This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best OKR software and other OKR tools that will assist your business strategies and goals.
Goal setting is hugely important. According to the 2018 People Management Survey, 58% of workers say they have a problem with managers who don’t “communicate clear expectations.” It was the number one complaint, above even “betrays trust” and “doesn’t listen.” Setting clear, concise goals is simply a must.
Are you looking to align your organizational goals as a team? Do you desire a better communication strategy and require techniques to do so? In this article, I will be comparing software designed to help you with these items.
OKR software is a great way to jumpstart your business in creating ambitious yet attainable company goals and objectives. There are many ways to manually manage your goals, but that can be burdensome and hectic to deal with as the goals and objectives begin to pile up.
To be more effective with your business tasks it is worthwhile to invest your time and efforts in finding an OKR software tool that can better assist your organizational pursuits and increase effective communication and directional success.
To save you time, we have compiled a list of our top 10 OKR software tools to better help track your key objectives. See below.
OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results”, which are goals and objectives for business planning. The OKR framework helps companies define their objectives, track their progress, and analyze the results. There is typically one Objective, which is a lofty, qualitative goal on which a group or team is to focus. Then there are KRs, usually three of them, which are quantitative initiatives that point towards the designated Objective.
What is OKR Software?
OKR software (Objective & Key Results software) is a tool used for developing strategy and process objectives that connect both the team and the organization. Results software can be used to build out this strategy and track the objectives involved. You can think of OKR software as an online goal tracker.
What is the difference between OKRs and KPIs?
OKRs vs KPIs—what are they? KPIs are a series of quantitative goals that compartmentalize progress in bite-sized chunks of measurable data (for example, social media impressions or sales conversion). The OKR methodology, on the other hand, is more advanced and ambitious and requires more of a push to achieve the results, though they should still be attainable.
OKRs Software Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we compare software for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Does it look and work like modern software? Is item placement intuitive, even for low-tech individuals?
Usability: Is onboarding new users easy? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Is there an online community/forum around the product?
Features & Functionality:
Feedback & review tools: Is it easy for team leads to talk to staff and evaluate their performance? Does it facilitate peer-to-peer communication and encouragement? Is high performance gamified or otherwise made more accessible?
Goal Maps: Does the tool make it easy to see the higher objectives and how Key Results tie into them? Does the tool do well to align individual responsibilities with greater company goals?
Employee Voice: Are there features for employee surveys, comments, and insights? Does the tool elevate these voices in a meaningful way?
Reporting and Insights: Does the tool give real-time reports and insights that can be easily visualized, shared, and analyzed? Are the reports customizable? Are there ready-to-use templates available?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
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Overviews Of The Top 10 OKR Tools
Here’s a brief software comparison of each of the OKR tools that are featured on this top 10 list.
1. Koan – Best OKR software for startups and small businesses
With offices located in Oregon and California, Koan offers OKR tools that combine metrics with your team’s qualitative insights to predict goal outcomes. You can set goals at company, departmental, and team levels and then track metrics towards key results.
Koan’s ridiculously low starting price and hefty trial period ensured they scored well in the Value for Cost section of the evaluation criteria. This makes them a great option for start-ups or smaller businesses.
Integrations include Jira, Slack, Okta, Google Suite, Azure Active Directory, and hundreds more with a Zapier account.
Minor cons include a lack of Outlook integration, no batch inputting/modifying options, and no native mobile solution.
Koan starts at $1/user/month and has a free 30-day trial as well as a free demo.
2. Yaguara – Best profit OKR software for e-retailers
Yaguara is an OKR tool with a focus on data-driven projects with quantifiable relationships to larger business goals and objectives. This software can help orient website analytics strategy, community engagement, product launches, and sales acquisition.
One thing Yaguara does really well is unify communication and data so that teams can better converse about goals, set-backs, and progress in a satisfying way. Collaboration is easy and fulfilling.
Integrations include Shopify, Facebook Ads, Klaviyo, Instagram, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Zendesk, Stripe, Mailchimp, Asana, WooCommerce, Quickbooks, Yotpo, Wrike, and Youtube.
Yaguara is one of the more cost-prohibitive tools on this list. It doesn’t help that it is a pay-upfront yearly fee, either; this lost them some marks in the Value for Cost segment of the evaluation schema.
Yaguara starts at $500/month and has both a free trial and a free demo.
