How do you set up and sustain effective OKRs to achieve your business outcomes? Without the right tools at hand, this is an impossible task.
One of the popular ways to track OKRs is by using Google Sheets or Excel using our free OKR template spreadsheet. In this article, we’ll show you how to set up and sustain OKRs on sheets, the pros and cons of doing so, and best practices for sustaining effective OKRs.
We’ll also discuss why many high-growth companies choose to use an OKR platform like ours to drive their strategy.
If you're a team of 10 or less members, we’d highly recommend that you download our free OKR template for sheets and start using it as we share our tips and tricks.
An OKR Template is a useful tool that provides a structure for teams to set and sustain their OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). This pre-formatted design can be used in Google Sheets or Excel, making it easy for companies and teams to craft and track their objectives and key results without spending a penny.
Teams use OKR templates to streamline their goal-setting and strategy execution process. These templates allow teams to focus on their goals, track progress, and work towards creating impact.
Objectives tell you “What do we need to achieve?”
Objective statements start with a Verb + What would you like to accomplish + Business Value
Key Results focus on the “How do we measure success?”
Key Results Start with a Verb + Metric to be measured and improved + movement from X to Y
Tasks/Initiatives tell us “What do we need to do to get there?” The Verbs in OKRs are important, as everything about OKRs is about moving the organization through actions!
This step-by-step guide shows you how to use our free OKR template.
Getting started with the template is quick and easy. Follow these steps to begin tracking your OKRs:
First, add in your teammates. Our spreadsheet template is automated, making it easier to assign tasks.
Lay the foundation for effective OKR planning and tracking by defining the core elements of your strategy for the quarter.
By establishing these core elements, you’re ensuring that your team will be able to navigate the OKR process with clarity and focus.
Sharing the template with your team members is a vital step in fostering collaboration and collective ownership of the OKR process.
Here's how to make the most of this opportunity:
OKRs are likely to fall into the ‘set-and-forget’ trap. It’s very important to follow up with regular OKR check-ins. Check-ins are weekly outcome-focused meetings to identify blockers, see progress, and course-correct when required. It’s best not to start finding solutions during the OKR check-in to keep the meeting short and outcome-focused. For more information, see our guide to running effective check-ins.
If you need help to start crafting your OKRs, you can check these free resources on our blog:
This versatile OKR template is suitable for any team or organization of any industry that wants to track and sustain OKRs.
There are many reasons why spreadsheets are the first thing that come to mind when managing strategy and business performance.
Here are the benefits of using spreadsheets to sustain OKRs.
Spreadsheets are well-known, universally used, accessible, and familiar tools. They are extremely versatile as well, as you can not only track OKRs but also related metrics, such as KPIs. If you’re using a ready-made spreadsheet template, all you need to do is customize your template to fit your needs. Spreadsheets are convenient if you are a team of 10. As your organization grows, OKR software can offer better functionality to track and spot strategic misalignments that can derail your business.
Your team can have a familiar tool like spreadsheets that helps them learn an unfamiliar process of OKRs, and then move on to more complex tools as the team matures.
Moreover, there are platforms like Google Sheets that allow you to make and use spreadsheets and templates for free!
An OKR spreadsheet is a great starting point for building a tool that boosts team performance. It also aligns everyone in the team to one way of tracking and managing metrics and improves decision-making.
It’s important that every team member follows the same approach to OKRs. As OKRs often revolve around shared commitments, it will be easier for cross-functional teams to collaborate if they measure progress using a uniform and consistent approach.
Even though spreadsheets dominate business processes, when it comes to OKRs, they are being replaced by OKR tools at a rapid pace. This is because spreadsheets have some limitations.
While spreadsheets are versatile, it is difficult to connect individuals to the big-picture company strategy using them. While strategy is made up of many different moving parts - such as OKRs, milestones, initiatives, and KPIs - tracking all of them on one spreadsheet can make the sheet complex and difficult to manage.
Secondly, while spreadsheets are a great tool for getting started on OKRs, maintaining the spreadsheet uses up time and effort that can be better spent on actioning strategy.
When it comes to spreadsheets, you can go one of two ways.
