How do you set up and track good OKRs to hit your goals faster? This can be an overwhelming task without the right tools.
Excel or Google Sheets templates can help teams stay on top of progress and avoid getting sidetracked. This post will show you how to track OKRs in an Excel template and discuss the pros and cons of using an Excel/Google Sheets template to monitor OKRs. You’ll also learn why result-driven teams, like ours, prefer to use strategy execution platforms to track OKRs.
How to track OKRs in Excel Template?
Before you dive deep into the ‘how’ part, grab this free OKR Excel template so you can follow along.
Download it and share it with your team.
Here’s how you can use this template to track your OKRs in an Excel spreadsheet:
- Download the template and save it on your computer
- Follow the steps in the instruction in the first tab
- If you need more resources to start crafting your OKRs, you can check these free resources on our blog:
1.An in-depth guide that explains the basics you should know about the OKRframework.
2.Need more inspiration to get started? Read this article withOKR examples, tips and best practices.
3.Wondering what the difference between OKRs and KPIs is? Discover why you should use both in thisOKR vs KPIarticle.
- You’ll find three different tabs inside the template. You can choose between:
4.Extra note: You can make separate tracking files for each team and hierarchy level. For example, you can have a different file for company OKRs and another for each department and team or individual within the team.
- In each tab, you can set and track:
7.Comments and updates
- Use the template to co-create OKRs with your team members and fill out the spreadsheet
- Schedule regular review meetings
Keep in mind that the number one priority should be clarity when using Excel totrack OKRs. Excel is a powerful tool that can get complicated fast. So when you set up your OKRs, keep it simple and stay focused on what you want to achieve with OKRs.
Pros of using OKR Excel template to set and track OKRs
There is a reason spreadsheets have survived so long in strategy and performance management. Here are three benefits of using spreadsheets for tracking OKRs:
1. Spreadsheets are convenient
The wide use of Excel and other kinds of spreadsheets is due to their flexible nature.
There are as many plans as there are companies. Excel can accommodate every single one of them. There is no limit to the complexity or detail of a plan; a spreadsheet can be customized to fit its shape and size. The only limit is your team’s imagination and Excel skills.
Using a template helps you customize the form to your chosen approach and needs.
2. Boost your team’s performance
Apart from saving time, a template is a great starting point for building a tracking and reporting tool.
You want your team to use the same approach to writing and tracking OKRs. or you’ll waste valuable time gathering and organizing different data. This template will help you to align everyone on the same approach to OKRs and improve your decision-making process.
But why is it important every team shares the same approach? Because it forces each team to alter its approach to conform to certain standards. The team makes decisions that ensure a more straightforward execution and an increased alignment with other teams or departments. It will also be much easier for cross-functional teams to collaborate if they use the same method to track OKRs.
This will help you establish company-wide consistency in your OKR development approach.
3. There’s omni-compatibility
Or at least near omni-compatibility.
When you build and share an Excel file, you can be rather confident that the recipient will be able to access and work on it (if they need to).
Although many spreadsheet software exists—Apple’s Numbers, Microsoft Excel, Google sheet etc.—the core features and capabilities are almost identical. In the off case, your desktop isn’t compatible with the file you received, you can import the file into another app and use it with little alterations.
In an age of infinite technologies and compatibility issues, it’s a mental remedy to know that you can share the team’s OKRs with every team member, and they’ll be able to access it with few if any, problems.
Cons of using OKR Excel template (or any other static tool)
Even though Excel and its alternatives dominate business processes, their limitations are causing them to be replaced at an accelerating pace. Here are the three biggest drawbacks of spreadsheets:
1. Individual plans don’t connect to the bigger picture
This is a huge problem mostly because it’s left unaddressed.
Even in two direct reporting levels, it’s not easy to connect or demonstrate the alignment of objectives clearly. Attempting to connect team-level objectives with top-level strategic priorities using spreadsheets is doomed to fail and takes too much time that could be spent on driving business results.
However, it’s critical to connect every team’s plan and every team member’s work with the strategy and the bigger picture. Why? First, because you need to ensure the strategy is executed. Second, because your people must be focused on doing the right activities that improve business performance. And lastly, becausewhen people feel like their work fits into the business strategy, they’re more likely to stay, enjoy and engage with their work.
In the absence of a better solution, businesses spend countless hours working with spreadsheets to achieve these benefits.
2. Tracking down the latest version is a nightmare
Company strategy FY23-27 final final FINAL MASTER COPY v23.1.xlsx
If you’ve seen anything like this before, you know how painful—and ridiculous–it is to look for the latest version of your business plan. Or your team’s plan. Or the department’s plan. Or your own plan.
