All good things come in many flavours, and OKRs are no different. There are plenty of OKR-based goal setting solutions available in the market, but not all of them can be useful to all organizations looking to adopt OKRs. Based on the unique needs and goals, different solutions can be adopted – there are instances of different teams in a single organization using different tools to manage team member performance.
Can we track OKRs in a spreadsheet?
The versatility of OKRs has made them popular, and that means they can be tracked using the old-fashioned pen and paper too. For small businesses, using an Excel sheet to track and manage OKRs can be enough – but adopting a robust solution in the starting stage can prove to be the difference as the organization grows (and has to manage the performance of a larger number of employees). Another advantage of adopting OKRs early is that it becomes a part of the organizational culture and newer employees can get into it much faster. The practice also promotes collaboration, innovation, and a growth-oriented mindset among all employees.
How can I make sure all of my OKRs are kept up to date?
Continuous feedback is a built-in feature of OKRs, and this constant checking in between managers and their team keeps OKR completion levels on track. Managers (or even employees) can insist on frequent one-on-ones in cases where progress is slow, or arrange for coaching sessions to overcome hurdles. Also, the constant feedback cycle reduces the fear of failure – and the fact that OKRs are not generally tied to appraisals or compensations works in their favour as employees can be more forthcoming about the issues they might encounter. The transparency provided by OKRs also simplifies the understanding of employees about their everyday work, as they can see how their contribution is making a difference.
Free OKR tools to help with goal setting:
OKRs are very flexible – the only non-negotiable prerequisite is to have a clear vision from which objectives can be drawn. Once that is done, even a simple spreadsheet can be used to track OKRs. There are instances where small businesses where the number of employees is really low (say, <10) practice OKRs using the old-fashioned pen and paper.
Having said that, it gets tedious to keep track of an extra excel (or plain paper!) sheet as the organization grows. There are plenty of OKR tools available in the market, and almost all of them have a free trial version that can suffice for a small and medium organization. Upraise for Employee Success is one such tool that offers almost all benefits as its paid version, in addition to being available as a Jira add-on.
The add-on to the Jira part of this solution is important for organizations that are considering OKRs, as the learning curve is reduced. Employees can set their objectives and define key results from inside an interface they are familiar with and use almost every day. Other companion apps to UpRaise Employee Success also simplify the process of goal setting – and allow managers to access the bird’s eye view of the project. The shortcomings can easily be identified and addressed, and achievements can be identified and celebrated, without having to get out of Jira.
Paid OKR tools to help with goal setting:
The paid version of UpRaise for Employee Success provides all the benefits of its free version and is easily scalable to suit the needs of a large organization that has a presence in multiple geographies. The pricing is nominal too, and unlike other standalone products – is heavily integrated into Atlassian. Other solutions like Employee Garrison and Connector for Confluence, augment Employee Success very well. Managers can provide their feedback from within Jira, which employees can work on from their instance of the Atlassian platform.
Goal Alignment & Goal Setting Software for OKRs
Aligning employee goals to that of the organization’s is not an easy job, and having a standalone tool to achieve that can backfire spectacularly. The adoption rate might decrease if the learning curve is steep, and if participation is made mandatory – the data or information entered by the employees might not have any value as they fill in the fields to get the extra work (as they might see it) out of their way and get back to their everyday responsibilities.
A goal-setting software like UpRaise for Employee Success that is available in on-premise and cloud flavours, in addition to its strong Jira integration, can remove most of these concerns. The ease with which employees adopt the tool depends not only upon the usability but its accessibility too.