You can either have a concise, focused plan that highlights all the key metrics but leaves out the details and doesn’t bridge the gap between planning and actions. Or, you can have an extremely detailed and convoluted plan that focuses too much on actions, becoming more like a task-management framework and less like a strategy execution plan.
Another challenge with spreadsheets is ownership. Some spreadsheets have multiple editors, with each editor making their own changes and updates. This can lead to the spreadsheet going haywire until it is impossible to decipher the original plan. On the other hand, having only one owner or editor for the spreadsheet means that the owner may have to keep following up with their teammates week after week to ensure that the spreadsheet is up to date.
While spreadsheets are a great starting point for managing and sustaining OKRs, especially for startups, it is highly recommended to use a tool that is specifically designed to do that. OKR platforms and OKR tools strike the perfect balance between simplicity and effectiveness. Using a platform like Fitbots means you spend most of your time actioning your company’s strategy and creating business impact.
At Fitbots, our mission is to help companies drive transformational growth with OKRs, KPIs, and initiative/milestone management, by simplifying how they connect their mission to metrics. Fitbots has worked with over 5,000+ teams, helping them get OKRs right and tracking powerful insights on our OKRs software.
With Fitbots, your teams can:
We have consistently been the proud recipients of multiple G2 badges and reviews. Our integrated approach of OKR software with coaching add-ons has made it easier for companies to onboard OKRs easily and effectively, and see results quickly.
Here’s why high-performing companies use Fitbots to set and sustain OKRs.
Our 5-Step Method reduces Strategic/Company OKRs writing to a matter of hours, helping leaders focus on action rather than verbose discussions. Our AI-Assisted OKR Writing feature reduces the time spent by teams in crafting effective and relevant OKRs that reflect company strategy, even in uncertain business climates.
Did you know that misalignment within a company can cost up to a quarter of revenue?
Fitbots offers Alignment Boards and a Misaligned OKRs board that gives a holistic understanding of alignment such that there is no waste of time, effort, or revenue. Teams can easily visualize their horizontal and vertical alignment to each other and to the company OKRs.
Our Misalignment OKRs feature reflects misalignments in real-time. Moreover, team members can align their initiatives, milestones, and actions to Key Results, ensuring that every action leads to a strategic impact.
With Fitbots, your teams don’t have to spend hours finding the latest updates and putting them in a spreadsheet. Fitbots becomes the single source of truth for all your strategic progress. Each team can update the OKRs they’re responsible for, and the update is reflected instantly everywhere, removing the need to transfer data between multiple spreadsheets.
Fitbots can auto-generate board-ready reports, saving you countless hours of collecting data and making it presentable to stakeholders. Fitbots can also generate Individual reports and insights to support performance-related conversations.
Fitbots gives you a holistic view of how your strategy has progressed, and even offers predictions for future progress achievement. On Fitbots, you easily spot trends and insights with our Progress Board and Trends Board. This is great for team check-ins and leadership reviews, because you can see both the overall progress and the week-on-week progress towards OKRs.
Another benefit of using Fitbots is that you can simultaneously manage your OKRs and KPIs. While tracking KPIs on spreadsheets is the norm, managing KPIs on Fitbots is easy, saving you the trouble of transferring data and making it easier to use OKRs and KPIs together.
In our experience, clarifications on OKRs can come, well, just about anytime. While spreadsheets are good for attempting OKRs for the first time, without a coach or a guide, you can expect a lot of wasted time and bandwidth, coupled with multiple bloopers.
Our certified OKR coaches are available on demand and on multi-channel. They have the methodology, maturity and strong industry experience of 17+ years in strategy and consulting. Having worked with 1000s of leadership and next-level teams, our coaches have knowledge and techniques to help you get OKRs right the first time.
Many companies attempt OKRs, but most of them end up dropping off. When it comes to getting OKRs right, there’s a lot of time, patience, and commitment involved. There are many OKR traps that can hinder your growth…
… But the benefits of OKRs done right is exponentially more. So, starting with a simple approach like using an OKR template for spreadsheets is a great way to kickstart rapid organizational growth and experiment with OKRs.
However, if you’re looking for an effective company-wide OKR adoption and to get it right in the first go, you would need a tool that not only supports, but enables your vision.
Free 21-day access when you sign up...