Dispelling OKR Myths: Excel Versus an OKR Software Platform

It is said that OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a simple methodology with a simple language. There are no hard and fast rules, and there is no GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). So, much of what has been written of OKRs, taught by consultants, and espoused by OKR Software providers, is open to interpretation. As a result, we have misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and outright “Myths” about the process.

This series of blogs will debunk many of the most prevalent misconceptions.

OKR Myth #4: You can easily implement OKRs with Excel or spreadsheets

There is some truth in this Myth as many OKR consultants and software providers will encourage companies to execute their first cycle or tow of OKRs (Objective and Key Results) in a spreadsheet environment. The rationale is logical, teams and individuals can learn the OKR protocol in a more comfortable application rather than trying to learn both the protocol and the software simultaneously.

After these first few cycles, your teams will become more proficient with the protocol. To make the OKR process scalable and sustainable most companies will then turn to a more robust, dedicated, cloud-based software platform.

In his New York Times bestseller, “Measure What Matters,” Author John Doerr relates the story of one company opting to execute their OKR implementation on a Microsoft application. The result, 82,000 employees dutifully completed their initial OKRs on Word. Imagine the chaos of changing the cadence of goal-setting to quarterly!

Best-in-class OKR Software providers have platforms to accommodate this scale. Their applications feature the transparency and visibility required to create alignment and encourage engagement. They have automated prompts to ensure regular performance updates, and the capacity to capture data from Check0Ins and Conversations to build a culture of accountability. All of these are things not easily accomplished in a spreadsheet environment!

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!


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