Spreadsheets might be shareable and compatible with almost any hardware, but they don’t support real-time collaboration. On the contrary, if multiple team members make multiple changes, you end up with multiple different versions. Putting together the progress for your quarterly objectives becomes a hustle, and tracking down the real final version becomes a time-sucking nightmare.
3. You make a trade-off between clarity and accuracy
This is why everybody in strategy hates spreadsheets.
You either built a clear plan that is useless and doesn’t educate any kind of decisions. Or you built a comprehensive and hard-to-read plan that nobody knows how to navigate. In both scenarios, you end up with a plan that only one person reads. Its maker.
On top of that, more often than not, you need to track down and beg your colleagues to update their progress in the spreadsheet. Instead of focusing on your work, you become your team’s babysitter to keep accurate records.
Excel, PowerPoint and all the ‘productivity’ tools out there don’t actually help you to succeed - they just help you to ‘do more stuff’.
Alternative option to Excel: Track OKRs in Cascade
In strategy, where planning is complex, and a large number of people are responsible for managing, tracking, and updating progress, the cons of spreadsheets are magnified.
Since we launched Cascade, more than 15,000 teams have used the strategy execution platform (see G2 reviews), including teams from American Express, McLaren, Toshiba, UBS and many more. Adopting a strategy execution platform like Cascade helps you track OKRs and strategic plans more effectively, rather than using spreadsheets.
Here’s why a strategy execution platform like Cascade is better than using spreadsheets:
1. You connect all plans and OKRs to the bigger picture
Strategic alignment drives organizational focus. And siloed teams disturb that focus.
Connecting each department’s plan with the company's overall strategy helps you concentrate effort in a single direction.
Here’s how you can do it in Cascade:
- Set the company's overall strategic plan.
- You can build by using the OKR framework or other strategic frameworks, like the Cascade model, V2MOM, Balanced Scorecard, and Hoshin Kanri.
- Link sub-plans to the overall strategy and build a clear strategic alignment across the organization.
For example, you can align departments with company OKRs or the sales team objectives with marketing key results.
OKRs become much more than goal-setting frameworks when they are aligned with strategy and provided with ample context. They become a strategy execution framework that drives focus, alignment and business performance.
2. You automatically generate reports with the up-to-date information
A clear report with up-to-date information tailored to the intended audience is essential for making the right decision.
By delegating the process to all of your employees, you won't have to have someone spend hours searching for the latest updates and putting them in a spreadsheet. With Cascade, you create a single source of truth for your OKRs. Each individual can update OKRs they’re responsible for, and the update is reflected instantly everywhere. There’s no need to transfer data between multiple spreadsheets.
Using Cascade, you can buildbeautiful reports and clear dashboards tailored to your needs. From dashboards for your plan’s Focus Areas to a single team’s OKRs, you can create automated reports and share them with your boss or colleagues.
This will save you countless hours in gathering, tracking, and reporting progress.
3. You increase visibility and improve collaboration
Information silos lead to duplicated work and wasted money on dead-end strategies.
With Cascade, you will have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in your organization or your team. This will help you to identify underperforming areas and intervene before it’s too late. Using Cascade’s collaboration features, you will be able to boost cross-functional collaboration and alignment.
The more people understand the company's strategy and feel like their work contributes to it, the more they engage with their work and derive satisfaction from it.
Your team will be able to align work and collaborate more effectively if they understand the goals and metrics of another team. When they know that the procurement team's top priority is to reduce costs, any idea they propose or collaboration they propose should be framed within that context.
The OKR bet
Most companies fail to implement a beneficial version of the OKR framework.
There is a lot that goes into implementing a beneficial version of the OKR framework.
From developing the OKRs and aligning them with the company’s overall strategy to tracking their progress. It’s important to start with a simple but effective approach and use tools like this OKR excel template. But it’s not possible to support a scaled-up adoption of the framework with static tools like Excel and PowerPoint files.
If you wish for a company-wide implementation, you need to move beyond spreadsheets and slides.
Using an OKR template is a good starting point to develop OKRs, but spreadsheets often replicate the problems that the framework tries to solve. So, if you want to learn how Cascade can help you set up and track your OKRs,book a demo with us.
- Using Cascade as your OKR Software
- 6 Best OKR Software Options In 2022 (And How To Pick One)
Go to Create.Microsoft.com. Click Templates at the top of the page. On the Templates page, click Excel. Tip: To see more templates, under BROWSE BY CATEGORY, click the category (like Calendars) that you want to see.How do you track clients with a spreadsheet? ›
- Set up your Excel sheet. Many Excel sheets that companies use to track clients often involve several columns that can help organize various details about a customer. ...
- Complete your sheet. ...
- Review your client list. ...
- Analyze your sheet.
- Open Excel and create column headers based on your requirements. ...
