Drive Team Performance and Results with Viva Goals: Insights From Microsoft Partner McChrystal Group

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

Note: This blog post was cowritten by Copilot in Microsoft Teams



In a recent webinar, we explored how McChrystal Group’s team is leveraging Viva Goals both within their organizations and with the clients they work with, as well as discussing the strategies that yield success—and those that fall short.

The conversation featured Jeff Kotz, Director of the Microsoft Channel Alliance at McChrystal Group, and Kevin Cole, Implementation Program Manager at McChrystal Group; the McChrystal Group is also a partner of Microsoft. In this blog, we distill the extensive knowledge they shared into the top 3 key insights to empower your team in driving performance and achieving remarkable results with Viva Goals.

1. Igniting In-depth Conversations: Aligning Team and Business Strategies Through Goal Tracking and Reporting


Implementing Viva Goals transforms the landscape of organizational conversations, offering a profound shift in focus. By streamlining the reporting, tracking, and sharing of strategies, Viva Goals allows teams to explore more of what they want to prioritize and the “Art of the possible”. This evolution redirects discussions from the retrospective "what's happened" to a more proactive exploration of "what needs updating" and "what needs to be accomplished." It facilitates a dynamic dialogue about progress and challenges, fostering an environment where decisions are made collaboratively. Viva Goals serves as a transparent framework for defining organizational success, ensuring that decisions, even at tactical levels, align with a shared vision of success. This cohesion enables cross-functional collaboration, breaking down silos and fostering a level of teamwork that may not have been possible otherwise.


"The biggest benefit of Viva Goals is how it removes the friction and the mind share that goes into reporting, tracking, and sharing of strategy and creates space for teams to start to think about how they're communicating."

-Kevin Cole


2. Cultivating a Dynamic Operating Rhythm for Team Success: Accountability, Feedback, Goal Iteration, and Alignment


Embracing a transformative approach to business operations through technology, such as Viva Goals, signals a commitment to reshaping communication and transparency within an organization. Establishing a robust operating rhythm lays the groundwork for enhanced team performance, especially with setting clear meeting and communication cadences, providing employees with reliable insights into progress and performance, and leveraging lessons learned to inform future business cycles.


Instituting a formal feedback process is a crucial driver of high-performing teams. Building trust, the linchpin of an effective feedback system, requires consistent, transparent, and reliable communication across teams and leadership. Individuals can feel more secure in offering feedback when there is a culture of openness and clarity.


Accountability is central to team success, which can be strengthened by having specific individuals own goals or initiatives within Viva Goals. Giving these individuals the opportunity to report in regularly on their progress, whether on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly cadence, is essential for senior leadership to identify and eliminate blockers, fostering an environment conducive to ongoing success. As Kotz emphasizes, accountability revolves around understanding why past goals weren't successful and outlining the necessary steps for future success—a process easily supported by Viva Goals.


"Accountability is about somebody being able to say, ‘this is why this goal/initiative wasn't successful’ and ‘what I need in order to be successful going forward is X’ and when you implement [Viva Goals] correctly you are constantly asking and answering that question."

-Jeff Kotz


Whether deploying objectives and key results (OKRs) or another goal framework, the strategic outcomes defined by the organization must be a recurring focus in every meeting. Repetition is key, as it reinforces alignment and ensures that critical strategic concepts penetrate deep into the organization. With its structured approach, Viva Goals becomes a catalyst for this process, empowering teams to consistently articulate, discuss, clarify, and communicate the organization's mission in simple and concise terms.

3. Revolutionizing the Conversation on the ROI of Productivity Technology

The conventional interpretation of return on investment (ROI) hinges on a monetary assessment of an investment against its costs. ROI can go even further as a measure of success by translating broader goals into tangible outcomes. According to Kotz, the ROI for organizations utilizing tools like Viva Goals transcends mere revenue figures: the true ROI emerges when organizations can successfully unpack and understand the intricacies of their business operations. This shift in perspective signifies progress, emphasizing that measuring ROI isn't solely about financial metrics but also about gaining a comprehensive understanding of what drives success within the business. Viva Goals can help in delivering transparency on operational processes, giving teams and leaders the opportunity to refine and improve. As each process improves incrementally, aligned with accurately defined success metrics, the organization collectively advances.

4. Here are some additional practical and tactical tips from Jeff Kotz and Kevin Cole to enhance alignment and performance when utilizing Viva Goals:

Kotz suggests ensuring that every employee's work is meaningful, serving as a litmus test for the completeness of the implementation. Without transparency and clarity on the significance of how their work helps achieve organizational goals, employee engagement and performance may suffer.

Additionally, once goals, alignment, and processes are established in Viva Goals, Jeff advises against prematurely removing items that may not yield success in the short term. Seeing processes through to completion is vital for learning and growth as a company.

Cole emphasizes that perfection can impede progress. He encourages teams to dive into using Viva Goals, focusing on the critical aspects of their organization rather than aiming for perfection. During retrospectives, Kevin suggests treating the processes as a learning journey, identifying opportunities for improvement and adjustments to enhance organizational performance.

Key Resources:

McChrystal Group and Microsoft Viva
Driving Success Through OKRs: Empowering Leaders to Foster a Culture of Achievement
Weekly Whiteboard: Using Microsoft's Viva Insights to Measure Team Collaboration

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