When companies start using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), they begin like most, using manual tracking methods such as Excel, Google Sheets, PowerPoint, and other manual processes. By using these types of practices, OKRs are created, updated manually, and shared through email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and an assortment of other communication channels.
Unfortunately, when organizations start to dive into the true nature of the OKR method and understand that adoption of the framework goes beyond the basics of capturing goals, teams, managers, and senior leadership begin to struggle. They realize what started as "just fine" is not good enough to scale, drive adoption or engagement, takes too much time, and becomes a burdensome process to manage.
Why? Manual OKR tracking practices hinder many, if not all, of the successful benefits the OKR method brings to an organization.
Goals are siloed and not integrated into the daily workflow where teams and individuals are performing their day-to-day work. Employees are less engaged, and tracking progress becomes difficult--especially when a company doesn't have the benefit of automating gentle reminders to request weekly check-ins. Tracking progress and rolling up reports is time-consuming, manual, and leaves room for errors. Managing the alignment, or multi-alignment of goals both horizontally and vertically across teams is near impossible. Dependencies can become lost between the lines.
Not sure if you’re ready for an OKR software tool, read Why Tracking OKRs Manually Just Doesn’t Cut It
If you're in the process of searching for a better OKR template, or workarounds to enable a more straightforward manual tracking process—or just starting with OKRs, it's never the wrong time to consider a dedicated OKR tool. The small investment will go along way, and pay dividends.