What is an OKR tracker and do you need one?

by Gill Arnott | Mar 22, 2021

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YES … and there endeth the blog! OK, so I guess an explanation is needed. 

We are not for a moment saying that spreadsheets are dead – far from it. But they don’t give anywhere near enough functionality or data feedback for an organisation to have full transparency and impetus to run successful OKRs! And that’s where OKR tracking comes in.

An OKR tracker is a dedicated piece of software built by people who work with OKRs all the livelong day – they’re passionate about what they do and never stop developing. We know this because we work alongside them, and along the way have given feedback about what would make them even more awesome from our hands-on experience with our clients.

Why OKR spreadsheets don’t work

Whilst OKR spreadsheets are great for storing data, they can produce charts that visualise outputs and projections, use code to automate, sort data and so much more. However, they don’t give you the flexibility and team collaboration you need to stay on top of OKRs. You can colour code your key results and reflections on a spreadsheet to your heart’s content, it still won’t give you what you need!

Alternatively, when you use a dedicated platform or software to track OKRs, you can take advantage of features such as:

  • Report creation
  • Company-wide visibility on OKR strategies and business goals
  • Track your OKR progress over time
  • Keeping all OKRs in one place rather than across multiple spreadsheets

What are the benefits of OKR trackers?

  1. It encourages your teams to focus on the ‘right’ things! You will have spent a lot of time and effort internally strategizing your objectives and key results, so it’s extremely important to have them visible to everyone involved.
  2. It can open-up honest and valuable conversations between team members! Where a key result owner may have hit a brick wall and need to reach out, they feel confident to do this within their reflections and updates.
  3. Using an OKR tracker is also a time saver! It’s a great communicative platform, allowing feedback to other team members. You don’t need a meeting to organise a meeting. The accountability to those involved in OKRs becomes an intrinsic part of their week. A platform to share accomplishments, priorities and lay down any possible concerns.
  4. An OKR tracker also allows you to seamlessly blend qualitative and quantitative insights – a human touch to the process. This in turn will make it far simpler to track OKR metrics towards key results and give you the heads up when key decisions or intervention need to take place.

OKR tracker systems aren’t hugely expensive, far from it. In the great scheme of things if it was the difference between successful rollout of OKRs and team engagement, against death by spreadsheet data it really is a no brainer.

How to track OKRs

We work with some of the best OKR software providers out there, and whilst in essence, they all offer awesome systems that really do work, it’s good to get the right fit for your organisation. As we keep on banging on (and will continue to do so), OKRs are not a one size fit all scenario! Every organisation is unique with a different internal culture and so the requirements will be different for every organisation that implements an OKR tracker.   

Koan, our Giant Talk podcast partners, Ally.io and Profit are some of the OKR platforms we’ve worked closely with. Go and investigate. Check out what they offer and see for yourself what goldmine you are potentially missing in your OKR journey. 

Let us help you get the most out of your OKRs

As always, we can’t chat OKRs enough! So, if you want to reach out to the team for a catch up get in touch. If you’re already an OKR convert but want to know more then you might be interested to check out our OKR Coach Academy which offers OKR training to enable the successful application of the OKR methodology within your organisation.