Not enough routine, too much math: This may be why your team did not update their OKRs

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Every month we talk to dozens of teams looking for better ways to track their OKRs. There's often a strong buy-in into the framework, but they struggle to get value out of the process.

Why is that?

Reason #1: lack of routine to support the process

If a team has an OKRs plan, then they should have a matching weekly meeting to discuss progress. Without it, you're just hoping that people will manage to keep their goals in mind, while also dealing with bugs, emails, customer calls, specs, design reviews, release issues, cross dependencies issues, etc.

What working in a startup often looks like

That's just impossible.

Thankfully, this problem is an easy fix. You can schedule a quick 30mins chat every week to look at the different Key Results and make sure that everything is on track. That routine is the first step toward creating a natural accountability process.

Learn more about weekly rituals for OKRs.

Reason #2: too much work involved during check-ins

Key Results should be graded on a 0-100% scale to help you compare progress across teams. It makes reports easy to read, but it also means that someone has to do the math.

Someone needs to translate a $235 CAC into a KR grade, knowing that we started at $339 and are trying to reach a CAC of $165. Someone else needs to translate an activation rate of 57% into a different KR grade, knowing that we started at 42% and are trying to get to 65%. Someone needs to translate an average load time of 312ms into another KR grade, knowing that we started at 400ms and are trying to go below 260ms.

Are you getting a headache reading this? Imagine your team.

So how do you fix that? Simple. Get an OKRs-tracking platform that does the math for you. Check-ins should be as easy as reporting the current metric—no formulas needed.

Tability does the heavy lifting during your check-ins

Learn more about grading OKRs.

OKRs is about collaboration, not reporting

The purpose of a goal-setting framework like OKRs is not to create more reporting. It is to provide a shared language for focus, and a simple way to adjust the course during the quarter. But, that only works if your team is willing to track progress on their OKRs.

You need to find ways to reduce the burden on your team—there's already enough on their plate to manage roadmap items.

The easier it is for people to find and track their goals, the easier it'll be for them to make effective decisions. Without the right routines and tools it will become much harder to get to your North Star.

Going further? read our OKRs guide for startups

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Sten Pittet

Co-founder and CEO, Tability

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