At Koan, we use specific terminology to describe different parts of the app. To make sure we're all on the same page, here is a list of terms to know while using Koan. Have a question on a term no defined here? Ask us in the messenger and we'll make sure to add it to the list.


Someone who has access to the organization-wide settings. They'll be able to make changes to all teams in Koan. (Only available on paid Koan tiers)

More information here.

Admin (team)

A member of a team who will have access to all of the team settings. (Only available on paid Koan tiers)

More information here.


An OKR setting process that requires linking goals from the top down with little flexibility on which goals the next team down will set. Koan discourages cascading your OKRs.

Read more on aligning vs. cascading goals here.

Confidence Ratings

Your team's confidence on whether they'll be able to achieve each of their key results. Only leads and contributors to key results will be asked for their confidence rating as part of their reflection.


Contributors are assigned to a key result and will be asked for their confidence rating each week in their reflection. You can see the contributors on each key result by going into table view.


Where your team's confidence ratings and comments on a key result will display. You can see the Discussion tab in the flyout when you click on a key result.


The sidebar opens up on the right side of the screen when you click on a key result. It'll always show the discussion tab and will also show the tagged items tab for key results your team is assigned to.


Your Koan app. Contains all of your teams and your organization. Anywhere you can access inside of Koan is part of your instance.

Key Result

The metrics you'll use to measure if you've accomplished your objective. Key results should have a number in them ("Get 500 beta users to test our new feature," for example), and should be black and white-- you either accomplish your goal or you don't.

Learn more about OKRs here.


The lead on a key result is responsible for delivering the key result. They should be whoever you would tap on the shoulder for an update on the key result. Leads will be prioritized in the displayed confidence rating.


How to show relationships between goals. Objectives can be linked to other objectives or key results, depending on how you need to show the dependencies or relationships.

More information here.


A manager on the team has access to all of the team's settings and can also send private notes through other team members' reflections.

Member/Team member

Anyone added to a team to work on goals. Team members will be asked to fill out reflections each week for the teams that they're on. (If you're a team member on multiple teams, you will be asked to fill out multiple reflections).


On key results, the target that you're trying to achieve (if you're trying to gain 1,000 new users, your metric would be set as 0/1000). Metric should be updated by the lead on a key result each week and can be updated automatically through our API (on paid plans only).


A member of a team who can't be assigned to that team's key results and won't be asked to fill out a reflection. Observers can see all of a team's reflections and information, but won't be asked to participate.


Objectives are what your team wants to accomplish. These are qualitative and inspiring ("Become a market leader," for example). Your objective should be accomplished if all of your key results are hit.


The highest level of your company that you're working with inside of Koan. If your entire company is using Koan together, your entire company is your organization. If just your department is using Koan, your department would be your organization. This is primarily important for setting up your Organization home (see below)

Organization Home

Your organization home is where you can set your top-level goals for your organization as well as explicitly stating your organization's mission, vision, or strategy, and include links that will help your organization work with your OKRs. (Organization homes are only available on paid Koan plans.)


Reflections are how your team gives updates on their key results and shares any other information that would be useful for the rest of the team to know. Reflections are done each week and can be customized to fit your team's workflow.


We encourage every team to have a retrospective at the end of the quarter to score their OKRs and talk about what went well and what lessons can be learned. Teams should do a retrospective before they add their new goals into Koan.


When Koan will ask your team for their reflection and when their reflection is due. We suggest asking for reflections at the end of the week and having them due before your team meeting (where we recommend your team sets aside time to read each other's reflections).

More information here.

Tagged Items

As you fill out your reflection, you'll be able to tag a key result from your team onto the things you've accomplished or prioritized for the week ahead. This helps collect data to make better decisions on how to approach a goal moving forward.


The people that you work with most regularly. In Koan, your team will be able to read each other's reflections and work on OKRs together most easily. We recommend using functional teams (Support, Sales, Engineering, etc.), though you can use whatever makes sense to you.


Anyone else that is in your Koan instance. This is different from team members-- "teammate" is just a way to refer to other users, not a functional role.

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