As you know, every company relies on some form of goal-setting technique to measure the success rate of their plan. It allows them to discover which strategy is working out and which might need improvising.
Ally.io provides you with tools to effectively track your work progress. The app follows the popular OKR method to help businesses focus on their original mission and align their organizational goals with individual team projects.
In this guide, I will talk about Ally.io software and its key features.
But let’s discuss what exactly is OKR first.
What is OKR?
OKR is a goal-setting model that gives you a template to set measurable targets and achieve the desired outcome.
The method primarily consists of objectives and key results. You start with your main objective, let your team in on what key results you expect, and monitor everyone’s performance to see if they’re on track.
For example, let’s say you own a tailoring shop. Your shop hierarchy consists of you and three employees. The two handle the stitching, while one is a jack of all trades. Since your team is small, you’re more open to them about your long-term goals letting them know how many suits they must stitch to achieve the monthly target. As a result, everyone knows what’s at stake and works together to meet the deadline.
Now, this level of transparency is not common in large organizations for obvious reasons. The need-to-know communication structure often leaves most of the staff out of the loop. Consequently, 60% of employees don’t even recognize the company’s mission, let alone know how to support it.
By using an OKR method, you interconnect employee projects with your company’s goals to add transparency and clear communication down the line.
It is a modern leadership technique that giants like Google are still employing to improve work efficiency.
Ally.io is cloud-based tracking software that offers you space to collaborate with your team, set goals, and monitor performance. It’s systematically designed to help you achieve your goals within the deadlines while helping your team stay accountable.
You can invite members to create multiple teams, build OKRs to assign projects, and share insightful data during meetings.
It is an incredibly powerful app to optimize your goals and discover ways to make your processes even better. With Ally, you can organize everything in place and ultimately increase your workplace transparency.
How Does Ally Work?
Ally.io works around three OKR components.
- Key results
Suppose you run a B2C Coffee brand that has been seeing a steady decline in sales for the last couple of months. After evaluating the problem, you realize your customer’s preferences have changed, and you may have to level up to attract more leads.
Your primary goal here is to generate 25% sales by the end of the year.
To achieve that goal, you plan multiple objectives for product innovation, promotion, sales, and customer retention.
Since objectives only give a direction, you further create projects (the method), and outcomes (key results) to show what specifically you will accomplish. Such as, generating 10k traffic from social media or gaining 100 customers in three months.
Ally.io has a section called “MY OKR” where you can devise the above scenario.
The app brings together your objectives, projects, and key results on one page to make monitoring easy. It has an intuitive IU and visually appealing dashboards, allowing you to keep an eye on the current projects.
The OKR will be visible to everyone, involving the entire team in the company’s game plan. That is how Ally.io encourages accountability and transparency.
The software further allows seamless integrations with third-party apps, imports data from spreadsheets, and much more.
To better understand the tool, let me share the five key actions you can perform on Ally.
1. Projects, Objectives, and Key Results
The above three features are the building blocks of Ally.io.
Your objective interlinks with the organization’s primary goals, while Project and Key results are listed under it.
Since I have already explained objectives, projects, and key results earlier, I will move directly to the “how to create them” part.
You can create your objective from the right top of the dashboard inside the “My OKR” tab. Ally offers pre-designed templates to facilitate you, but you can customize it as well.
The objective form exhibits multiple fields for personalization. You can assign the objective to another owner, align it with the parent goal, automate the progress, and add a deadline.
Once your objective is created, it will be displayed on the main dashboard underneath which you can build Project and Key Result.
Now, you can tag your OKR to put similar objectives under one category, create an approval system to make sure quality, and give assessment scores.
2. Check-ins and Reminders
Ally.io’s Check-ins and Reminders are extremely useful features.
Check-in action updates your status quickly, helping team leaders make sure the work is in process. It also lets you know how much time your team is spending on the project, allowing you to evaluate the productive time of each member.
The Check-in CTA is attached beside each key result that opens into a form, providing your space to add your comments, attachments, or merely change status. What information you share, it’s up to you.