- Fill in the details for each task. ...
- Add a filter. ...
- Use the filter to sort and prioritize your tasks. ...
- Continue using your task tracker.
As you probably know, the best place to look for Excel templates is Office.com. Here you can find a great lot of free Excel templates grouped by different categories such as calendar templates, budget templates, invoices, timelines, inventory templates, project management templates and much more.How do I create a downloadable Excel template? ›
Click File, and then click Save As. In the File name box, type the name that you want to use for the template. In the Save as type box, click Excel Template, or click Excel Macro-Enabled Template if the workbook contains macros that you want to make available in the template. Click Save.How do I create a spreadsheet to track inventory? ›
- Open a Spreadsheet. You can use any spreadsheet you like. ...
- Name Your Headings. This gives you the information that you will collect on each item in inventory. ...
- Enter Basic Item Information. ...
- Save Your Work.
- Create a spreadsheet. To manage your inventory in Microsoft Excel, begin by creating a new spreadsheet. ...
- Add any necessary product categories as columns. ...
- Add each product that you carry to the spreadsheet. ...
- Adjust the quantities as you make sales.
Everyone works together to ensure that their company is on track in terms of hitting their targets. Google does OKRs yearly. Annual OKRs are the umbrella objectives where the rest of the individual and team OKRs can be patterned from.What can I use instead of OKRs? ›
Luckily, there are two alternatives to OKRs that are simpler to implement in early stage teams: Narrative, Commitments, Tasks. Impact Maps.
An interactive dashboard in Excel is a type of dashboard where you can track KPIs and metrics with your team, change data as per your business KPIs fluctuate, and track changes in real-time. To create an interactive dashboard in Excel, you first need to create interactive charts.
What Is an Excel Dashboard? The Excel Dashboard provides an overview of metrics and other data points in one place. In simple terms, dashboards are visual representations of data. They mostly consist of charts and graphs, thereby grabbing the user's attention.Does Excel have dashboard templates? ›
Excel dashboard templates are a type of information management tool that you can use to visually monitor, analyze then display: Key Performance Indications or KPIs. Key data points and metrics that monitor the health of your business, its departments, or a certain process.What is a slicer in Excel? ›
Slicers provide buttons that you can click to filter tables, or PivotTables. In addition to quick filtering, slicers also indicate the current filtering state, which makes it easy to understand what exactly is currently displayed.How do I automate a task tracker in Excel? ›
To automate a repetitive task, you can record a macro with the Macro Recorder in Microsoft Excel. Imagine you have dates in random formats and you want to apply a single format to all of them. A macro can do that for you. You can record a macro applying the format you want, and then replay the macro whenever needed.What is a tracking spreadsheet? ›
A prospect tracking spreadsheet is a record of potential customers' details that sales teams use to increase productivity. It includes basic contact information like names, phone numbers and email addresses. Other columns indicate whether the representative was able to contact the customer and what the result was.How do I keep track of work hours in Excel? ›
Type a '=' to start a formula. Next, click in the cell that contains your hours, Excel will add a reference to this cell to the formula. Now add a '*' character to the formula and click in the cell with the hourly rate. Finally click on the green check mark at the top in front of the formula to complete your formula.Is it legal to sell Excel templates? ›
Yes, it's 100% legal to create, sell, and distribute your spreadsheets without any type of permission and royalties to Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc.Does Excel have templates like Word? ›
Use Excel and Word templates
With Excel templates, you can easily create and share your customized analysis with others in your organization.
Saving a workbook as a template can be as simple as selecting Excel Template in the Save as type drop-down in the Save As window. This article addresses some additional steps related to Office Connector and how you can control the experience of the user who creates new workbook from your template.What is the difference between a template and a workbook in Excel? ›
A template is a pre-defined workbook (with one or more worksheets) that can be used to help you create your final workbook. Using templates that contain pre-formatted worksheets can save you a lot of time. Every time you select (File > New) a template is used to create the blank workbook.
- Go to Adobe Acrobat online services.
- Click the “Select a file” button above, or drag and drop a file into the drop zone.
- Select the file you want to convert from XLS or XLSX to PDF format.
- After uploading the Excel sheet, Acrobat automatically converts it to the PDF file format.