3. Kazoo – Best OKR tracking software for peer-to-peer feedback
Used by over 600 companies, Kazoo works to highlight performance, recognition, and feedback systems in the daily workflow. This tool features goals and OKRs, check-ins, sync-ups, feedback and coaching, talent assessment, and insights and reporting.
Kazoo has a huge number of third-party app integrations and an open API to ensure you can connect what you need, when you need it. This scored them highly in the Integrations section of the evaluation criteria.
Kazoo’s open API can help you integrate your favorite tools, no matter how proprietary they may be. Kazoo HCM and HRIS integrations include SFTP Integrations, ADP, Bamboo HR, Kronos, Namely, Rippling, and SAP SucccessFactors. Kazoo SSO support works with Autho, Microsoft, Google Suite, and OKta.
Lack of pricing transparency is always a con, particularly when every other competing item on this list offers sure details on cost and available trails, demos, and promotions. Additionally, there is nothing to prevent users from handing out “points”/kudos without reason, which can cheapen the experience.
Kazoo offers pricing upon request.
Engaging, social media-like activity feed
Ability to build a custom rewards catalog for incentives
Great gamification of rewards and challenges
Employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS) surveys
Reports could use more customization options
Expiration of “recognition points” may incentivize inauthentic use
4. Timely – Best OKR software tools for time tracking
Designed by Norwegian company Memory AS, Timely is an OKR tool with modules for team time tracking, project and team planning, real-time KPI tracking, performance reviews, invoicing, mapping and scheduling resources, and 60-day timeline visualization.
Timely is simple and intuitive to use with documentation readily available in the form of a product blog, podcast, case studies, API docs, and active social channels. This scored them well in the Usability category of the evaluation criteria.
Integrations include Teamwork, Monday.com, Clubhouse, Kanbanize, Aha!, Mavenlink, Freshservice, Process Street, Team Gantt, WorkflowMax, Todoist, Asana, Wunderlist, Trello, Scoro, LiquidPlanner, ClickUp, Taiga, Pivotal Tracker, ZenHub, Podio, YouTrack, OmniFocus, Smartsheet, Wrike, Jira, and many more.
A few cons are the tedious nature of some stock management processes and stingy character limitations for the SMS automation tool, which is now less than a modern Tweet.
Timely starts at $8/user/month and has a free 14-day trial.
Works on iPhone, iPad, Mac
Great AI/memory function for missed workday data
Excellent high-level project and scheduling views
Heavy focus on time tracking and timesheets
Jira and Zoom integrations limited to higher plans
5. PeopleGoal – Best OKR management software for HR departments
Used by Shell and Formula 1, PeopleGoal is an employee performance management software platform with OKRs at its center. Stand-out features include a balanced scorecard approach to goal setting and a customizable system for building 360-degree feedback forms.
PeopleGoal is great for flexibility, offering different options for tracking goals, multiple levels of overview, customizable department goals, and adaptable review drafts.
Integrations include BambooHR, Slack, Microsoft Azure, Workday, OneLogin, Okta, AWS Transfer for SFTP, Workable, Jira Software, Asana, Microsoft Teams, and Namely.
PeopleGoal’s aesthetic design is derivative of Google-made products but without the depth or charm of the rainbow-logo’d giant. Compared to others on this list, their appearance is both muted and dated, losing them some marks in the UX section of the evaluation criteria.
PeopleGoal starts at $10/user/month and has a free 14-day trial.
6. Heartpace – Best personal OKR software for individual goal-setting
Heartpace is a modern HR System that can be used to hone objective-oriented collaboration with an OKR-focused approach. Сreate public OKRs for each department designed to pull teams together while employees set ambitious objectives and determine personal key results.
Automatic reminders, various templates, and structured evaluations make it a great leader-to-team communication solution. The software elevated user communication and collaboration, scoring them very well in the Feature & Functions – Feedback & Review Tools section of the evaluation criteria.
Integration options include AD Csv Sync, Azure SSO, REST API, ADFS SSO, AD LDAP Sync, and G Suite.
Some minor cons include the inability to set soft goals in a flexible productive way and a bit of a learning curve, particularly for those not familiar with using PM software in their work day.
Heartpace starts at $5.40/user/month and has a free 20-day trial.
Great for meeting scheduling and record-keeping
Helpful, automatic “action needed” reminders
Free templates for talks, surveys, and evaluations
Many bonus features, like salary pay gap analysis
Only two plan tiers and only one has concrete pricing data
API, DSM, profiles, and document management are add-ons
7. Engagedly – Best OKR cloud software available on PC, Android, and Apple devices
With the Engagedly platform, organizations can align and motivate their workforce. Features of this software include Goal Setting, Manager Feedback, Peer Praise, Idea Generation, Knowledge Sharing/eLearning, Rewards, Objectives Alignment (OKR), and Social Performance.
