Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

Using spreadsheets for OKRs? Stop!

4 March, 2022
5 mins

Taken the decision to finally equip your organization with OKRs? Brilliant! But wait, are you by any chance thinking of using spreadsheets for them? Errhh, Stop! You might just take one of the worst decisions for your organization and end up wasting your precious time. Using spreadsheets for OKRs is like fostering more confusion and disengagement in your organization rather than establishing more clarity and engagement in your workforce – which is the purpose of OKRs. How? Let us find out below!

Using spreadsheets might sound to be an incredible tool for OKRs, but the biggest problem with spreadsheets is implementation. You opt for OKRs in order to get your employees and teams engaged with the goals and hence, the entire process has to be as easy and comfortable as possible. Sometimes it might be difficult to convince your employees to use OKRs, so you want a solution that is extremely intuitive, simple, and immaculate to understand. Otherwise, you put your employees at the risk of feeling overwhelmed and face the daunting task of getting burdened with yet another tool. 

Using spreadsheets for OKRs? Stop!

Source: Pexels

What are the disadvantages of using spreadsheets for OKRs?

When you use spreadsheets for OKRs, it affects in different ways for different people of the organization:

For Individual Contributors:

a. Cumbersome process for entering data

b. Limited capacity for aligning their OKRs with other organizational teams

c. Prone to making mistakes and identical entries

d. Restricted visibility to view OKRs of others

e. Absence of timely feedback from managers and other members

For Managers and OKR Champions:

a. Scoring errors are unchecked.

b. Grading OKRs is challenging.

c. Reporting and reviews can be a chore and can be done only as a monthly cadence.

d. Keeping the integrity of the weekly check-ins can be quite challenging.

e. Maintaining the conversations, feedback, and review while using the spreadsheet is not feasible. 

For the CXOs:

a. Getting the correct image of the state of the organization at any given juncture is not possible. 

b. Getting early warning signs of concerns will be difficult, with the probability of issues being hidden in spreadsheets, which will be always high.

c. Giving timely feedback and early interventions on problem areas is an issue and hence using spreadsheets can defeat the intent of implementing OKRs.

d. When the business needs demands, cancellation, or modification of objectives, making modifications while using spreadsheets is just impossible.

Why should you use an OKR tool for your organization?

1. No need to manually set up an OKR template

An OKR program generally provides you with a pre-filled-out template, where you can easily add your objectives and 3-4 key results. Moreover, you can easily add a custom management unit to any of the key results such as a numerical value, percentage, and even currency. Such a smooth start to the process 

2. Easy to follow and update OKR progress

This is by far the biggest pain point that comes up in the way of successful OKR implementation with spreadsheets. An OKR tool allows you to update your OKR progress with just a click. The system will instantly update the progress of your OKRs. In addition to this, the changes are rapidly made visible to every team member of yours. Not just this, they will be notified about the same. When it comes to spreadsheets, it is way tougher to update the goals and the changes are not easily seen as in an automated OKR software. 

3. Visual dashboard to see the progress of the OKRs 

Another feather in the cap of the OKR software, you and your organization get access to the progress of the okrs, if they are off-track or you have already exceeded the expectations. Each of your team members and leaders can easily see how you have progressed as an entire business. Taking everybody’s progress into consideration, you can easily make better decisions. However, with spreadsheets, this high-level visibility fails to exist. 

4. You can comment and provide feedback on a specific Objective and Key Result

Having an overview of how your employees are progressing with their OKRs benefits you in a couple of ways. An OKR tool enables you to comment on a single objective and an individual key results, sound’s great, right? It facilitates you to provide feedback and offer advice to the team members. 

5. Linking everyone’s objectives and establishing alignment becomes possible 

If you want your employees to understand how each team member’s role makes a difference and leaves a positive mark on the whole organization, OKR linking between organizational tiers is indispensable. An OKR software enables alignment between the individual employee’s objectives and company-wide objectives. With the assistance of automated OKRs, the ones sitting up in the hierarchy can get a bird’s eye view of everyone’s objectives. This makes it easier for you to ensure that everyone is well aligned and moving in tandem towards the bigger picture. 

Moving from spreadsheets to an OKR program

OKRs are meant to be serving the purpose of aligning and engaging people, but if this process is not made comfortable and smooth enough, there is a huge chance that you’ll fail to reap the full benefits of OKRs. For a successful implementation of this brilliant goal-setting methodology, you have to take the route of the OKR program and make using it a habit. 

Therefore, it’s about time for you to evaluate the current situation with OKRs. Whether you are starting off or are already using them in spreadsheets, consider using OKR software if you are serious about implementing OKRs for your organization. The last thing you would want to do is make your employees feel that they are being bombarded with clunky spreadsheets. So, make sure you make the right decision of implementing this approach through OKR software only. This would enable you to start making real progress towards your team and organizational goals. 

Don’t have any idea about which OKR tool to go for? Are you confused about how to implement OKR in your organization? Don’t you worry, we got your back like always! Contact us right away!