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How to use JIRA for OKR tracking?

Mar 22 · 15 min read
Collaborative Team Development
Collaborative Team Development
Performance Reviews
Performance Reviews
Generative AI
Generative AI
OnLoop's Collaborative Team Development (CTD) + JIRA

What is the difference between JIRA & OKR Tools?

JIRA is primarily a software development-focused project management tool, but can also be used by other teams and organizations for project management. It is widely famous & used for its features such as agile project management, issue tracking, bug tracking, code integration, etc. 

An OKR tool, on the other hand, is specifically designed to help organizations set, track, and manage their goals by breaking them into clear objectives & key results. Normally, OKR tools provide features such as goal setting, progress tracking, alignment, and collaboration. They are typically used by organizations to ensure that everyone is working towards set goals and objectives, and to measure progress towards achieving them.

Can we have OKRs in JIRA?

Yes, you can use JIRA to manage and track your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) either by creating custom fields & workflows or by using various plugins and apps that are available in the Atlassian Marketplace.

JIRA has built-in features that support OKR tracking and management. For example, you can use JIRA to create issues that represent your OKRs and track their progress using custom fields and workflows. You can also use JIRA dashboards and reports to visualize your OKR progress and share it with your team.

In addition to the built-in features, there are third-party apps available that integrate with JIRA to provide additional functionality for OKR tracking and management in the Altassian marketplace. These apps typically provide more advanced features like OKR templates, key result tracking, OKR scorecards, and progress reports.

How to use the OKRs in JIRA?

You can track Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in JIRA by creating custom fields, workflows, and reports. You can follow these steps to track OKRs in JIRA:

  1. Create a custom issue type for your Objectives: In JIRA, you can create a custom issue type to represent your OKRs. For example, you can create an issue type called "Objective" and add custom fields for the objective name, description, and due date.

  1. Create the sub-tasks for your Key Results: Under each Objective issue, you can create sub-tasks to represent the key results. Each sub-task should have a clear description and measurable outcome in order to get the maximum output from your team without much confusion.

  1. Set up custom workflows: To track the progress of your OKRs, you can also set up custom workflows. For example, you can create a workflow that moves the Objective issue from "In progress" to "Completed" when all sub-tasks are closed.

  1. Use JIRA dashboards and reports: You can create custom dashboards and reports to visualize your OKR progress and share it with your team. This will enable you to keep real-time check on your OKRs.

  1. Alternatively, consider using OKR-specific apps: If you want a pre populated framework, there are third-party apps available in the Atlassian Marketplace that can help you track OKRs. These apps provide features like OKR templates, progress tracking, and visualization tools. You can search them on search engines or directly on the marketplace.

Challenges faced by Managers while tracking OKRs in JIRA

While JIRA is a popular project management tool, it may not be specifically designed for OKR tracking and management. As a result, managers may face some challenges while using JIRA for OKRs, such as:

  1. Flexibility issues: JIRA is not as fluid as a dedicated OKR tool in terms of customization and adapting to changing business needs. This makes it challenging for managers to create and manage OKRs that accurately reflect their organization's goals.

  1. Limited reporting mechanism: JIRA's reporting capabilities are not limited in terms of tracking and measuring progress towards OKRs. Managers need to spend additional time in creating custom reports or integrating JIRA with other tools to get the insights they need.

  1. Limited collaboration: JIRA doesn’t facilitate collaboration across different teams and departments working towards the same objectives. This makes it difficult for managers to ensure alignment and progress towards shared goals.

  1. Requirement of proper training and support: Without proper training and support, team members may struggle to use the JIRA tool effectively, leading to frustration and lack of engagement. This might result in wasting a lot of business hours in understanding and navigating through the tools to get the simplest of things done inside it.

  1. No flexibility to assign tasks beyond project objectives: Leaders of today also focus on employee growth and have certain agendas for their teams to work & improve upon. There’s no option in the JIRA tool to track and facilitate improvement in behavioral and hard skills. Only project goals can be assigned & completed within the tool. Managers find it difficult to assign tasks beyond the scope of hard skills & project goals.

  1. Feedback death after goal completion: With every project/goal, multiple feedback-communication happens within the team. But, after the goal is completed, the feedback isn’t distilled into learning and it is entirely upon an individual to incorporate learnings from the feedback.

The idea of Collaborative Team Development along with OKRs

The multifaceted approach of getting teams to be productive often results in completing business goals and growing your team in silos. Project management & team management might feel like two separate verticals of leading a team but it's high time we bundle them together and save countless unproductive hours spent providing repetitive feedback that isn’t incorporated into day-to-day progress. We work on projects on a daily basis, and one-off reviews at the end of quarters/years can include near-biases & personal opinions often neglecting year-round performance updates. To tackle this problem we have come up with - Collaborative Team Development.

Collaborative Team Development is a novel approach for leaders, to build, grow, develop, and sustain teams that strive to be the best. All this, while completing your team outcomes linked to crucial business goals. CTD improves team performance, increases employee engagement, enhances decision-making capabilities, and utilizes resources much more efficiently. By fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork, hybrid leaders create world-class teams which are well-equipped to achieve their goals.

Here’s how Collaborative Team Development can help your hybrid teams perform & grow better - 

  1. Fosters a sense of belonging to a close-knit team: CTD emphasizes the importance of working together and promoting team growth. By working together towards a common goal, team members can develop a sense of belonging and feel more invested in the success of the project. This can lead to better morale and work satisfaction.

  1. Creates a more inclusive work environment: CTD helps to build a more inclusive work environment where everyone feels heard and valued. encouraging team members to share their ideas and opinions makes them feel a part of a close-knit team/organization.