A Worksheet is basically a single-page spreadsheet containing information. A workbook is a file that contains multiple spreadsheets. A worksheet contains a matrix of rectangular cells, organized in a form of rows and columns. A workbook contains one or more worksheets, consisting of related information.What is the easiest way to keep track of inventory? ›
The simplest way to track inventory is to manually count your inventory every two weeks and compare the numbers versus sales. That's known as periodic inventory. There is also perpetual inventory, where inventory management systems like BinWise are used and integrated into your business's POS.Is Excel good for inventory tracking? ›
Excel is an inexpensive way to keep track of inventory, although it does have limitations (and room for error) that inventory management software does not. A spreadsheet offers virtually endless columns for categorizing and sorting the data you need.Is there an app to keep track of inventory? ›
Sortly is a super simple inventory tracking solution that enables businesses and teams to easily track what they have, where it is, and who has it. Anytime, anywhere, on any device.What is the shortcut for tracking formula in Excel? ›
Simply select the first cell you want to trace precedents for, press and hold the Shift key, and then select the last cell. Once all of the cells are selected, you can press the F5 or Ctrl + F5 shortcut keys and Excel will highlight all of the cells that are referenced by the formulas in the selected cells.What software does Google use to track OKRs? ›
Google Docs or Google Sheets
From the company that was built on OKRs, it's not surprising that Google provides powerful, free tools to track them. Utilizing Google Docs or Google Sheets is a simple and easily accessible way to track your goals. The WhatMatters.com has made a template for both.
OKR is a strategic framework, whereas KPIs are measurements that exist within a framework. OKR is a simplistic, black-and-white approach that uses specific metrics to track the achievement of a goal. Typically, an organization will have three to five high-level objectives and three to five key results per objective.What common mistakes you should avoid when making OKRs? ›
- Mistake #1: creating unachievable objectives. ...
- Mistake #2: failing to designate a DRI (directly responsible individual) ...
- Mistake #3: setting only top-down objectives. ...
- Mistake #4: authoring OKRs using vague language. ...
- Mistake #5: failing to track progress weekly.
OKRs work only when everyone from the top gets involved in the system. The team has to align from top to bottom. It will be challenging to perform. The top-level can't just design OKRs and implement them and then forget about it.
KPIs are used to measure performance but they don't tell you what needs to change or improve to drive the growth of those numbers. OKR is a quarterly goal-setting method that helps businesses improve performance and drive change. OKRs are used to decide what needs to be changed, fixed, or improved.Do CEOs have OKRs? ›
OKRs give CEOs a clear view of what they need to accomplish each quarter. This allows them to plan ahead and work on important tasks (such as cost controls and revenue growth) and avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks.What are the two types of OKRs? ›
There are two types of OKRs goal: committed OKRs and aspirational OKRs. Both committed and aspirational OKRs define different purposes and have separate methods to achieve them. If you are someone new to OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), this information can be overwhelming.What is a real example of OKR? ›
Top company objectives—OKR examples
Hit company global sales target of $100 Million in Sales. Achieve 100% year-to-year sales growth in the EMEA geography. Increase the company average deal size by 30% (with upsells) Reduce churn to less than 5% annually (via Customer Success)
SMART goals solely craft the objective.
SMART goals provoke the question, “What is the goal?” Yet OKRs ask, “What is the goal and how do we get there?” Objectives and Key Results should connect like puzzle pieces, with the intent being that if the Objective were to be reached, the Key Results must also be achieved.
- Collect your data. Input the data you want to summarize within a spreadsheet. ...
- Create a chart. ...
- Insert a new tab. ...
- Copy your chart. ...
- Add more charts. ...
- Format your dashboard.
First, select the Insert menu select the 2D Area chart. In the Chart Design menu, from the Data group, select Select Data. In the Select Data Source window that pops up, click the Chart data range field, and then select the cells in the data spreadsheet you'd like to display with this line chart.What specific features in Excel are most used to create an Excel dashboard Why? ›
- Excel Tables. The most important component of any dashboard is its data. ...
- Sparklines. ...
- Conditional Formatting. ...
- Excel Charts. ...
- Excel PivotTables. ...
- Dynamic Dashboard Elements with Interactive Controls. ...
- Excel Power PivotTables and Power PivotCharts. ...
- Excel Power View Reports.
Press and hold down the Ctrl key, and click the worksheet tabs you want to group. Tip: If you want to group consecutive worksheets, click the first worksheet tab in the range, press and hold the Shift key, and click the last worksheet tab in the range.Is Excel dashboard free? ›
Free Version (not editable)
This well-designed and interactive Excel Dashboard allows you to display your data in a way you would never dreamed is possible. With the usage of Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts and Slicers this Dashboard makes your data come alive.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application used for calculations, statistical operations, data analysis, and reporting. Tableau is a business intelligence and data visualization tool to get insights from data, find hidden trends, and make business decisions.Which tool can add interactivity to an Excel dashboard? ›
Insert Slicers for Interactivity
Here's how to add them to your dashboard: Select the cells that contain your data. Navigate to the Insert tab > Filters > Slicer. Choose the type of slicer you want from the drop-down menu, then click OK.
- Segoe UI.
- Times New Roman.
- Comic Sans MS.