Objectives and Key Results is a goal-setting methodology that helps you track your progress.
With the rise in the use of OKRs, there has also been a substantial rise in the number of OKR tools available in the market.
Choosing the right OKR tool is equally important as setting the right OKR framework. But how can one evaluate multiple OKR tools that are available to an organization? To answer this question, here are top 5 tips that will help you to pick the best OKR tool based on your team and requirements.
Understand your Needs
Before choosing an OKR software, it is imperative to clearly understand your needs so that you do not end up with just another useless purchase.
Based on the complexity of your OKRs, we recommend you create a list of OKR issues you wish to solve and the benefits you wish to procure by using an OKR tool. This list will help you clarify your purpose for an OKR tool and make it easier to determine what you are looking for.
Know the market
Now that you have outlined your needs and determined exactly what you are looking for, let us take a quick minute to understand the two types of OKR tools out there.
1 Free OKR tools
You can set and track your OKRs for free using various methods. The most common free OKR tool is Google Sheets or Excel Spreadsheet. There is yet another humble tool you could use to set your OKRs – the mighty pen and paper! After all, that is what huge companies used before the internet made things easier. However, remember that using a spreadsheet for OKRs might not be sustainable for a growing organization, and might lead to the OKRs not getting completely utilized.
2 OKR SaaS Tools
If you are someone who tends to forget OKRs after setting them or uses more complex OKRs, this kind of tool will help you manage your OKRs better. An OKR software provides even more features and is ideal for companies that use more OKRs and require tracking OKRs more collaboratively.
Ask these questions to compare all your options
We have thus far understood our needs and the types of OKR software out there. Whether you choose to go with free OKR tools or OKR software, trying to answer the following questions will help you decide the perfect OKR tool that your company will benefit from, in the long run.
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1 Which is easiest to use and customize?
Setting and tracking OKRs can be quite tedious. Therefore, the OKR software you are using must make it easier for you to align your OKRs with the vision of the company.
A good OKR tool should be able to present all your OKRs in a clean template without making them complex to manage. No one likes to look at anything that has a cluttered appearance. It should also provide its users with an option for easy customization. For example, the user should have the option to track their progress in percentage or milestones.
Ultimately, it is advisable to choose the one which does not require getting into the nitty-gritty details of the software.
2 Which provides the most desirable features?
While looking for a software that is relatively easy to use, do not forget to consider the features you require to ensure the smooth functioning of OKRs.
Here is a checklist of features you might want to consider.
A. Allows transparency
B. Allows sharing and commenting
C. Notifies workers of their OKRs
D. Ability to collaborate with other workers
E. Integration with other software like MS teams or Slack
F. Has a dashboard where you can view all OKRs
G. Provides insight into setting and tracking OKRs
H. Provides consistent and reliable data
3 Which is most suitable for company needs?
Often when looking for a product that is easy to use and costs the least, we tend to forget the needs and wants of our company.
Therefore, when surfing for OKR tools, do keep in mind the size of your team and the complexity of your OKRs. For example, if your company has the habit of cascading OKRs then you do not want to find out that the software you just purchased does not accommodate that feature.
Also be sure to check the list you had made earlier, which clearly states what exactly it is that you are looking for in an OKR tool, in order to pick the tool that fits best for your team.
Make use of the demo
It can be overwhelming and stressful to make the right purchase for your company needs. Even more so, if it turns out that you did not pick the right tool despite all your best efforts.
So, it is a good idea to try out the demo before you make a permanent purchase. You can always uninstall the software if it is not ‘the one’.
Include your team
Finally, make sure to consider your team’s opinion when making a purchase that will directly affect them. After all, they are the ones who will be using the OKR tool the most. Including your team in the decision making process will also boost their morale and make them more interested in inculcating OKRs into their work style.
At the end of the day, a new purchase will not truly be an asset unless it helps with the progress of your company. The company must ensure that a simple OKR tool seamlessly integrates into work flow which can empower the employees to move in the same direction as the company, focus on the progress and work towards achieving improved results. Hopefully, with these tips, you will be able to select the right OKR tool that makes it easier to visualise your OKRs and align them with your company values.