What is OKR software?
OKR software is a type of goal-setting and performance management software that helps organizations set and track their OKRs. OKRs are a framework for setting and achieving specific, measurable goals and objectives, usually in a set period of time (i.e. SMART goals). OKR software allows organizations to define their OKRs, assign them to specific team members, and track progress over time.
The software typically includes features such as goal creation and tracking, progress reporting, and analytics. They also often provide an easy-to-use interface for teams to collaborate and communicate about their OKRs. They are designed to help companies align their teams, departments, and entire organizations around common goals and objectives, and to track their progress and performance. Additionally, some software also provide additional features like automated reminders, notifications, and performance metrics.
There are some key pros and cons with the different software products on the market. What’s best for your business won’t necessarily be the best for another. For example, many of the OKR software solutions are actually broader project management systems that happen to offer an OKR module. This is fine if you don’t currently have a project management system that you use in your business, but this is not the case for most businesses. We’ll discuss this further in the next section.
Dedicated OKR software vs. all-in-one HR software?
Dedicated OKR software and all-in-one HR software that includes an OKR module both have their own set of pros and cons.
- Focuses solely on OKR management, providing a streamlined solution for businesses that only want to use OKRs
- Often provides a more user-friendly interface and more advanced features specific to OKR management
- Generally allows for granular employee notifications which keep individual employees engaged with the goal-setting progress, updating the system and delivering on their objectives and key results
- Usually more affordable than all-in-one software solutions
- Generally provide less connectivity to project management and HR systems
- Yet another solution to add to your software stack
- May require additional software or manual processes to manage other business functions
All-in-one HR software with OKR module:
- Includes a variety of features, such as project management, performance management, and HR management, in addition to OKR management
- Allows businesses to manage multiple functions within one platform
- Occasionally more cost-effective than purchasing multiple software solutions, however, they tend to get considerably more expensive as your business grows and becomes more reliant on their service.
- May be less user-friendly for OKR management, as it may not be the primary focus of the software (in our experience, OKRs are usually an afterthought for these solutions)
- Generally less flexible when it comes to adapting their version of OKRs to your business.
- Generally more expensive than dedicated OKR software
- Their objective is to get their systems so embedded in your business that you are unable to leave, even when faced with excessive price increases as your business grows.
- May require businesses to adapt to a new software solution even if they only want to use the OKR module.
Ultimately, the choice between dedicated OKR software and all-in-one HR software with an OKR module will depend on the specific needs and budget of the business. Dedicated OKR software may be a better option for businesses that are only interested in OKR management, while all-in-one HR software may be a better option for businesses that need to manage multiple functions within one platform.
Zintly, our software, is considered a dedicated OKR software solution. We’re primarily used by small to medium businesses and fast-growing startups looking to move fast while keeping new hires on track.
How do I choose the best OKR software?
When choosing OKR software, it’s important to consider the following factors:
- User-friendly interface: Choose a software that is intuitive and easy to use. The software should be accessible to all employees, not just management.
- Customizability: Make sure the software allows you to set up custom objectives and key results that align with your company’s goals.
- Integration with other tools: Consider whether the software integrates with other tools that your business uses, such as Make.com, Zapier or other project management and HR software.
- Analytics and reporting: The software should provide data-driven insights and reporting capabilities to help you measure the success of your OKRs.
- Mobile access: Consider whether the software is accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, as this will allow employees to access and update their OKRs from anywhere.
- Collaboration and communication: Choose a software that provides collaboration and communication features, such as task assignment and comments, to help teams work together towards their OKRs.
- Security and data privacy: Make sure the software has strong security and data privacy measures in place to protect sensitive business information.
- Cost: Determine your budget and choose a software that fits your financial constraints while still providing the features and functionality you need.
- Customer support: Make sure the software provider offers excellent customer support, including documentation and training materials, to help you get the most out of the software.
- User reviews: Read reviews from other users to see how the software has performed for them and whether it meets their needs.
What are the best all-in-one OKR software options?
Employee compliance, or buy-in, with a new OKR program is the key success factor. After all, the whole point of OKRs is to create employee alignment with the broader business’ objectives. Loading employees up with a complex and feature-rich solution is a good way to destroy that employee buy-in.
Having reviewed the OKR software market closely, we’ve identified a number of points of commonality between them, including:
- Almost quote per user/month pricing but require annual billing in advance and carry a no-refund policy.
- Many have built OKR modules in their existing project management, performance management or product development tools. These OKR modules tend to be poorly-planned and appear to be focused on ticking a box in a product capability table, rather than actually providing value to customers.
- The few that are dedicated OKR offerings generally offer the same feature lists with user interface and “vibe” being the key differentiators.
