Why shouldn’t your organization implement OKRs without the software?

implement OKRs without the software

Many organizations commit the mistake of initiating with OKR management on paper – documents, word, and spreadsheets. Many leaders often take this slower and more intuitive approach rather than starting with the OKR software from day one! It is only after running in circles and not being able to yield the benefit of OKR management, do they switch to OKR software. Only if they had come across an article explaining why shouldn’t your organization implement OKRs without the software, they would’ve saved a lot of their time and effort, just like you are going to now! 

implement OKRs without the software

As you already know, OKR software is one of the most effective and widely used business tools today. Organizations from different eras have achieved the desired growth and success by embracing the OKR tool. However, a few organizations aspire to match this success by embracing the OKR approach without getting dedicated software for it. They don’t realize that the purpose of using the OKR approach is defeated when one tries to make the whole process complicated by trying to do it on sheets or word documents. When a business leader such as you decide to implement OKRs in their organization, they have their reasons for that. However, most of them take this step intending to add more calmness to their functioning and establish a more transparent and engaging work environment. Is this possible when implementing OKRs without software but on spreadsheets and documents? 

Role of OKR software 

It is clear that if you want your organization to reap the multifold benefits of OKR management, they will eventually have to get dedicated OKR software. Now that you are convinced let us look at a few more reasons why your organization shouldn’t implement OKRs without using the software. 

  • Manually tracking and reporting progress becomes time-consuming and may result in blunders.
  • Incompetency in aligning or managing objectives both horizontally and vertically across departmental teams.
  • Managing several documents or spreadsheets for multiple teams is basically impractical.
  • The entire OKR process becomes time-consuming and unmanageable. 
  • Employees may become disengaged in the process instead of getting more engaged by using OKRs.

Integrating the OKR software right from the early stages streamlines the process and boosts adoption, as adoption is a significant difficulty that organizations generally encounter. The introduction of OKR software aids in expanding adoption, and teams are strongly driven by tracking and progress. A good OKR tool will assist you in scaling and growing 10x. It has been demonstrated that the OKR software will benefit the organization in various ways. Whether the organization is large or small, it is recommended to only use software and tools for implementing the OKR management framework.

1. Tracking the objectives

The most difficult challenge in deploying OKRs is that people set and forget the objectives. During OKR planning sessions, a lot of time and resources are generally spent. These sessions will help you understand the top-level goals, and everyone will work towards them. While so much effort has gone into developing OKRs, they must also be tracked. If we fail to track and conduct an analysis of the performance, the effort and time spent in the process will all go in vain. 

Organizations cannot afford to lose sight of their objective or vision. Tracking OKRs helps teams and individuals understand where they are now and whether they should iterate to reach the objective. Otherwise, it will become a ritual and will not aid in achieving aspirational objectives.

2. Well-aligned teams

Organizations cannot operate, grow and succeed in the absence of alignment. The success of OKRs relies heavily on alignment. When an individual or a team fails to align, the purpose gets lost, and the organization begins to operate in silos. The visibility of how the OKRs are linked and their current progress is provided by multi-directional alignment. According to Measure What Matters, the program should be capable of explicit and directed alignment.

OKR software aligns and rolls up objective progress to provide a clear picture of overall development. OKR software is the only way to ensure everyone remains aligned throughout the respective quarter. Without having a dedicated tool or software, organizations will fail to ensure that everyone remains on the same page and work together toward the ultimate picture. 

3. Business insights

The outcome and progress of the OKRs should be considered while making business decisions. If not, tracking or reporting OKRs becomes an irrelevant activity. You should check how your team and employees are performing quarter by quarter. Real-time information help with decision-making and action. Insights help to steer the team on the proper path. Getting these valuable insights isn’t feasible if you don’t use dedicated software for OKRs. 

Getting the best OKR software should be able to deliver insights at both the individual and departmental levels. Trends and progress serve as the backdrop for the organization’s goals. With a single perspective, one should be able to understand where we are now and what the gap is.

Need more insights and guidance about OKR software? Book a consultation call with the experts today! 


  • Which features to look out for in the OKR software?

Your OKR software should have the features of feedback, alignment, reports, actions, and a simple interface. 

  • Is getting software mandatory for using OKRs?

Even though it is not mandatory, getting software for OKR is highly recommended by the experts. Practicing OKRs without software will only complicate the process and defeat the purpose of deciding to use the OKR methodology in the first place. 

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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