Without tracking execution and progress, a plan is essentially just a to-do list. In this section, we’ll talk about why the OKR framework treats setting OKRs and OKR tracking equally, and how a few key templates can be integrated into any OKR progress workflow instead of relying on OKR software. If this is your first time tracking OKRs, don't worry—you've got this.
Why track OKRs?
(objectives and key results) prioritizes better performance management by aligning company goal-setting with deliverable key results that are tracked and measured over time. Many teams use this methodology to track progress and encourage better company culture with more transparency around company objectives. The transparency offered by OKR tracking helps with project management as it clarifies which initiatives are happening in the entire company and how they roll up into the big picture. And consistent mention of company goals is a great way to reinforce priorities when onboarding team members.
OKR tracking templates and tools.
Tracking OKRs provides continual perspective on the goal alignment established during the high-level planning process. In other words, keeping track of OKR progress toward your goals serves as a motivating factor to achieve those goals while also uncovering which focus areas are falling short. Over 50% of Codans referred back to their OKRs during the last quarter.
It’s also worth noting that nearly 20% of Codans never thought about OKRs after the planning process. Because they’re probably not alone—and because we want to avoid siloing the data into several OKR tools—we try to integrate goal tracking into existing workstreams whenever possible. Here are a few of the templates we lean on for real-time OKR tracking:
OKR Tracking FAQ
How to track OKR progress.
No matter if you're a startup or a large company, you don't need a fancy OKR tool. The first step to tracking OKR progress is to make sure that your Key Results (KRs) are a measurable metric. The quantitative aspect of your KR can then be broken down into a percentage over time. For example, if the key result is to drive $100,000 in MRR, you can break this down into 4 weekly tracking points of $25,000 or 25% of the goal for each week. Then, set a regular tracking cadence and communicate the results to your team members so that everyone is aware of OKR progress over time. Try using this
What is the best cadence for OKR tracking?
The frequency of OKR tracking depends on the scope of your objectives and key results. Some require weekly check-ins to course correct where necessary, while others can be tracked monthly. That said, the more regular your tracking cadence, the better real-time pulse you'll have on what to prioritize and how to adapt your plan if things change.
How to run an OKR check-in.
An “OKR check-in” is a performance review, and they range from a simple Slack message to a dedicated meeting with all team members. On a team or company level, OKR check-ins allow space for discussions about progress, employee engagement, and potential changes to project management. For employee performance, personal OKRs can be a useful guide to think about how company goals can be incorporated into their work (like how someone on the marketing team contributes to MRR goals).
In both scenarios, the keys to an effective OKR check-in are a clear agenda and a willingness to receive feedback—especially as so many of us are running check-ins for remote teams. You may also find a scorecard helpful. Try adapting any of the OKR tracking templates above.