In his New York Times bestseller, “Measure What Matters,” author John Doerr referred to OKRs as being, “like Swiss Army knives, suited to any environment.” He went on to state that although OKRs had their start in tech companies, they have now expanded far beyond Silicon Valley and are being used by industry stalwarts in other verticals such as the beverage industry, Anheuser Busch, the auto industry BMW, and entertainment Disney.
Doerr then discusses the OKR methodology for companies at different life-stages:
- “In start-ups where people need to be pulling in the same direction, they can prove to be a survival tool”
- “In medium-sized, rapidly scaling businesses they provide a shared language, they clarify expectations, and they keep employees aligned”
- “In larger enterprises, they eliminate silos and encourage collaboration”
In this article, we’ll focus on medium-sized companies, that have experience with Objectives and Key Results, and are now faced with the need for a dedicated, cloud-based OKR Software platform to execute at scale. Since the U.S. only recognizes small businesses and large businesses, let’s define a medium-sized business for our purposes. We’ll consider a company mid-sized if revenues exceed $10 million but are less than $1 billion, and if they employ more than 50, but less than 500 employees.
We’ll explain why, when companies achieve this critical mass an Excel or Word application supported by Email simply isn’t efficient and why mid-sized companies require a dedicated OKR platform.
Yes, You Can Implement OKRs with Excel or Spreadsheets
Many OKR consultants and software providers will encourage companies to execute their first cycle or two 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. However, to make the OKR system scalable and sustainable, companies will need a more robust, dedicated, cloud-based software platform.
Progressive Mid-Sized Businesses Will Eventually Turn to OKR Software
Best-in-class OKR Software providers bring the entire OKR lifecycle into one system with features such as digital dashboards, alignment charts, automated prompts for Check-Ins, standard and customized reports to manage the process with data, and processes to record and report results.
OKR Software applications feature the transparency and visibility required to create alignment and encourage greater employee engagement. They ensure regular performance updates, and capture data from Check-Ins and Conversations to build a culture of accountability.
These are things not easily accomplished in a spreadsheet and Email environment once you have reached fifty employees. Communication becomes too laborious and complex, ensuring compliance can be an administrative nightmare, and recapping and reporting on progress in real-time is non-existent.
We have both anecdotal and statistical data from current clients who started OKRs in Excel or Spreadsheets and failed. Once they moved to a dedicated OKR platform, they realized the successful execution they were seeking.
Do you manage a company or teams? 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!