One of the best things about Engagedly is its user interface, which is colorful, organized, modern, logically compartmentalized, and eye-catching. This scored them well in the UX section of the evaluation criteria.
Integrations include ADP, Namely, Bamboo HR, iSolved, Paylocity, Google Suite, Microsoft, OneLogin, Okta, Oracle, HR Cloud, Slack, and Compport.
One con is that smaller companies may struggle with the “anonymous feedback” system, as it seems to count on crowds of data to disguise who said what. There is no built-in tool to hide when something was said or to alter the linguistic structure of conversational tells.
Engagedly starts at $6/user/month and has a free demo.
Ability to nominate users to give feedback
Customizable check-ins and progress indicators
Great social module for engagement/incentives
Tools to automate repeated goal setting
No way to generate reports on discontinued/blocked users
Old posts/reviews aren’t as searchable as they could be
Developed by Stepwise Methods LLC, Simple OKR offers solutions for company, team, and personal OKRs, progress tracking with OKR targets, OKR alignment for all team members, 360 performance reviews, single Sign-on (SAML v2), and unlimited users.
This tool is very intuitive and matter-of-fact in its visualization of objectives and progress. On a single, simple dashboard, you will see: each major objective bundled with associated key results, the current year and quarter, and progress-as-percentage as well as bar graphs.
Simple OKR does not list any app integrations on its website.
Simple OKR’s lack of transparency around third-party or built-in app integrations lost them marks in the Integrations segment of the evaluation criteria. Every other tool on this list had integration options prominently displayed for easy review.
Simple OKR starts at $49.99/month and has a free 7-day trial.
Easy, readable goal progress reports
Heavy emphasis on objective alignment across users
Ability to organize objectives into sub-objectives
9. Betterworks – Best OKR software features for upper management
Betterworks OKR software elevates tools that support goals and alignment, conversations and feedback, insights and analytics, continuous performance initiatives, employee engagement, best practices for program design and rollout, and FAST and SMART goal setting.
Upward transparency is handled well by Betterworks, allowing team members to track the objectives and progress of team leads just as simply as leads can do the same. Users can also prompt others for peer feedback, which is a huge plus.
Integrations include Google, Microsoft, Slack, Jira, G Suite, Asana, GitHub, Salesforce, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, Ultimate Software, ADP, BambooHR, and Oracle.
Betterworks could be more intuitive to use, often bordering on cumbersome, which lost them some marks in the Usability section of the evaluation criteria. For example, old/outdated goals cannot be deleted even if they become inapplicable; instead, you must manually edit them to reflect the current status (or lack thereof).
Betterworks starts at $15/user/month and has a free trial.
10. Ally – Best for teams who would benefit from OKR coaching
Ally’s intuitive interface, out-of-the-box templates, robust reporting and numerous integrations with popular tools make it a sturdy OKR tool for companies of all sizes and skill levels. Users can adopt the OKR framework with built-in best practices or easily import existing OKRs.
Usability is Ally’s strong suit, mainly using the basic point-and-click mechanics of any basic website, even for seemingly complex tasks. They also offer a range of training and help, from in-person, live online, webinars, and documentation. All of this boosted their score in the Usability evaluation segment.
Integrations include Slack, Google, Active Directory, Okta, Oracle, SAP SuccessFactors, Google BigQuery, ServiceNow, Salesforce, Asana, Smartsheet, and many more via a rich REST API.
A few minor complaints about the software are overcrowding of the dashboard and, in a similar vein of thought, weak placement of the check-in button—which should be front-and-center. Additionally, though this is a minor gripe, “Ally” is such a generic phrase that it can be hard to find online help for this software, as search results for “[questions] + Ally” will always have unpredictable results.
Ally starts at $7/user/month and has a free trial as well as a free demo.
Bi-directional Slack integration
Easily import existing OKRs
Easily configure planning and check-in cadence
Ability to compare progress to previous quarters or years
Unlimited levels in the OKR hierarchy is for enterprise plans only
Assign weights to key results limited to enterprise plan
Have you tried out any goal tracking software listed above? What goal setting tools do you use on a daily basis for project management and company objectives? What do you look for in goal management tools? Are there any objective tracking tools or goal software that you would add to this list?