  1. Allows for greater productivity: CTD can build a culture of high performance. By bringing together a diverse group of individuals seamlessly connected with each other, the team can achieve better results by allocating resources in a much better way than working in silos in distributed setups. 

  1. Builds a habit of continuous improvement: CTD emphasizes the importance of learning and growth happening regularly and not by one-off review cycles. By providing opportunities for skill development and encouraging feedback, the team can continually improve and evolve over time.

How does OnLoop work?

A quick snapshot -

Here’s how OnLoop is different from JIRA for OKRs -

  1. Swift team onboardings: OnLoop is just like a regular app. Share your organization’s joining link and all your team has to do is download the app via that link from App Store or Google Play and done. You can manage the team structure once people join in.

  1. Parent goals divided into - Target, Project, Behavioral & Hard Skill: With OnLoop, you can categorize every goal you make into four categories. Each parent goal comes with its unique milestones. This way everyone knows where to start, where to go, and how to reach there. Welcome to Collaborative Team Development.

  1. Regular progress updates: OnLoop enables you to stay in the loop of every project as teams map their progress in real-time. You can track the progress of each goal against the milestones quickly to know the status of the project and capture your required feedback to improve the outcomes.

  1. Wins & improvements against the goals: OnLoop lets you capture feedback in the moment – so you can share and celebrate wins, and identify ways to improve for yourself and your teammates. Wins & improvements both are important aspects of growing a team. A hybrid world can result in team individuals with low work morale or lost directions while completing tasks. Real-time wins & improvements help keep the team members elevated with the celebration of their achievements and directions into their tasks.

  1. Real-time communications within the goal: Juggling between multiple platforms can be a task in itself and might take some time for context setting. OnLoop helps your team achieve better results by enabling you to communicate requirements/suggestions within that specific goal. This doesn’t let anyone lose sight of what the communication was about. 

  1. Unified timelines of events captured in the project: With OnLoop you & your team can have a unified timeline of milestones completed, wins & improvements captured against the goal to have a bird-eye view of events that happened in achieving the goal.

  1. AI-powered Prism summaries: It often happens that biases cloud the actual review of a person’s capabilities. Tackling this lesser-talked issue, OnLoop enables you to generate Prism summaries on the basis of wins and improvements captured by you to let your team members know how their performance was on a particular project highlighting their superpowers and blindspots. These summaries are based on the compounded captures that you make while working on a project. Not letting the crucial feedback die as you complete the project.

  1. Personalized learning: In this time & age, anyone can learn anything which might lead to information overload. OnLoop take cares of this too. On the basis of summaries, it suggests learning content so that each individual can have access to specific content in order to get better, faster. This helps in cutting down the clutter so that your team knows exactly what to consume in order to grow.

See why other leaders are choosing OnLoop

“Onloop helps you write your story so others don't do it for you.”

Jarred Huggle, VP at BeyondMeat

“OnLoop is proving to be monumentally important in kickstarting conversations that weren't happening. We're also seeing people start to reframe the negativity they associate with 'feedback' into something more positive, viewing it as 'guidance' that they are actively seeing out amongst their peers.”

Ailidh Smylie, MD at Socialize/We Are Social

“Using OnLoop has helped us shine a light on our strengths by giving us visibility on the whole team’s areas for improvement and achievements. We’ve made leaps forward with our training program to better match our culture, empowering our team forward by owning our development”

Akanksha Goel, CEO at Socialize

Build a culture of high productivity in your hybrid teams with OnLoop

OnLoop enables you to supercharge your team’s productivity, just like a fitness tracker. Don’t let your feedback die in the individual projects/goals. Compound them to grow your team better, faster & together -

  1. Unleash the power of compounding feedback: OnLoop is built with the thought that feedback should be a regular habit and not a one-off quarterly/annual event. Hence, every feedback you capture in OnLoop compounds the previous one. This enables leaders and their employees to spot patterns of recurring wins & improvements; leading to increased work satisfaction, better teamwork, and a culture of high productivity.

  1. Align Employee Outcomes To Business Goals: Onloop enables you to easily break down big company goals into "north star" metrics that individual team members own to drive accountability. This ensures every individual has accountability towards business goals and will create an organizational impact upon achieving those.

  1. Eliminate biases with AI-powered Summaries: While writing performance reviews, it often happens that recent events might overshadow the achievements/improvements for the entire duration of the review cycle. This might result in somewhat accurate but not perfect performance summaries. Also, writing reviews is also an additional task. OnLoop is powered by OpenAI’s latest GPT - 3 which generates accurate and factual summaries of the captured wins and improvements at a single touch.

  1. Level up with Personalized Learning: OnLoop doesn’t stop at the summaries. Based on captures & summaries, it curates and suggests content for you & your team to learn and grow regularly. So, everyone would be having regular suggestions of content personalized to their needs.

  1. Capture wins & improvements as Slack messages: Hybrid teams basically live in Slack for most of their day. With seamless Slack integration, you can capture messages in Slack as wins and improvements. These captures would compound and feed the AI engine.

OnLoop is the much-needed upgrade in OKR tools that leaders need.

Our approach to club productivity & growth leads to a win-win situation for both managers and their employees in the hybrid world.

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Dear [Manager's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I'm writing to discuss the potential of using our team’s development budget to purchase OnLoop.

OnLoop is a powerful app that can help our team improve in many ways. For starters, it can help us optimize the performance review process through their AI-generated performance summaries. OnLoop will help the team set and track our goals which gives you visibility into what everyone is working toward. We can use it to capture and celebrate when people stand out, create a record of our successes, understand our blind spots, and have our goals all in once place.

I believe our team would greatly benefit from the insights and data provided by OnLoop, and I hope you will consider using our team’s development budget to purchase it.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

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