Establishing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) can benefit your company, but only if you can properly track each one. We’ll walk you through how to track your OKRs below.
What are OKRs?
There are so many acronyms to keep track of in the corporate world, so here’s a quick definition to spare you from having to search “OKR meaning” before diving into the specifics about OKR tracking. OKR is a shared goals system used to align, engage, and connect everyone at the company around measurable business goals.
I’ve set my OKRs, now what?
Once you have your OKRs defined, make sure your information is entered into a tracking system. A work management solution with strategic planning tools like Workfront Goals makes it easy to visualize and track progress on your OKRs. You can seamlessly set and manage objectives in a single platform and measure work against those goals to determine if your work is at risk, behind, or on track.
When tracking OKRs, it’s also important to ensure everyone’s on track each week. Once your OKRs are marked complete, remember to get together to assess and discuss the results as a group.
Why it’s important to track OKRs.
Tracking OKRs is important for keeping an eye on which teams are sticking to their goals and which are falling short, and for continuously motivating your team to meet stated objectives.
How to track OKRs.
Here’s a look at how to track OKRs, followed by an OKR spreadsheet:
- Write qualitative Objectives and quantitative Key Results. When writing your Objectives, explain what you’re looking to improve in brief, descriptive language that identifies the qualities you want to achieve (e.g., “Launch a world-class event” or “Create a welcoming customer experience”), and use these descriptions to inform your Key Results. Key Results should be written in quantitative, measurable language designed to deliver on the Objective (examples in the table below).
- Assign percentage benchmarks for each Key Result. Just because an Objective has four Key Results does not mean that when two are completed, the OKR is halfway done. Not all Key Results require the same amount of effort. To better calculate your progress, use weighted measurements for each Key Result to make your progress bar more accurate.
- Set responsibilities and accountability for Key Results. Key Results will likely be assigned to multiple people or teams. Be sure you clearly define the full expectations and responsibilities for each Key Result so all participants can help ensure all associated tasks are completed.
- Share OKRs with your team. Even if not all team members are involved in each OKR, sharing them all with your team helps keep everyone in the loop while also providing transparency about the major goals and priorities your company is hoping to accomplish.
- Track results on a regular schedule (with calendar reminders). Reviewing your OKRs at a regular cadence is the best way to ensure progress and review real-time accomplishments. Set weekly, biweekly, or even daily meetings (depending on your timelines) to discuss your OKRs as a group.
- Discuss key learnings along the way. It’s important to not only review the Key Results that were accomplished but also to review how they were accomplished and what was learned. For instance, one Key Result might have been to increase the number of web content subscribers to your company’s vlog by 18%, but you may have only increased it by 15%. Discuss why this Key Result fell short so that the team can learn from this knowledge.
Example OKR spreadsheets.
It can be hard to manage OKRs in spreadsheets, but it’s not impossible. While we recommend using a solution like Workfront to help, here’s an example to get you started.
Capturing Key Results:
OKR tracking is well worth the effort.
OKRs are a great way to align your company around shared objectives and ensure it continues to grow and evolve in a positive, collaborative direction. The practice of tracking OKRs as a team can also help keep employees more invested and engaged in high-level company objectives, so they can devote their daily efforts to the work that matters most.