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OKR Tracking: What Is The Best Way To Track OKRs In 2024? + Free OKR Tracking Template

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The discussion of OKR tracking mirrors the practice of tracking OKRs directly. Before we can even start talking about OKR tracking, we need to make sure that OKRs are being set the right way.

That is why in this particular blog post on OKR tracking, we will start by examining each aspect of OKRs before discussing just how you can track them the best.

Once we cover each step of creating the perfect OKR framework for your team, we will then discuss some of the best methods of OKR tracking.

The OKR tracking section of this article will include a free OKR tracking template for you to download, alongside some tips on one of the best OKR tracking tools available today!

It doesn’t really matter which goal-setting methodology you’re practicing. Remember, no matter how effective you are at setting goals, how you track goals is just as important when it comes to the success of your team.

Are your OKRs in the flow of work?

Regardless of your goal-setting methodology of choice, the goals and OKRs you set should always be in the flow of work. Integrating OKRs into your central communication platform is the best way to make sure your OKRs are always present and relevant.

If you’re part of an organization that uses Microsoft Teams on a daily basis, then you can try out the best OKR software for Microsoft Teams for absolutely free, without having to sign-up!

Use the best OKR software for Microsoft Teams!
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Defining Objectives and Key Results

Objectives

At the core of the OKR framework are objectives. Objectives are high-level, ambitious, and qualitative goals that define what an organization or team aims to achieve. Their purpose is to offer direction and purpose, serving as a rallying point for everyone involved. Objectives are typically set for a specific period, often a quarter or a year.

Key Results

To make objectives actionable and measurable, they are supported by Key Results. Key Results are specific, quantifiable, and time-bound milestones that indicate progress toward achieving an objective. They provide the necessary metrics to assess success and keep teams on track.

Examples of Well-Crafted OKRs

To better understand how OKRs work, let’s look at a few examples:

Example 1: Sales Team

Objective:

Increase annual revenue by 20%.

Key Results
  • Achieve $1 million in sales by the end of Q4.
  • Sign contracts with 20 new clients by the end of the year.
  • Increase upsell and cross-sell revenue by 15% over the previous year.

Example 2: Product Development Team

Objective

Improve product user satisfaction.

Key Results
  • Increase Net Promoter Score (NPS) from 45 to 60 within six months.
  • Reduce average customer support response time to less than one hour.
  • Launch two major feature updates based on user feedback in the next quarter.

These examples illustrate the clear link between objectives and measurable key results. When crafted effectively, OKRs provide a roadmap for teams to follow and a way to gauge their progress toward achieving their goals.

Setting Objectives Clearly

The foundation of a successful OKR framework lies in setting clear and inspiring objectives. In this section, we’ll delve into the art of crafting objectives that provide direction, motivation, and alignment for your teams.

How to write inspiring objectives?

OKR tracking: how to write inspiring objectives

1. Make Them Inspirational

Objectives should inspire and motivate your teams. They should be ambitious yet attainable, pushing individuals to strive for excellence. An inspirational objective energizes your team and ignites their passion.

Example: Instead of “Increase website traffic,” opt for “Become the go-to online resource for industry insights.”

2. Align with Company Goals

Ensure that your objectives align with the broader goals of your organization. When objectives are in sync with the company’s mission and strategy, it creates a sense of purpose and unity among teams.

Example: If your company’s mission is to “revolutionize healthcare,” your marketing team’s objective might be to “Educate 100,000 people about the benefits of *insert your revolutionary solution here*.”

3. Keep Them Specific

While objectives should be inspirational, they should also be specific enough to provide clear guidance. Vague objectives can lead to confusion and a lack of focus.

Example: “Increase customer satisfaction by improving product quality” could be refined to “Achieve a customer satisfaction rating of 95% within six months by reducing product defects.”

Identifying Your Key Results

Unlike objectives, key results are far more concrete. They are measurable indicators that your team is on their way to achieving their objectives. They are virtual checkpoints for your team to tick off en route to achieving the objectives you set for them.

Key results are what make OKR tracking possible. Making sure you have measurable key results is the most important step in tracking OKRs.

