When setting and tracking objectives and key results (OKRs), there are two main options: using a tool or a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are great for beginning to build your OKR processes. You can quickly set goals, share them with management or colleagues, and update them from anywhere. Most companies start their reporting with spreadsheets as they are readily available, have a low learning curve, and are accessible to all.
While spreadsheets are a good fit for a small organizations who are just starting their OKR journey, at an enterprise level, they quickly become unmanageable. Manually entering data is time-consuming and error-prone. The entire system is challenging to track and manage.
OKR tools are designed to make it easy to set, track, and help achieve your OKRs. They assist you stay organized and on track by keeping your OKRs in one place. They also offer features that spreadsheets don’t, such as setting dependencies, tracking progress, and getting real-time insights.
Benefits of using an OKR platform
Both options have pros and cons, but ultimately, using an OKR tool is the better choice. Here is why:
First, using an OKR tool will save you time from manually entering data. An OKR tool automates the process and helps you avoid data entry mistakes. OKR tools can also make the setup of your OKR framework easier. For example, some tools offer recommended best practices or help you set a hierarchy of goals based on your organization’s structure.
Second, using a tool will help you stay organized. With a spreadsheet, your data is scattered across different cells, making it challenging to track your progress. With a tool, you can keep all your data in one place, making it easy to track your progress and see where you need to improve.
Third, OKR tools provide a clean dashboard to give a snapshot of all your goals on one screen.
It isn’t easy to keep track of all your spreadsheets and links to different documents. An OKR tool provides a central place for all your OKRs. You get a better view of your goals and the connections between them.
Expansion of Flexibility and Agility
Fourth, your OKR processes evolve with your business. An OKR platform allows you to support that evolution. Using a spreadsheet could work in the initial stages, but it becomes complicated when you need to manage many. Enterprise-grade flexibility lets employee success grow with you as adoption increases.
Sixth, 360-degree goal alignment. Alignment is a crucial feature of OKRs. Using a tool would help you align the company, team, and individual goals. Adding an OKR to a dashboard prompts everyone who views it to align their goals with that OKR. OKR platform can streamline the process and help ensure everyone is on the same page, no matter their role or location.
Seventh, using an OKR tool will allow you to collaborate in real-time with others. When working with a spreadsheet, you are working against the grain of the software. Many spreadsheet apps will enable you to share your document with a friend or colleague. This is great if you are working on a team, but this kind of sharing is only permitted in some cases through company policy. Because of this, it cannot be easy to get feedback on your progress.
Eight, using a tool will give you insights that you wouldn’t be able to get with a spreadsheet. With a spreadsheet, you can only see the input data, meaning you might miss important insights. With an OKR tool, you can see which goals are being met, which goals need more work, and where you can improve. Automated dashboards and alerting help everyone stay on the same page without going back and forth.
Finally, automated progress updates & nudges. An OKR platform can automate many recurring & tedious tasks. When aligning an objective, the platform can make suggestions & make your life easier. This ensures that your OKRs are being fully utilized and that you are working on something that really moves the needle. OKR software will automatically send you reminders about your progress. This is another advantage of automation that spreadsheets can’t provide.
OKR platforms can cost anywhere from zero to thousands of dollars per month, depending on the features you need. But investing in an OKR tool will save you time and help you accomplish your goals. So if you’re serious about succeeding with OKRs, think about what OKR software suits your needs. There are several OKR platforms available, such as UpRaise’s OKR app. It is the only OKR app natively developed for Jira and integrates into your team’s existing processes. It offers all the benefits of full-featured OKR software and more while keeping the upfront costs low.