OKR tracking and the mistakes you need to avoid

Objectives and Key Results or OKRs like every goal you will ever set need to be tracked. But OKRs are not like other simpler forms of goal setting, they are much better. But the framework relies on them not just being set and then forgotten.

In order to fully understand why goal tracking, and more specifically, OKR tracking matters, we need to start at the beginning with the basics. What OKRs are and why you’re using them to set your goals.

OKR tracking and the mistakes you need to avoid

OKRs are the goal setting framework that John Doer introduced to Google. They used them to plan their growth, focus on what mattered most to their success and assign resources. They still do, but there are now hundreds of thousands of other companies also using them to do the same.

OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) have helped lead us to 10× growth, many times over. They’ve helped make our crazily bold mission of ‘organizing the world’s information’ perhaps even achievable. They’ve kept me and the rest of the company on time and on track when it mattered the most.“

Larry Page
CEO Alphabet & co-founder of Google

Read that quote and you begin to understand the DNA of the OKR and how they are best used.
Mission, Vision, Purpose Alignment
OKRs are strategic goals and therefore you start with your Mission, Vision, Purpose, North Star, and Strategic Pillars. You will set Company OKRs based on these and teams will align their OKRs with them.
Ambition
They are designed to be hard not business as usual and focus on the measurements and goals that matter most.
Current & Accurate
Checking whether you’re on track is the job of the checkin and that ideally is weekly, and you’re not just checking in your OKRs, you are checking in what you are doing to achieve them, your Projects and Tasks or what is often referred to as Initiatives.
Wonderfully Agile
When you are tracking your OKRs and Initiatives at the right cadence then you have a view on the State e.g. Active or Going Slowly, Key Result and Initiative Progress against the target, Confidence of achieving the target, and you are also surfacing what is holding you back and what is going well. And most importantly you are talking about it all the time, not at the end of the Quarter. This allows you to solve problems that may arise in near real-time, and where necessary re-assign resources.

Goal tracking

Before you can track goals there are of course skills to be developed around planning what to measure and track, and how to craft OKRs that measure what matters in a non business-as-usual way. Part of what ZOKRI offers is expert OKR training via our global coaching network to ensure those skills are acquired.

You will know you’re ready for goal tracking when you are able to cascade your Mission like Google through to OKRs that are focused on the key pillars of your strategy, and you can align every project / task – Initiative in your company around those, you can feel the change in momentum. Everyone is pushing in the right direction. To make this alignment easy, ZOKRI allows you to connect your strategic OKRs to projects and tasks in software like Jira, Trello and Asana, seamlessly.

What’s even more exciting is when you have new insights into what is on track and what needs attention at cadence that makes change possible and goal achievement even more likely. This is why you set and track OKRs and you create systems and processes around them that ensure the inputs are entered and the outputs discussed and acted upon.

What can go wrong with OKRs and can be avoided with planning?

There’s a video outlining 5 common mistakes below. The two recurring and easily avoidable things that relate specifically to OKR tracking are:

Setting and forgetting your OKRs
OKR tracking in software like ZOKRI solves that.
Key Results that are to-do’s / projects
Which is why ZOKRI has Initiatives and the option to connect software like Trello, Jira and Asana.
Your OKR tracking action plan

If you’re looking to succeed with OKR the best advice we can give you is:

Expert help helps
OKR experts can help you get up the learning curve faster and train your internal OKR lead / champion – ask us to recommend the right coach to you.
Commit to a single point of truth
Once you’ve got great OKRs you need a single point of truth of how you’re doing and what you’re doing. This requires owners and collaborators to commit to keeping their OKR and Initiative States, Progress, Confidence and Issues current, weekly.
Commit to embedding them
It will take a few quarters for the new systems and processes to feel natural. So natural that you don’t think about OKRs, Initiatives and Check-ins, you just set, align and do them. You will know when you’re there, and it’s a great place to be.

OKR Software that makes goal and OKR tracking easy

ZOKRI has been created to make the creation and tracking of SMART goals or OKRs that have cascaded from your strategy and align with your teams projects and tasks easy.

All of the ways you may need to track progress are there. These include:

From / To – numerics, percentages, time, currency
Percentage Complete – For binary and incremental progress tracking
Milestones – For defined progressive stage achievement
Integrated KPIs from software like GA, Jira and Hubspot
Manually updated KPIs
Projects and Tasks – Via integrations with software like Jira, Trello and Asana
What is important to combine with progress is Status e.g. Active, Stuck, Slow, Not Started and Confidence i.e. how confident are you in the goal being achieved at the end of the period?

We have solved the challenges you may face like set-and-forget, project and task integrations and expert coaching. You will just need to commit to evolving how you set goals and keep on track.

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And Better Performing Teams?

Ready To Create Happier, More Engaged And Better Performing Teams?