Key results with soft and hard deadlines

January 29, 20172 min read

A customer recently told us following case:

“My objectives are all product related and timing is everything. For this quarter I need to improve the user engagement and to do that I need to release 3 features, but it won’t matter a thing if I don’t hit my deadlines – and those are all before the end of the quarter.”

So, being customer centric as we are, we went ahead and implemented Time framed KRs.

The grayish area


A week later, however, customer came back to us. Admittedly, our solution was way too black & white for the real world. Namely, if the key result was achieved by the deadline everything was well, but if it wasn’t – even if it was missed by a day – we would scored the key result with 0% (at least in case of yes/no key results).


So, we worked through the scenario again and understood that there is an ideal date by which something should be done – in which case it would be 100%. There is also a hard-stop date by which if something was not accomplished, it really would have been a failure. The thing is – those two dates are not the same.

Enter soft and hard deadlines


So, today we’ve released a new feature for key results: soft and hard deadlines.


Key results with soft and hard deadline

Key results with soft and hard deadline


When you define a key result, you can set deadline to one of the three options:

  • Same as planning session 
    For example, until the end of the quarter
  • Hard deadline only 
    you can only update your progress by this date, after that you can’t make any more checkins
  • Soft and hard deadline 
    you can update your progress even after soft deadline has passed, but the net progress will be discounted as the time passes. Once the hard deadline passes, you won’t be able to update your progress anymore



A typical example for usage of sort and hard deadlines is a yes/no key result.

  • Objective : Increase user engagement
    • Key result 1 : Implement push notifications
      • Soft deadline : February 1st, 2017
      • Hard deadline : February 13th, 2017

So, if you mark “Implement push notifications” as done by February 1st, including February 1st, you will get 100% attainment.

If you don’t mark “Implement push notifications” as done by February 13th, including February 13th, you won’t be able to update the progress anymore and will get 0% attainment.

However, if you mark “Implement push notifications” as done any time between February 2nd (including February 2nd) and February 13th, you will get discounted attainment. For example, if you mark it on February 2nd you will get 92% attainment. If, on the other hand you mark it done on February 8th, you will get 46% attainment.

The mechanics between discounting are not of great importance, but if you are curious, we have prepared a documentation article which explains it.