How to set and track OKRs
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a management methodology popularized by John Doer back in 1999 at Google, ever since various other companies have adopted OKR like Linkedin, Twitter, Jira, etc.
OKR is meant to create engagement and ensure alignment with your company employees. This ensures a synchronized mindset and a streamlined process. Most companies leave their employees in the dark, letting them work for goals that are not clearly stated or explained. With OKR, you bring clarity to your employees by offering them full transparency on the company goals and objectives.
It doesn’t stop there!
With OKR, you can measure your goals through the achievement of the key results that you have set. The whole methodology of OKR makes sense because if you want to achieve your goals, it is only practical for your staff and employees to know about them. Companies that work with OKR set their goals on a quarterly or long-term basis or, in some cases monthly basis.
A quick example.
Objective: Generate higher Sales Qualified Leads
- Understand requirements of Market Qualified Leads
- Generate 100 Marketing Qualified Leads from Google Ads
- Generate 75 Marketing Qualified Leads from Organic Search
- Optimize results to generate 100 Sales Qualified Leads
Benefits of using OKRs
- A clear focus on the goal
- Teams are aligned
- Measure progress
- Increase transparency
- Create accountability
Why tracking OKRs is important?
OKRs bring a cultural shift to the organization. Creating a goal-oriented culture can be a daunting exercise for everyone. It is essential to have the following before the start.
- Executive buy-in – Leaders should be bought in with the idea of driving the goal and how that will make the goals transparent across the organization.
- OKR Champion – It’s important to have a dedicated OKR champion to drive the entire process and track check-ins and progress. OKR champions will own the entire program and the success. They will facilitate the training and also share the best practices. Champions will also be responsible for the execution of OKRs along with the key stakeholders.
- Allow managers to assign OKRs and approve team OKRs
- Create visibility on the team progress
- Increase Focus by showing the impact of alignment
- Facilitate Recognition and feedback within the team
How to plan OKR tracking?
Before starting the planning, as mentioned above ensure the executive buy-in and the OKR champion is available to start planning. Planning Cadence is another important factor before starting to track. Company-level OKRs will be the starting point for the teams to start.
OKR Tracking Checklist:
- Executive buy-in
- OKR champion
- Decide Key stakeholders
- Define cadence
- Company OKRs
- Team OKRs
- Individual OKRS
Why do you need software to track OKRs?
Most ambitious companies at the beginning of their experiment with OKR seem to practice using excel and spreadsheets. Google, the company that was built on OKR, provides powerful free online tools such as Google Docs and Google Sheets for helping out these companies. With various OKR tracking templates found online, companies may embrace this activity. But they later realize that manual tracking of OKR is not practical. It is not only time-consuming and requires more human resources, but it is also prone to errors on various levels.
Managing multiple spreadsheets is a cumbersome task. OKRs are made to improve engagement, alignment, and accountability. Cross-functionality with multiple teams is nearly impossible with spreadsheets. OKRs are meant to be adopted by agile teams for seamless planning and execution, but when done manually, goals are not always at the forefront of your employees, thus disabling your employees in insight and transparency, which is not agile.
If you are a company that found implementing OKR manually through spreadsheets, PowerPoint, Google docs and Google sheets, etc., tiresome, you are not alone. Manual OKR is a time-consuming and nearly impossible prospect. This is why using dedicated OKR platforms like Datalligence is the right approach.
OKR Software’s uses three main steps in practicing the OKR:
- Setting goals and key results that have been defined.
- Tracking the progression of these goals.
- Measuring the outcome.
Let’s walk through the process of OKR tracking
How to Track Goals and Objectives in OKR?
Once you successfully define your goal, you should be able to track it regularly to achieve it. With Datalligence, you can track your goal, objective and key results. You can establish alignment by creating objectives for teams and individual goals for each day or an extended period. You can track their progress, get an OKR status report each day, and engage with employees on their goal completion using the goal inspection.
How to Measure OKR?
Aim for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
Success and achievement do not only mean completion of 100% of the goal. Here is where you can allow yourself to be ambitious and set some goals that might be out of your reach so that reaching even 70% would be a huge success.
“You’ll never exceed your highest expectations” – Dan Lok (Investor, Mentor)
You can’t measure the success rate with your objective alone, but with well-defined key results, you can. If one of your key results is “Reduce website load speed by 50% as per Google page speed insight”, and you brought the load speed down by 35% than your original load speed, then the success rate is 70%.
OKR tracking is much more efficient and easier when done with dedicated OKR software. Manual OKR is a big load of work that consumes a lot of your time and is less efficient. If you are a company looking for an effective and efficient OKR template, maybe it is time to look for OKR software. Datalligence is OKR software that can bring alignment and engagement to your employees. Try the free trial and get a feel of all the benefits that come with Datalligence.