

  7. GoalsOnTrack

    Flexible and easy-to-use goal setting software with tools to support multi-level goals, habit tracking, and progress visualization

  8. ClickUp

    Popular productivity platform for goal setting, with linked tasks and targets and a weekly scorecard feature


    Customizable workflow visualization tool with pre-built templates and an embedded goal widget

  10. Peoplebox

    Best goal setting OKR software for enterprises

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these other related tools that we've tested and evaluated:

Selection Criteria for Goal-Setting Software

Selecting the right goal-setting platform requires a deep dive into functionality and specific use cases. Based on my extensive experience and research, I've honed in on the following criteria that best encompass a thorough, consistent, and fair evaluation. The process isn't just about ticking boxes; it involves evaluating how each platform facilitates setting, managing, tracking, and achieving goals.

Here's a breakdown of the criteria I use to assess goal-setting platforms, emphasizing the essential features that such software typically offers:

Core Functionality: 25% of total weighting score

To be considered for inclusion on my list of the best goal-setting platforms, a solution had to support common use cases. These include:

  • Goal hierarchy creation, allowing teams to align individual objectives with broader organizational goals.
  • Progress tracking to visualize advancement towards milestones and final objectives.
  • Collaboration features that enable real-time updates, feedback, and adjustments among team members.
  • Integration capabilities with other productivity and management tools, ensuring seamless workflows.
  • Reporting and analytics for evaluating performance data and informing future goal-setting strategies.

Additional Standout Features: 25% of total weighting score

  • Innovative task prioritization systems that go beyond simple lists, such as visual matrices or AI-recommended priorities.
  • Advanced collaboration tools, like integrated video calls or real-time document editing, that foster a more connected team environment.
  • Customizable dashboards that provide at-a-glance insights tailored to different roles within the organization.
  • Unique motivational tools, such as gamification elements, to keep teams engaged and focused.

Usability: 10% of total weighting score

  • Intuitive design that doesn't sacrifice depth for simplicity, enabling both new and experienced users to find value quickly.
  • Clean, visually appealing interfaces that make navigation and task management a seamless experience.

Onboarding: 10% of total weighting score

  • Comprehensive training resources, including videos, templates, and interactive tours, to reduce the learning curve.
  • Active community forums or chatbots that provide immediate assistance and foster user engagement from the outset.

Customer Support: 10% of total weighting score

  • Availability of multi-channel support, including live chat, email, and phone, ensuring help is always on hand.
  • Speed and quality of responses, which reflect the company's commitment to its users' success.

Value For Money: 10% of total weighting score

  • Transparent pricing models that offer clear value propositions for different sizes and types of organizations.
  • Flexible plans that allow for scaling up or down based on current needs, ensuring companies only pay for what they use.

Customer Reviews: 10% of total weighting score
Feedback from actual users provides invaluable insights. I look for:

  • Consistent praise for user experience, highlighting platforms that deliver a frictionless and engaging environment.
  • Testimonials that specifically mention how the platform has helped teams achieve their goals, indicating real-world effectiveness.

Through this comprehensive approach, I identify platforms that not only meet the standard requirements for goal-setting software but also offer additional value.

In 2024, goal-setting software is undergoing transformations to meet the evolving needs of HR professionals and organizations striving for enhanced productivity and strategic alignment. Through a detailed review of product updates, press releases, and release logs from the leading and most innovative tools in the market, several key trends have emerged. Here's what I'm seeing:

  • Gamification Elements: To boost engagement and motivation, gamification has become a more prominent feature. Leaderboards, badges, and rewards for achieving milestones make goal attainment more rewarding and visually appealing. These features cater to the challenge of keeping team members motivated over the long term.
  • AI-Driven Insights and Recommendations: A novel trend is the incorporation of AI to offer insights and goal recommendations. By analyzing performance data, these tools can suggest adjustments to goals or identify areas where additional resources might be needed, offering a proactive approach to goal management.
  • Real-Time Collaboration and Feedback: The ability for teams to collaborate in real-time, share feedback, and adjust goals has become increasingly important. This feature responds to the need for agile goal management that can adapt to changing priorities and conditions.
  • Automated, Simplified Reporting Tools: While reporting remains critical, there's a shift away from complex, customizable reporting tools towards more automated, straightforward insights. This change reflects a preference for simplicity and immediate understanding over in-depth, manual analysis.

The evolution of goal-setting software in 2024 mirrors the broader trends in the workplace towards greater automation and a focus on user engagement. As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of modern work environments, these tools play a pivotal role in ensuring teams remain aligned, motivated, and productive.

What is Goal-Setting Software?

Goal-setting software is a tool that helps users set, manage, and achieve specific goals. You can use it to organize your objectives, prioritize your key tasks, and boost your team's productivity. Goal-setting software combines task management with objective tracking and visualization aids that help everyone on your team see exactly how close they are to achieving each goal. Other features include automatic deadline reminders, individual or team goal assignees, collaboration tools, and progress reports.

