Trying to Implement OKR without an OKR Software? Here’s what could go wrong.

Feb 17, 2023
Trying to Implement OKR without an OKR Software? Here’s what could go wrong.

The Risks of Implementing OKRs without an OKR Software

The Objective, key results methodology is one of the most successful and widely implemented goal-setting and management Frameworks. The OKR philosophy is built on setting SMART objectives and using an outcome-based system to track progress known as key results. 

One of the reasons for OKRs’ success is its effectiveness and the wide range of benefits it provides over other frameworks. Ensuring alignment, improving focus and productivity, and effective collaboration are some benefits it provides when done right. 

When implementing OKRs many organizations, companies, or teams often consider crude tools such as spreadsheets or project management software. While this seems like a great solution on paper, it leads to many complications down the line. 

Spreadsheets, while simple and efficient, only work best for small teams and early adopters of the framework. Many complications arise when you scale up, need to update metrics, communicate progress, provide real-time data, etc. 

Many companies wrongfully adopt other non-OKR software like project management applications such as Trello or Jira, probably to save cost and time or because workers are already committed to the software. However, this strategy has many caveats. Other project management applications like Trello or Jira are more task-oriented, going against the principles of the OKR methodology. These project management tools have two problems- 

  • They are overstuffed with features that are not useful for OKR.
  • They are not optimized for goal setting, tracking, and management.

This produces a complex situation for CTOs, team leaders, and CHROs- having overstuffed software that is not robust enough to manage and track objectives and key results across teams and levels (i.e., vertically and horizontally). 

Let us look at what you may lose by using non-OKR software.

Disadvantages of using non-dedicated OKR software.

Poor OKR implementation: One of the problems teams or organizations will first encounter when using the wrong software solution is setting up their OKR platforms. This initial phase is highly prone to errors, and if not done right, set up their OKR initiative for failure. An error may require that you reiterate the process from scratch. 

Increased workload on managers: Companies that use spreadsheets or project management apps often require a dedicated team to edit or upgrade their OKRs. This can be a challenging task, especially for organizations with a large workforce. Managers take on the pressure of ensuring that all key results created by their departments or teams are aligned with the company vision or overarching objectives. 

Poor reporting and tracking system: The lack of a centralized platform makes the process of reporting and progress tracking a daunting task. Unlike dedicated OKR software such as Huminos, spreadsheets cannot automatically generate reports, export, and share essential data across teams, departments, and organizational levels. 

Poor collaboration: Another caveat to using spreadsheets or other tools is poor collaboration. Teams can’t share real-time information and effectively communicate with inferior technologies. Inefficient software solutions also poorly accommodate out-of-office staff, i.e., field agents or remote workers. 

Reduces productivity: When there is poor implementation and planning, increased workload, and poor collaboration and tracking system, productivity inadvertently suffers. 

In general, using non-dedicated software is a counterproductive task that further complicates processes and harmfully impacts your operations.

How does dedicated software improve your OKR?

Implementing dedicated OKR software such as Huminos eliminates the problems listed earlier and increases productivity and efficiency. 

OKR software is elegant and robust: A dedicated OKR software eliminates redundant processes and tasks. Managers don’t have to waste resources and time creating an OKR platform. You have all the tools you need to set, track, and review your KRs in a well-optimized Framework. 

OKR Software ensures total alignment: Dedicated OKR software tackles the problem of company-wide alignment- this is because a centralized platform reveals the big picture and prevents tunnel vision. Teams and departments across all levels and locations can ensure their efforts are all aligned toward a common goal. 

OKR improves your workflow: Changes can be made at any stage without interrupting the entire workflow. Because the platform is accessible to all stakeholders, individuals and teams can upgrade their KRs in real time to ensure total alignment. You don’t need a team of experts to make changes. 

OKR software provides a high level of versatility: As we mentioned earlier, OKR focuses on outcomes or milestones that take you closer to achieving your goal or project, and with dedicated software, you can manage all processes such as initiatives/tasks, reporting, progress tracking, performance, etc. Because of this robustness and efficiency, Huminous can be used as a primary tool or in conjunction with other tools for project management. 

Improved productivity: One of the benefits of adopting OKR software is the boost in efficiency and productivity. Huminos saves time, eliminates redundancy, and boosts teamwork and transparency. 


The OKR methodology can help your company or organization redefine goal management processes and unlock new levels of success. However, you must be fully committed to getting it right to meet and surpass your targets. This includes adopting OKR software. Using non-OKR software or project management tools can hamper progress and success. They are inefficient, too complex to use, archaic, and not robust enough to replace OKR software.

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