Key results should provide your team with some idea of what success looks like. This puts a lot of pressure on key results. Here is how should be setting them:

Be Specific & Quantifiable

We know we’ve said this about objectives as well but you have to keep in mind that key results, if anything, should be quantifiable. So as you’re setting them make sure there is some measurable data attached to them. Quantifiable metrics provide clarity and leave no room for interpretation.

Example: Rather than “Boost website traffic,” go with “Increase monthly website traffic by 30%.”

Align Key Results with Objectives

Key Results should be directly aligned with the corresponding objective. They should represent the specific actions, changes, or accomplishments required to fulfill the broader goal set by the objective.

  • Example: If your objective is to “Increase customer engagement,” a suitable Key Result might be “Achieve a 15% increase in user engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares) on our social media channels.”

Actionable Key Results

Key Results should be actionable! They need to represent tasks or activities that teams can actively work on as opposed to just being milestones you want to hit. Even if the objectives you set are on the more ambitious side of things, the key results you determine should always offer ideas on how you want those results to be achieved.

  • Example: Instead of “Improve product quality,” create a Key Result like “Reduce product defects by 20% through enhanced quality control procedures.”

How to Track OKRs Effectively?

You need to master OKR tracking in order to create tangible progress as an organization. OKR tracking allows you to establish a precise strategy that brings your team to new heights of success.

Our how-to guide about tracking OKRs will equip you with the information you need to conquer your organizational goals and we also mentioned why you should use OKR tracker software as a supplement to your efforts to track OKRs.

This guide will empower you by providing you with a strategic vision about how to track OKRs. There is of course more than one way to track OKRs. For this reason, we will be going over some helpful OKR tracking tools, as well as some things you can do to make sure your OKRs are trackable in the first place!

Step 1: Defining Clear Metrics For Success

If you don’t know what success looks like then you can’t be expected to track it in your employees. That is just common sense. While we’ve discussed performance metrics in other articles before, setting metrics for objectives and key results isn’t very different.

You need to have some measurable criteria of success for your key results. At the end of the day, tracking OKRs isn’t that far apart from tracking any other task if you’ve set your key results up correctly.

Step 2: OKR Tracking Software

The best tool in the arsenal of anyone who wishes to switch to OKRs is without a doubt a strong OKR software. Whether you are working remotely or in a traditional setting, OKRs are too complex a procedure to tackle manually.

When you use some of the top OKR tools in the market, you gain access to benefits such as automated check-ins, cascading OKRs, customizable reporting, and so much more.

We made a list of some of the best free OKR software available today. It can definitely help you pick the right tool for you: Top 10 Free OKR Software

That being said, if your organization uses Microsoft Teams on a daily basis then the best OKR software for you would be:

Teamflect

Teamflect's OKR Tracking dashboard

Teamflect is an all-in-one performance management software for Microsoft Teams and it is one of the most capable OKR tracking platforms in the Microsoft Teams ecosystem. Teamflect allows users to create, track, and manage goals and OKRs without ever having to leave their central communication hub. This way your goals and OKRs are always in the flow of work.

Teamflect users can integrate their OKRs into Microsoft Teams meeting agendas in order to conduct incredibly effective goal check-ins and assist in OKR tracking.

Teamflect isn’t just an OKR tracking tool. It comes with a wide array of features including but not limited to:

The best part is, that Teamflect is completely free for up to 10 users, with full functionality! That means you can try Teamflect with a small group for as long as you want, and if the feedback is positive, then you can invest in it! Click the button below to try Teamflect for free without signing up!

Start using Microsoft Teams to manage your goals!
No sign-up required.
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Here is a helpful video guide on how you can use Teamflect and Microsoft Teams for goals & OKRs:

Step 3: Hold Regular Check-ins

Regular check-ins and updates are a cornerstone of effective OKR tracking. These scheduled meetings or status updates play a pivotal role in ensuring that your teams stay aligned, motivated, and on track to achieve their objectives.

Regular check-ins create a sense of accountability among team members. Knowing that they will have to report on their progress encourages individuals to stay committed to their OKRs and take ownership of their work.

You should also remember that OKRs are not static; they may need adjustments as circumstances change. Regular check-ins provide a forum for teams to align their efforts with shifting priorities and adapt their strategies as necessary.