- Most provide the same generic SEO-focused OKR content as a substitute for well considered advice on how to approach OKRs in X business type/industry/vertical.
With those rather pessimistic observations out of the way, here are the 21 key players in the OKR software space in no particular order:
|A simple OKR management solution
(Cancel anytime & no up-front annual billing)
|Full disclosure, this is us. We’re a straight-forward OKR system. No unnecessary features. Fast to implement and maintain. Perfect for small and medium businesses which just want an intuitive way to set, drive and track business performance.
|OKRs, performance management, employee engagement
Designed to handle most HR tasks.
Implementation period can be long.
|Collaboration focused online documents
|Great if you’re using Coda in the rest of your business but otherwise the OKR module feels like an afterthought.
|OKR management, task management, performance management, employee engagement
|Possibly the loudest player in the OKR space. Plenty of features. Long implementation time to get the most out of it. More expensive than others.
|OKR management, check-ins, feedback and recognition
|On the pricier side. Robust OKR features. Less flexible than some others but a good option if adopting OKRs for the first time.
|Microsoft Viva Goals (formerly Ally.io)
|You’ll need to be using Microsoft Teams across your business for this option to make sense to you. The integration is a bit clunky and is less flexible but a good solution for larger organisations.
|OKR software for enterprise
|Reportedly used by tonnes of large businesses. Not pretty but plenty of features. Not great for those just starting out with OKRs.
|Goals, OKRs, check-ins and compensation
|Expensive but aesthetically pleasing software. Great library of resources to guide you through OKR best-practice.
|OKR software, performance reviews and goals
|Powerful tool but can be less intuitive than others.
|Comprehensive software with a breathtaking price… Focused on pulling data from your other systems in order to drive metric tracking and reporting associated performance up to the relevant owners.
|Goals, OKRs and check-ins
|Looks like it could be a Notion template, but don’t let that fool you, it’s a feature-rich platform at a reasonable price.
|Goals, OKRs and check-ins
|Token/outcome based pricing (i.e. US$1 to create an OKR and US$3 per OKR achieved 😲)
|The pricing model disincentivises you to achieve your OKRs… Similar features to other offerings.
|A solid performance management solution. Like numerous on this list, they claim to be #1 on G2.
|Broad HR information system (HRIS)
|Not as pretty nor widely used as other options but still a good solution for a business looking for a full HRIS system.
|OKR software plus consulting
|One of the few that focuses on selling consulting services. Less full-featured than others but a good option for those new to OKRs.
|Project management, documents, chat and goals
|Incredibly complex software designed to be a truly all-in-one solution for your business. Numerous reports of it slowing down considerably once you load it with your data. You probably don’t want to rip out all your other systems to use this for OKRs. Price steps up quickly.
|Product development management + OKR module
|At that price, you’re not buying it for its OKR capability.
|Project management + OKR module
|Like others, this is project management software that happens to support OKRs.
|Project management + OKR module
|Great project management software but OKR module feels underdone.
|Similar feature set to others in the space. Seems to exclusively target Enterprise.
|Project management + OKR module
|A capable todo list for consumers and project management tool for business. Their OKR solution is fine but really only if you use Asana in the rest of your business.
What big companies use OKRs?
Many big businesses have adopted the use of OKRs to set and track their goals. Companies like Google, Amazon, Oracle, Salesforce.com, Microsoft, Dell, LinkedIn, Twitter, Netflix, Uber, Zynga, Rackspace, GE, Intel, and Facebook are just a few of the big businesses using OKRs. The implementation of OKRs has helped these companies to align their teams, improve their focus and prioritize their efforts towards achieving their desired outcomes. These companies have recognized the benefits of using OKRs early on and have integrated it into their business culture, processes and strategies for better performance and results.
Conclusion on OKR software
Be aware that there are many providers that have added OKR modules to existing project management or performance management tools, rather than being dedicated to providing a solid OKR solution for businesses. The concern with these ‘all-in-one’ solutions is that their ultimate goal is to have you adopt their software across the entirety of your business. For most businesses, adding a second project management solution is inefficient to say the least.
The dedicated solutions are typically the best for smaller businesses, businesses just starting out with OKRs or where the business already has deeply embedded project management/ERP software and they want a standalone roll out of OKR capability (perhaps as a proof of concept).
Dedicated solutions generally carry the same features as each other, so they tend to compete on UX/UI and price. Working out which one is best for you is often best solved by taking them up on their free trial. By the way, if they don’t offer a self-serve free trial then it typically means their solution is old, hard to implement, or so complex to use that they need an Account Executive showing it to you with well-rehearsed ease.
Whatever you choose, know that a successful OKR program is more about maximising employee buy-in and clarity on the business’ objectives than the underlying software used to communicate those objectives.