In his 2018 NY Times bestseller, “Measure What Matters,” John Doerr relates that as the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) methodology continues to gain popularity, more companies are, “adopting robust, dedicated, cloud-based OKR management software.” Behemoths like Alphabet and Intel have invested in developing their own proprietary software to manage the protocol. They have the capital, talent, and commitment to the system, at such a scale, as to make this practical. For smaller businesses, who understand the potential for improving the execution of strategy, but do not have the time or resources to develop a proprietary OKR management platform, there are companies that provide a cloud-based alternative.
In this article, we’ll detail the benefits of a dedicated OKR cloud-based software platform, the required functionality of a great software solution, and why cloud-based is better.
Important Features of Dedicated, OKR Cloud-Based Software
Perhaps most importantly the software should bring the entire OKR lifecycle into one system, allowing you to set and manage your objectives, align your teams to top corporate priorities, and monitor and measure progress toward those priorities.
In “Measure What Matters” Doerr concurs, and mentions some additional key features:
- The ability to navigate a digital dashboard to create, track, edit, and score OKRs
- Automated updates
- Analytics for reporting
- Real-time alerts
- Integrations with your other applications
Let’s elaborate on what some of these features might look like in a best-in-class OKR software platform. Automated updates might include automated prompts to encourage employees to complete their regularly scheduled check-ins.
Analytics for reporting can drive fact-based management decisions and should include both standard and customizable reports, such as:
- Engagement reports, to inform OKR leads as to employee compliance and to ensure managers are reviewing check-ins
- Monday Morning Reports, enabling executives to review progress on a weekly basis, and the ability to drill down through the organization on any “at risk” objectives from a single pane of glass
If we were forced to choose the single most crucial feature of an OKR software platform, it would be the transparency it enables. The platform provides a line of sight for everyone to see department, team, and individual goals throughout the organization.
The best software would also include Goal Alignment Charts to view the goal hierarchy of your OKRs. These charts ensure the organization’s top priorities cascade properly to departments and teams.
Benefits of a Robust Cloud-Based OKR Software Platform
Once again, we’ll defer to Doerr’s vision of the benefits of an OKR software platform:
- “They make everyone’s goals visible”
- “They drive employee engagement”
- “They promote internal networking”
- “They save time and money”
What makes these benefits so important to an organization? Starting with making everyone’s goals visible, research shows that public goals are more likely to be attained than goals held in private. Simply flipping the switch to “open” can lift performance across the organization.
They drive employee engagement. We cannot overemphasize how vital employee engagement is today. The performance of your company is directly linked to the performance of your people. A Harvard Business Review study by Kaplan and Norton tells us that as much as 95% of your workforce doesn’t understand your company’s top priorities or how their activities contribute to their achievement.
Internal networking relates to collaboration and teamwork. OKR software, with its horizontal visibility, helps to eliminate silos and duplication of effort.
Saving time and money. Pretty much enough said. Saving time and money and properly utilizing resources is the aim of every high-performing company.
We think this brief review of the features and benefits of OKR cloud-based software responds very well to the question of why its better. We hope you concur.
Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, or middle 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!