Using goal-setting software offers numerous benefits to organizational teams, including an increased focus on the most important tasks, increased accountability and transparency, and improved team-based work distribution. It can improve your organization's strategic alignment at all levels, and act as a catalyst that brings co-workers together to achieve shared goals. Many systems also include engagement features to keep staff motivation high at all times.

Features of Goal-Setting Software

Effective goal-setting software plays a crucial role in organizing objectives, prioritizing tasks, and enhancing team productivity. Selecting one with the right feature set makes a world of difference in user adoption and ultimate success. Here are the most important features I look for in goal-setting software:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: A straightforward and intuitive design makes it easy for all team members to use the software, ensuring everyone is on the same page and engaged in reaching common objectives.
  2. Goal Tracking and Progress Updates: Real-time tracking allows teams to see how close they are to achieving their goals, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivating continued effort towards completion.
  3. Task Prioritization: This feature helps teams focus on what matters most, ensuring that key tasks are completed first, which is critical for maintaining strategic alignment and momentum towards objectives.
  4. Collaboration Tools: Features that enhance teamwork, such as shared goals, commenting, and task assignments, bring co-workers together, making it easier to achieve shared goals through unified effort.
  5. Customizable Goals and Milestones: The ability to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals tailored to the unique needs of your organization fosters a culture of precision and ambition.
  6. Integration with Other Tools: Seamless integration with existing productivity and communication tools ensures that goal-setting software enhances, rather than disrupts, current workflows.
  7. Reporting and Analytics: Insightful reports and analytics provide a clear overview of progress and highlight areas needing attention, allowing for timely adjustments to strategies.
  8. Notifications and Alerts: Automated reminders keep everyone informed about upcoming deadlines and pending tasks, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
  9. Mobile Accessibility: A mobile-friendly platform allows team members to update and check their progress on-the-go, ensuring continuous engagement with goals regardless of location.
  10. Security and Privacy: Robust security measures protect sensitive information, giving organizations confidence that their strategic objectives and progress are safeguarded.

Selecting the right goal-setting software not only streamlines the process of setting and tracking goals but also enhances collaboration, motivation, and strategic alignment at all levels. Consider which of these features are most important for your use case, and prioritize them accordingly in your software selection.

Benefits of Goal-Setting Software

Goal-setting software is a transformative tool for organizations aiming to streamline their objective-setting processes, enhance productivity, and achieve long-term success. By facilitating clear, actionable goal management, these platforms offer a structured approach to tracking progress and aligning individual efforts with organizational objectives. Below, we delve into five primary benefits that goal-setting software provides to businesses:

  1. Enhanced Clarity and Focus: Goal-setting software helps users and teams clearly define their objectives, providing a roadmap to focus their efforts effectively. This clarity ensures that everyone is working towards the same targets, eliminating confusion and aligning individual contributions with broader company goals.
  2. Improved Productivity and Efficiency: By automating task tracking and progress updates, goal-setting software significantly reduces the time spent on administrative tasks, allowing more time for actual work. This automation streamlines workflow, leading to higher productivity levels and more efficient use of resources.
  3. Increased Accountability: The platform fosters a culture of accountability by assigning specific goals to individuals or teams and tracking their progress. This visibility encourages a sense of personal responsibility towards achieving set objectives, driving motivation and engagement.
  4. Data-Driven Decision Making: With comprehensive analytics and reporting features, goal-setting software provides valuable insights into performance trends and areas for improvement. These data-driven analyses support informed decision-making, enabling users to adjust strategies and optimize outcomes.
  5. Enhanced Collaboration and Communication: Real-time updates and collaborative features ensure that all team members are on the same page, facilitating seamless communication and cooperation. This environment promotes a cohesive team effort, leading to more effective and efficient achievement of collective goals.

For businesses looking to navigate the complexities of today's competitive landscape, investing in goal-setting software offers a clear pathway to success, providing the structure and support necessary to realize their vision and ambitions.

Costs & Pricing For Goal-Setting Software

When exploring goal-setting software, it's crucial to understand the various plan options and pricing structures available. These platforms offer a range of functionalities tailored to different organizational needs and budgets. From free versions designed for individual users or small teams to comprehensive enterprise solutions that cater to larger organizations with complex needs, there's a plan for every type of user.

Plan Comparison Table For Goal-Setting Software

Here's a table that outlines the pricing and plan structures typically found in goal-setting software:

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Free$0Basic goal setting, Task tracking, Limited users
Basic$5 - $10/user/monthAdvanced goal setting, Progress tracking, Email support
Professional$10 - $20/user/monthCustom reports, Integration with other tools, Priority support
EnterpriseCustom pricingAdvanced analytics, Unlimited users, Dedicated account manager

When selecting a plan, consider the size of your team, the complexity of your goals, and the level of support you'll need. Remember, the right goal-setting software can transform how your organization achieves its objectives, making it a worthwhile investment for businesses of all sizes.