What’s interesting, anyone can like and comment on your check-in. This fosters good communication between the team members.
There’s another option Ally.io offers to make sure you get constant updates.
On the Admin Dashboard, you’ll find Check-in Rhythm under the notification tab.
It is a reminder action you can use to encourage regular check-ins to avoid discrepancies.
While by default Ally automatically sends reminders, you can customize it to suit your requirements.
3. Third-Party Integration
One of the things you’ll love about Ally.io is the extensive range of integrations.
You can sync it with Slack for messaging, configure it with HubSpot to keep tabs on your marketing activities, and even connect it with Human Resource software.
Ally provides over 25 integration options to ensure your projects are running smoothly. You’ll find them in the integration tab from the admin label. Enable any integration you prefer and fill out the form to finish the setup.
It also offers several login options to help you strengthen your security. The process is the same as above.
Here’s a tutorial for Slack configuration to give you an idea of how integrations work.
Ally.io provides tons of automation features to remove data inaccuracies and save your time.
Take Mode Integration.
Mode Integration allows you to link your objectives with reports. Every time you update the report, the objective status changes automatically.
Since this particular automation activation requires a bit of exploring, here’s the step-by-step guide on how to use Mode Integration.
Another helpful feature you’ll find is data updating.
You can connect your online Excel data with your objectives.
The configuration works similar to the third-party integration I shared above. Only, in this case, you can isolate it to the workbook, sheets, down the specific cell while syncing it with a particular objective.
It’s an incredibly amazing function that saves you time updating each figure separately.
5. Customizable Review Dashboard
Review Dashboard is a valuable tool for sharing specific data quickly.
The dashboard is designed in a presentable format saving you from creating a report from scratch every time you arrange a meeting. You can use it for casual team discussions, executive meetings, or daily reports for your immediate manager.
Moreover, Ally allows you to customize the dashboard to suit your purpose.
For instance, you can add a panel to the dashboard, drag it to the top or bottom, or delete the existing ones. Ally.io provides you with a list of widgets you can embed in your panel and manually add or subtract objective or key updates you wish to include. The editing option is available at the bottom of the page.
Once your dashboard is ready, click the Present button in the top corner, and the software will generate a polished report. (By the way, the dashboard in OKR and the review dashboard are the same.)
6. Collaboration Board—The Planning Room
Planning is the first stage of any strategy.
Before you craft your game plan, you brainstorm ideas, compare notes, and discuss merits with your team.
Ally.io offers you a literal board to plan your OKR strategy. There you’ll find several widgets to create your game plan.
On the left side, you’ll get a list of actions including objectives, key results, projects, and sticky notes. With the drag-and-drop option, you can design charts and share your ideas through sticky notes.
Any admin or team lead can build their own separate board and by default, everyone can see it. You can also share it with others.
That said, the collaboration board is an exclusive feature of the Enterprise plan. Should you choose a Basic plan, you might not be able to unlock it.
That is one reason I listed it at the bottom.
Ally.io provides two plans customized for startups and large organizations.
- Enterprise—You may have to ask for a quote.
If you’re a small or medium company, a growth plan will work well for you. It costs merely $7 a month, and apart from some advanced integration, security functions, and a collaboration board, you’ll pretty much get all the necessary features.
You can request a demo or free trial to review the tool. The platform only asks for your company’s work email ID to get started.
Ally also offers consultation services and leadership programs for those who have not yet mastered the OKR strategy. The option is available on the pricing page, if you’re interested.
Businesses generally set yearly and quarterly organizational goals they expect to meet by the end of the year. Yet, 9 out of 10 businesses typically fail to execute them.
Because when one can’t see the big picture, they can’t very well know what goal to achieve, now, would they?
Ally.io not only helps you keep your employees in the loop but also allows you to “see the big picture.” The software essentially is the best tracking tool where you can effortlessly execute your game plan.
Use the 14-day free trial and explore Ally.io to see if it helps with your business goals. Good luck!