Coda Tutorial for Planning & OKRs

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Coda Tutorial for Planning & OKRs

A step-by-step guide to get up and running with OKRs in Coda.
Hi, I’m Oliver. I’ve been the Head of Engineering at Coda since 2021. Before that, I spent 14 years as a VP of Engineering at Google where I ran different teams like the YouTube Creator team and the Google Travel & Shopping teams. Along the way, I built a litany of products like Google Flights, Google Shopping Ads, YouTube Content ID, Gmail Frontend, and many more.
A common thread throughout my career has been OKR planning and management. Planning has always been a passion topic of mine. I first read Andy Grove’s —a book that laid the foundation for the OKR framework—during university years in Germany. I was inspired to see the huge impact that simple planning and focus on priorities could have. For the last 25 years, I’ve had the opportunity to lead planning at many different companies, from Pan-European R&D projects to global engineering teams at Google, then company wide planning at Coda. At Coda, I’ve also been able to learn from and advise many companies on their planning processes.
As part of my journey in planning, I have seen many common issues and patterns of success. Perhaps the most important insight I’ve learned is that having a powerful but flexible tool to run your planning process is tremendously important.
Limitations and inflexibility in tooling directly impact the quality of your plans and the resulting execution.
This is a companion doc to my . In that handbook, I have shared my learnings from hundreds of our customers as well as my own career. If you want to improve planning for your team and company, that is the best starting point.
If you’re ready to start using Coda for planning, you can do begin three ways:
You can take one of the many existing Coda templates for planning, and start with those. See for some good ones. You likely will want to tweak the templates for your company’s specific needs and priorities. Sections , , and in this document can help you with those tweaks.
I recommend this approach if you want to start playing with OKRs in Coda as quickly as possible, or if you are very familiar with Coda already and want to set up simple OKRs as quickly as possible.
Alternatively, you can build your dream planning doc yourself—what many of our customers do. This will take from half an hour to multiple hours, depending on your familiarity with Coda and the complexity of planning you are aiming to achieve. The advantage of this approach is that you will understand how everything works and be able to customize every part of planning to the specific needs of your organization. Section will walk you through how to do this. The rest of the tutorial will teach you how to become a super star planner with Coda.
I recommend this approach for everyone who is fully committing to OKRs in Coda as building your OKR doc from the ground up will improve your Coda knowledge immensely and that makes it easier to adjust things exactly to your needs.
You can have the Coda solutions team build a custom planning doc for your organization. Feel free to !
I recommend this approach if you want to use Coda for OKRs for a larger company and either need major custom tailoring or if you do not have the time to work through the tutorial yourself.
So, in this tutorial, you’ll learn the skills needed to lead your company’s planning cycle from end-to-end; including how to create an OKR tracker, use Coda to facilitate decision making, build OKR progress dashboard, and more.
This tutorial assumes no previous knowledge of Coda, so we recommend you follow the tutorial as a starting point to build your own OKR doc. Every organization has specific needs for their planning, and therefore every OKR doc should be customized to those specific needs - and that is easiest done if you have built the doc from the ground up. However, if you do not want to do that, the table of contents below has a link to a doc you can copy - that doc is how your own doc would look at the end of that section of the tutorial.
Please don’t be intimidated by the size of this tutorial - to get started all you need is the first section . You will have a working OKR doc at the end of that section. Section will show you how to use Coda to run a smoother OKR process. I think it is well worth working through it, but it is not strictly needed. Next, section is a short section, and relevant to understand how to best manage an OKR doc for a large organization (e.g. an entire company). Finally, section helps you implement my recommendations about better execution from my planning handbook. Again, this is very optional, and you might only start using this after your first or two successful quarters with Coda as your planning tool. If you want to go even further, and contain further ideas on how to leverage the power of Coda. I would recommend taking a look to be aware of that is discussed there.
I’d love to hear your feedback as you read—you can find me on ,
, and

Navigating this tutorial.

Each step of this tutorial can be found on the page nav to the left. It’s a scaffolded build, so we recommend going in order.
Some of the steps have have collapsible sub-steps. Like this one. Just click the arrow to expand if you need see those details.
🎉 YAY you did it! 🎉
Additionally, each page will highlight what you will get at the end of the step and what features you will use to get there. Here’s the example from .
What'll you'll get and use.png
Lastly, if you want to take a deeper dive into any of the features you’ll use to build the doc, you can find all the links on page.

Table of Contents.
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Advanced Features

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Advanced Features

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Advanced Features

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