Goal-Setting Software Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about goal setting and the tools that facilitate it? Keep reading for answers to some FAQs!

Can goal-setting software adapt to various goal-setting frameworks (e.g., SMART, CLEAR)?

Absolutely, many goal-setting software platforms are designed with the flexibility to support various goal-setting frameworks like SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and CLEAR (Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable). In fact, some goal-setting tools are actually developed around these frameworks—so it’s worth looking into whether a platform is compatible with your preferred methodology.

Software that offers framework flexibility allows teams to choose the methodology that best suits their culture and objectives. Goal-setting software often comes with customizable templates and goal structures, enabling teams to define their goals in a way that aligns with their chosen framework. This adaptability is crucial for ensuring that the tool can serve a wide range of industries and team dynamics, making goal-setting more effective and aligned with organizational strategies.

What are effective strategies for setting realistic team goals?

Setting realistic team goals involves understanding your team’s capabilities and the resources available. One effective strategy is to involve the entire team in the goal-setting process; this ensures buy-in and leverages diverse perspectives. You can also use a goal-setting framework like SMART goals or OKRs to provide structure to your goals. It’s also crucial to assess past performance and current market conditions to set achievable goals. Regularly review and adjust goals as necessary to respond to changing circumstances, fostering a culture of flexibility and resilience.

How can managers align individual employee goals with team and business objectives?

Aligning individual employee goals with team and business objectives starts with transparent communication about the company’s vision and objectives. Middle managers should be well-informed about the broader business direction and how their team or department contributes to it. This allows for cascading business goals to be set at each level of the business.

Managers should also work with each employee to understand their personal career aspirations and skill sets. This understanding enables the creation of individual goals that not only contribute to team success but also align with the broader business objectives. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions help ensure alignment, allowing for adjustments as needed.

What’s The Difference Between Goals, OKRs, And KPIs?

Like many people, you may be wondering, just what is the difference between goals, OKRs and KPIs?

Goals are an expression of a person’s ambition or a desired result they hope to achieve. For example: My goal for today is to respond to all my unread emails from last week. It’s clear what the goal is and what the end result will be, but there is no numerical method to track it. It will simply be “in process” until it’s “complete.”

OKRs (objectives and key results) can be viewed in two ways:

The OKR framework is a goal management system that large companies like Google and Intel use to drive productivity in their teams. It’s broken down into two main components:

  • Objectives are the description of what you, your team, or your company want to accomplish. They are not inherently numeric, but are more like strategic goals. For example: Our objective for Q1 is to source more diverse candidates.
  • The objective is then paired up with a key result, which is a numerical measure of progress for your objective. Your key result (or results, since you can have more than one) will tell you how close you are to achieving your objective. For example: Key Result 1: Implement candidate sourcing from 5 new job portals by the end of Q1. Key Result 2: Aim to schedule 20% of interviews with self-identified diverse candidates by the end of Q1.

Most often, when workplace colleagues refer to “an OKR” they are not referring to the OKR framework itself—rather they’re referring to the combined objective + key result as an individual entity.

For more in depth information on this small but important distinction, take a look at Perdoo’s Goals vs. OKRs: The Small but Vital Difference.

Still wondering how KPIs fit in? Project management software giant Wrike asserts that the difference rests in the intention behind the goal.

KPIs (key performance indicators) are usually numerical metrics that represent the expected output of a process that’s already in place. In contrast, OKRs are often more ambitious and aggressive and sometimes referred to as “stretch” or “moonshot” goals.

For example, your KPI for the above scenario might be: A 10% increase in the number of diverse candidates screened during Q1. This is a more simplified number than the OKR scenario presented above, with no sub-results feeding into it.

No matter which type of metrics your organization decides to track, tracking something will still improve productivity and increase your team’s focus on the bigger picture more than tracking nothing at all.

Other Resources

With visions of productivity tools dancing in your head, now’s the time to plan your next steps!

Since goal setting and OKR tracking are so closely related, I recommend taking a peek at our list of the best OKR software too. 

Beyond just software recommendations, we have some other great articles that explain HOW you can bring your goal management practices to the next level: 

  • Our very own Tim Reitsma also offers a crash course in How to Write SMART Goals (including examples), since we are all about practicing what we preach! 
  • To gain deeper insights into the OKR landscape, listen to our podcast with Nolan Hout, VP of Marketing at Unlock: OKR, where he discusses The Real Intent of OKRs. (Spoiler alert - it’s all about purpose!) 
  • Lastly, it only takes a moment to subscribe to our People Managing People newsletter. By joining us for our weekly update, you’ll gain access to our latest articles covering a whole range of useful HR-related topics, podcasts and tools. 
By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.