June 8, 2021

Importance of a Simple OKR Tool for your Small Business

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Importance of a Simple OKR Tool for your Small Business

With the vision of boosting focus and productivity in mind, many companies roll out OKRs using spreadsheets to hit the ground running. Despite being a manual process, Excel, Google Sheets, and other OKR templates prove effective in small teams.

That is until you hit a wall of company hyper-growth.

While spreadsheets work well for a confined data set, companies will soon realize the limitations manual tracking presents. As your team grows, so will the number of goals, weekly check-ins, and progress documentation-—quickly rendering manual OKRs unmanageable.

X% of Unlock OKR users surveyed were using spreadsheets before making decisions to implement an automated OKR tool.

Manual tracking is burdensome because the effective implementation of OKRs extends far beyond capturing day-to-day tasks. When optimized, the OKR framework helps teams focus and align individual work to the same company priorities transparently. However, with numerous spreadsheets, companies experience roadblocks like limited time and low energy.

Luckily, the solution to these roadblocks is clear: a single source of truth for your organization’s OKR workflows.

Why implement an OKR tool when you are already tracking using spreadsheets?

Let us step into the shoes of a manager for a moment and imagine this: It is time for performance reviews. You begin parsing through a year’s OKR spreadsheets from the department level to each individual on your team.

How many hours will this process take? Is there missing information? Will there be human error?

All of these questions illustrate the limitations of tracking OKRs in spreadsheets.

Without a single source of truth for your company’s OKR workflows, managing OKRs can become not only time-consuming but chaotic. The use of OKRs should bring clarity to your team’s day-to-day life instead of an added burden.

This is where a simple OKR tool can play the role of a single source of truth for an entire company’s OKR tracking and documentation. Using an OKR tool can be the difference between struggling to set up OKRs and seamless OKR visualization and accountability.

Also Read: Unlock Benefits of OKR Framework for Large & Small Companies

Simplifying the Process of Cascading OKRs

“Cascading makes an operation more coherent,” is noted by John Doerr, widely credited for introducing OKRs at Google.

At the core of every successful OKR rollout are meticulously cascaded OKRs from the executive level to teams and individual employees. To plan and cascade OKRs is no simple task, and doing so manually is challenging.

Manually cascading OKRs can lack transparency relative to the company-wide visualization an OKR tool can provide. Remember, the OKR framework promotes overall transparency, making it paramount to a successful rollout.

Automation is another benefit of using an OKR tool. You might be thinking, individuals and their managers still have to write and input their OKRs. This is true. That said, OKRs are meant to be tracked, updated, and changed when necessary. As change is commonplace, companies that adopt a simple OKR tool will allow OKR administrators to rest assured that company-wide updates, transitions, and employee reminders are automated and stress-free.

On the contrary, some small businesses find themselves satisfied with using OKRs in spreadsheets. It is essential to take your time deciding on whether spreadsheets or an OKR tool is suitable for you. Ensure your team takes time to trial different OKR tools, as implementation is a massive undertaking that requires internal change management.

Facilitating better employee engagement

Now let’s look at the big picture. There is no doubt OKRs are rolled out with a focus on business results in mind. Unfortunately, without engaged employees, better business results can’t be achieved.

After all, employee engagement is about “employees’ willingness and ability to contribute to company success.”

That’s why providing your team members with a one-stop-shop to measure their progress towards the individual, team, and company OKRs is crucial. Implementing an OKR tool doesn’t only prevent the tech fatigue of parsing through spreadsheets. As your team achieves key results, they will also recognize personal contributions to the business.

When used effectively, OKRs promise to deliver better employee engagement, higher product quality, and even more significant revenue.

Also Read: How are OKRs in Business Better than Traditional Approaches?

Are you ready for an OKR tool?

Whether you’re searching for a better OKR template for your spreadsheets or ready to dive into using a simple OKR tool, Unlock OKR is here to enable you to improve your OKR workflows. Take a tour of Unlock OKR today to find out how we can help.