9 ways to automate the annoying parts of OKRs

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While OKRs are increasingly growing in popularity, we're also hearing more and more stories of teams that feel like the OKRs process is taking a toll on their happiness.

Setting goals is usually ok, but here's what goal-tracking often looks like:

  • You're juggling a dozen of custom-made OKRs spreadsheets that get shuffled among the other hundreds of docs that exist in the org's Google Drive.
  • Someone has to send an email to remind people to update their goals.
  • Each KR owner has to comb the spreadsheets to find the rows where their name appears.
  • Wait. You're not even sure if things are up-to-date.
  • Updating the KRs is a PITA. No workflows, no integrations, no automation to help.
  • It looks sad.
  • The commenting/feedback experience is a nightmare.

The amount of effort that goes into updating progress on OKRs makes the whole process unappealing. As a result, what should be a weekly conversation around goals becomes a monthly or quarterly report that can hardly help teams adjust their strategy in a timely manner.

This sucks.

OKRs can be great. But you have to bring the cost of reporting significantly down, so that it feels like a productive experience. Thankfully, this is something that you can easily do with Tability. We'll see below 10 ways you can automate the boring parts of OKRs to reclaim your productivity.

#1 Use AI to get a draft OKRs plan in seconds

90% of our time is spent working on things that are generally considered outputs (projects, activities, emails, etc...). So, it can take a bit of effort to get into an outcome-driven right mindset when it's time to write the quarterly goals.

A way to overcome writer's block is to use Tability's goal-setting AI to get a draft in seconds. Just pop your thoughts in the prompt and Tability will generate a set of OKRs based on your objective.

From there, you can adjust the goals as needed.

#2 Save time by generating initiatives that align with your strategy

Another way to save time is to ask Tability's AI to generate action items for you.

Think of it like having a co-pilot that has immense general knowledge and can give you suggestions for any topic:

  • Strategies to increase your social media followers
  • Best practices to improve UI performance
  • Tactics to double the number of demos booked per week

#3 Automate the check-in reminders

The #1 reason why people forget their goals is because they're busy working on them. It sounds weird, but building a feature the right way, or polishing the details of a Marketing campaign requires 100% of our attention.

Time goes by and ✨ poof ✨ – it's been weeks since you last looked at your OKRs, and now you can hardly remember what your priorities are supposed to be.

With Tability you can configure automatic check-in reminders, and the platform will nudge KR owners when it's time to share progress.

The config is quite flexible, and each team can match the check-in frequency to their preferred rhythm (although we highly encourage you to do weekly updates).

#4 Add shortcut links to your data sources

One annoyance that isn't discussed enough is that the data required to score your KRs is often spread across multiple tools. There might be a custom chart in Amplitude for one KR, a special report in Tableau, a custom dashboard in your NPS tracking tool.

With Tability you can easily attach a link to the report or dashboard where the data exists.

No need to remember where to get things – a link will pop up as soon as you open the check-in form.

#5 Automatically pull data from 3rd party

Having a link to the data already saves a lot of time, but being able to retrieve the data automatically will just make things a delight. Tability can connect to various data sources like HubSpot, ChartMogul, Jira, Google Sheets to extract data and fill in your check-in form for you.

No need to log into another tool. The data is ready when you are.

#6 Turn on data sync and let Tability track progress for you

We can still go one step further! Tability can also record check-ins for you and automatically set the confidence based on your progress.

(Note: you can still do your own check-ins to provide better context around the metrics)

#7 Aggregate progress from cascading goals

Here's a classic scenario:

  • Company wants to grow MRR by $100k
  • Team A is responsible for $25k
  • Team B is responsible for $75k

Instead of having to update the KRs for all 3 plans (company, team A, team B), you can use dependencies as a data source.

Tability will then aggregate the progress of all dependencies in the parent goal.

Once again you can turn on auto-sync to periodically aggregate the data from all sub-KRs without having to jump into the platform.

#8 BYO-sync with the remote check-ins API

You can also use the simple remote check-ins API of Tability to update progress from a script. It works by pushing a simple JSON payload, and it's already available with Zapier to automate check-ins from 1,000+ apps.

#9 Quick access to your goals from your personal dashboard

It's not rare to have a few goals spread across multiple teams. In Tability, each user gets a custom dashboard that only displays the KRs and iniative that they own.

It gives you a permanent shortcut to your goals and reduces the amount of back and forth that you need to do your weekly check-ins.

Wait, there's more!

Those were the main features, but Tability has a few more things that can save you a few hours every month:

  • Saveable filters to build your own cross-teams dashboards and highlight items that require your attention.
  • A built-in Strategy Map that lets you see how all your org's OKRs align.
  • A 1-click presentation mode to turn your OKR dashboards into keynotes that are easy to share with stakeholders.

Check out the website to learn more, or just sign up for free today.

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Sten Pittet

Co-founder and CEO, Tability

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