Step 4: A Free OKR Tracking Template

This OKR tracking template for Word provides a customizable layout for teams to define their objectives and key results, track progress towards achieving them, and collaborate with team members to keep everyone aligned and accountable.

The template includes sections for team objectives, key results, progress updates, and comments. The team objectives and key results sections allow teams to define their goals and track progress towards achieving them.

The progress updates section provides a space for team members to update their progress towards each objective and key result, while the comments section allows team members to collaborate and discuss any issues or roadblocks.

Moreover, this OKR tracking template can serve as an OKR status report. As mentioned above, it includes a progress updates section for you to indicate the progress you’ve managed to make.

OKR Tracking Template vs OKR Tracking Software

While we wanted to provide you with an OKR tracking template for good measure, we believe that it is a rather outdated method of tracking OKRs. Using Word OKR templates or Excel OKR templates just adds extra steps to a process that can easily be streamlined through the use of OKR software.

In only a fraction of the time it takes to create an OKR tracking template and use it to set and track OKRs, you can use an OKR management tool to create objectives and key results, automate check-ins, get visual representations of data, and do so much more.

Not to mention that using OKR software as opposed to OKR tracking templates is far more scalable as your business grows.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Tracking OKRs

1. Neglecting Regular Updates and Check-Ins

One of the most significant mistakes is failing to maintain a regular cadence of updates and check-in meetings. OKRs are dynamic, and progress needs to be monitored consistently.

Without regular check-ins, teams may lose focus, and obstacles might go unaddressed. To avoid this, establish a routine for updates and encourage teams to communicate openly about their progress and challenges.

2. Setting Unrealistic or Ambiguous Key Results

Setting key results that are either unrealistic or too vague can derail your OKR tracking efforts. Unrealistic key results can demotivate teams, while vague ones make it challenging to measure progress accurately.

Ensure that your key results are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound to provide clarity and attainable targets.

3. Lack of Transparency and Accountability

OKR tracking relies on transparency and accountability. If progress is not visible to all team members, it can lead to confusion and a lack of alignment.

Without a clear sense of ownership and accountability for OKRs, teams may not be motivated to actively pursue them. Encourage transparency by making OKRs accessible to everyone and assigning clear responsibilities for each Key Result.

4. Focusing Solely on Achieving OKRs

While the primary goal of tracking OKRs is to achieve objectives, it’s essential to remember that OKRs are not just about the end result. They’re also a tool for learning and improvement.

A common mistake is viewing OKRs as pass-fail objectives. Instead, see them as a journey of growth and development. Celebrate progress and use setbacks as opportunities to learn and adjust strategies.

5. Not Adapting to Changing Circumstances

In a dynamic business environment, circumstances can change rapidly. Failing to adapt OKRs when needed is a significant mistake. If external factors or internal priorities shift, be willing to adjust your objectives and Key Results accordingly.

Rigidity can lead to the pursuit of obsolete goals and wasted effort. Keep OKRs flexible and aligned with your organization’s evolving needs.

Closing Words

Performance management involves effective tracking of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). In our article we tried to underscore the importance of setting clear and inspiring OKRs before delving into tracking OKRs.

Crafting objectives involves aligning them with company goals, and being as specific as possible. These objectives, in turn, drive teams toward a shared purpose and direction. Key Results, being specific, quantifiable, and actionable, help you track OKRs effectively.

Our article highlights the benefits of using Teamflect as an OKR tracker, which seamlessly integrates into Microsoft Teams. Performance management is evolving, so these insights provide a comprehensive guide for organizations that ask the question “how to track OKRs”.

You are invited to streamline your OKR tracking with Teamflect! Take your performance management to the next level by clicking the button below!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to track OKRs effectively?

  1. Defining Clear Metrics For Success
  2. OKR Tracking Software
  3. Hold Regular Check-ins
  4. A Free OKR Tracking Template

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Tracking OKRs

  • Neglecting Regular Updates and Check-Ins
  • Setting Unrealistic or Ambiguous Key Results
  • Lack of Transparency and Accountability
  • Focusing Solely on Achieving OKRs
  • Not Adapting to Changing Circumstances

Written by Emre Ok

Emre is a content writer at Teamflect who aims to share fun and unique insight into the world of performance management.

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