Quarterly Rock Execution Tool ⦨ Unlocking Success Through Clear Planning and Methodical Execution ⦨ Midstage Institute

Quarterly Rock Execution Tool

Virtually every startup knows how to set goals. But it’s the startups that know how to execute properly that end up accomplishing those goals and succeeding. This doesn’t just apply to the ambitious, long-term goals most startups have in the beginning. It can also apply to the rocks or OKRs that startups set for themselves each quarter.

The key to achieving quarterly goals is having a clear plan for how you’re going to accomplish those goals and meet the expectations you’ve set for your startup. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key steps that must be a part of reaching your quarterly rocks.

Name Your Goals

The first step is to give your quarterly rocks or OKRs a proper name. This may seem a little obvious or pointless, but it’s actually an important first step. The name of your goal should be as specific as possible regarding what you’re trying to achieve and should always reflect the bigger objective. This helps the team to stay focused on the objective while making it clear what everyone is working to accomplish this quarter.

Name a Sponsor

Leadership and accountability are important to everything a startup does. Every quarterly rock should be accompanied by a sponsor who is in charge of overseeing the project. For larger organizations, this could be an executive who isn’t involved in day-to-day work but is monitoring things from afar. Nevertheless, team members from each department who are working toward this goal should know who is sponsoring the project. That leader should also be held responsible for tracking the progress on the specific objective.

What’s the Deliverable?

Quarterly rocks always need a clear deliverable. What will be the end result when this quarterly goal has been achieved? How will the team members know when they have accomplished this? Therefore, your deliverable should be as specific as possible. Don’t just say that the goal is to increase sales; that’s obvious and non-specific. Rather, have a specific sales figure that you want to target by the end of the quarter. That way, everyone will understand the scope of the project and have a specific deliverable in mind.


Before starting to work toward a quarterly goal, it’s best to have an overview of what the team will need to accomplish its objective. What kind of budget is required? How much time will team members need to dedicate to achieving this goal? What resources will be necessary? The sponsor of the quarterly goal and the team working toward that goal should negotiate the resources needed and available to ensure everyone is on the same page with regard to how the objective will be met.


Even quarterly rocks and OKRs should be divided into multiple sub-projects and milestones. Over the course of a quarter, having key checkpoints will allow the sponsor and the team to know if they are on track to meet the quarterly goal. If the team is falling short of milestones, it’s best to know ahead of time so that changes can be made. This can help prevent the team from being surprised at falling short of its goal at the end of the quarter.


There will always be challenges and obstacles in accomplishing any quarterly goal. Therefore, the known challenges and risks should be identified ahead of time. This shouldn’t be a long list but rather highlight the biggest potential pitfalls. Doing this will best prepare the team for accomplishing its quarterly goals.

First Steps

In order to hit the ground running toward any quarterly goal, write down the first, second, and third steps toward accomplishing that goal. These should be as concrete and specific as possible. This is needed to help the team get the ball rolling. Understanding a quarterly goal is one thing, but knowing how to get started is another. By being clear with the initial steps the team should take, it’s possible to gain early momentum toward your goals.


In the startup world, setting quarterly rocks or quarterly goals is a critical part of success. However, setting goals is meaningless if they are not achieved. Having the right tools, approach, and methodology for achieving quarterly goals is critical to the process and will help any startup meet its goals every quarter.

If you want to best position your startup to execute the goals that you set, just fill out the form below to ensure you have the tools that you need.

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Roland Siebelink talks all things tech startup and bring you interviews with tech cofounders across the world.