Free OKR Tracking Templates

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
6 October 2018

The start of a new quarter can mean only one thing… Time to review last quarter’s OKRs, capture the lessons we’ve learned, and use those lessons to set new OKRs for this quarter. I’ve written previously about setting good OKRs. But what do you do with those OKRs once the quarter starts?

You deliver them, of course!

Confidence matters

While it’s nice to track progress towards your goals, what really matters is how confident you are that you’ll achieve them and what you will do to improve that confidence. Every week, you should be checking in on each Key Result to see how confident you are in delivering it. I’ll often do a quick “Fist to Five” with my teams for each Key Result. Each team member holds up 0-5 fingers as a way to state how confident they are that the Key Result will be delivered as it’s written. A fist means “I have NO confidence that we will deliver this Key Result” and an open palm (5 fingers) means, I am 100% confident we will deliver this Key Result.

Upping your confidence

After doing a quick vote, I’ll check in with the highest and lowest votes to see why they feel the way they do, giving each person about 20 seconds to state their reasoning. Then we vote again until we have a good consensus. If confidence is any less than 5, I’ll ask the group “What would it take to increase your confidence by one whole finger?” We discuss for a minute and then I ask “What actions (if any) will we commit to doing this week to make that happen?” Usually one or two key actions will come up for each Key Result. We write them down on our weekly scorecard and move on, promising to check in on these actions throughout the week during our Daily Standups.

Free OKR tracking templates!

To capture these confidence scores and make them easier to visualise, I’ve created two simple spreadsheet templates you can use. They work great in a tool like Google Sheets where anyone can view and modify them at any time and you always have a single source of truth but can also be used as traditional file-based spreadsheets. To make them even better, print out the dashboard views and put them on the wall as an information radiator for everyone to see.

A portfolio OKR tracker for data nerds

My favourite, this single or multi-team portfolio OKR tracking template provides an easy way to store multiple teams’ OKRs and weekly confidence scores (as well as a weekly narrative) in a single sheet and with a nice “dashboard view” to show the latest information and highlight at-risk key results. You can also store lessons learned and final outcomes in this sheet. It scales beautifully when you want to add more teams or more quarters. You can apply filters to quickly dig into the data and the sparkline graphs show how your confidence changes over time. Use this when you want a single view of OKRs for an entire portfolio to quickly identify Key Results that need help.

With a bit of elbow grease, you could even create a Google Form to make inputting weekly updates even faster.

Get the portfolio OKR tracker

A basic OKR tracker for small teams

The simple single team template provides a space for the current OKRs, weekly actions, a 4-6 week “look-ahead” and a set of metrics which you DON’T want to change during the quarter. These could be things like team happiness, customer satisfaction, or uptime. Even as you’re chasing OKRs, you don’t want these to slip. This one works by simply copying the previous week’s sheet and filling in the latest narrative, confidence, and actions for the team to think about. By the end, you’ll have 13 tabs you can refer back to to see how the quarter went.

Get the basic OKR tracker

What do you think?

I’ve used both of these with real teams and vastly prefer the multi-team portfolio option because of its scalability, flexibility and how it allows you to slice and filter all your data in one place to produce different kinds of reports. You can use chunks of data with different audiences to answer different questions across various teams.

These templates are works in progress which will be continually updated with your feedback! If you have some ideas or experience of using these templates, I’d love to hear from you!

Please get in touch.

Thanks for reading! I'm currently looking for new contract challenges to begin in March 2019. If you've got something juicy, please check out my CV and contact me.