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Startup Resolutions: The Best Tools for Achieving Your Startup Goals in 2017

It’s the end of 2016, and the end of the 4th quarter. Now more than any other time of the year is a point of reflection.

How did your company do? Anything you set out to do? Did you accomplish every goal you set?

Whether or not you’ve achieved your goals doesn’t matter, because now you can focus on doing better in the coming year.

So cheers to startup resolutions, these are ten tools to help you achieve all your goals in 2017.


Weekly Planning + Quarterly Objectives

If you’re using Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) to manage your startup’s goals this new year, Weekdone is a great option. Weekdone is one of the few tools that has focused its product around the OKR methodology on aligning your teammates to work towards greater company objectives.

Weekdone provides real-time metrics and updates on projects, which is a great step up for teams currently using spreadsheets and project management tools to set and track goals.

One interesting new feature from Weekdone is their privacy feature which allows individuals to keep some to-do items private. This is meant to serve the purpose of making only important updates public and minimizing the clutter of too many updates.

Weekdone is used at Occasion, a startup that helps scale customer acquisition. Here’s what Aksh Gupta, CEO & Co-founder of Occasion says about using Weekdone:

Finding the right project management tool is critical because we monitor our growth in monthly, weekly and quarterly segments. You establish multiple quarterly objectives and the key results are very specific numbers. This helps on a company level and on a personal level. We’ve found it to be the best way to manage the company and projects or else people start working on projects completely unrelated to quarterly growth. We started adopting OKRs about a year ago and managed them in Trello. When we got more familiar with OKRs we looked for a better tool. We needed a tool that brought project management and goal tracking into one place, and Weekdone has been the best. It was the best transition place for us from Trello.”

I Done This

Your team, in-sync

If you don’t think you need a goal management tool for your startup and you’re just looking for more transparency on projects, I Done This is a simple email-based productivity log. I Done This launched with a focus on personal productivity and now focuses on helping teams like Shopify and Airbnb.

Daily check-ins help teammates know what’s gotten done (yep, we’re embracing the casual grammar), what’s getting done, and what can’t be done. I Done This will also give you robust reports to get a top-down view of your company’s progress over time.


Know the pulse of your company

15Five is easy to use, which is key in making goal tracking and communication sustainable for any team. Employees take 15 minutes a week to answer a survey, which will only take managers 5 minutes to read and get a sense of how employees are doing.

15Five is an excellent tool to consider if your startup is distributed, or you have a large team. You can use 15Five to acknowledge your workers, engage with them, and know where their pain points are. Some teams use 15Five as an alternative to weekly 1:1 meetings while others use 15Five as a way to make 1:1 meetings more effective.

Brad Hargreaves, the Founder & CEO of Common, is a big fan of 15Five:

I’m a huge advocate of 15Five. It’s a way for people to do weekly status updates in a way that doesn’t take up valuable one-on-one time. By the time I walk into the meeting, I know where people stand, where they need help, and what their pain points are. I have a certain way I like to manage, and 15Five fits that management style perfectly. The UI is OK–it fits a startup very well.


Unlock your team’s potential

Lattice is performance management software designed for the new generation of employees. The product helps companies embrace the latest trends in performance management by developing a culture around clear expectations, ongoing feedback and employee development.

Lattice currently offers three different products: Goals, Reviews, and Check-ins. 

  • Goals:Lattice takes your goals out of spreadsheets and into an intuitive platform, so your entire team has visibility and provides frequent goal updates. By using Lattice, teams are able to keep track of their goals, which helps the entire company stay aligned and develop a transparent culture. 
  • Reviews: HR teams can run a review cycle in three easy steps and use custom questions. For employees, Lattice provides a step-by-step guide to complete reviews, making the process intuitive and painless. 
  • Check-ins: Lattice facilitates conversations between managers-employees through a weekly Q&A.


Your Business Command Center

For a more analytical tool to use to track goals, Grow‘s BI dashboard helps companies rally our team around the data and metrics that truly matter.

Grow integrates with your CRMs, apps, and spreadsheets to create customized charts that will show you how fast you can reach your goals.

Grow is a powerful, feature-rich platform, but more powerful for companies that have already established, often through trial and error, the metrics that are important to them. For teams that are an earlier stage, it makes sense to try a simpler platform as you evolve the metrics that are best for your team and model.


Use data to focus on what matters

Geckoboard is a great solution to consider for your startup if you’re looking for ways to constantly monitor your team’s KPIs and push them to achieve all of the goals you set.

Geckoboard set the culture of visualized, live progress reports in startups around the world. Geckoboard sets up TV’s around your office that displays all of your business metrics. It is completely customizable – and is beneficial for small teams or large. Whatever metrics are important to your team, whether sales, internal operations, marketing, or otherwise, he live displays will help any data-driven startup focus on their goals.


Going cloud with Tableau

For a very robust BI dashboard, Tableau has been a popular choice amongst startups. Tableau is used exclusively by Series B and Growth companies, partially due to it’s expensive licensing, but also because smaller startups wouldn’t need such an advanced tool.

Tableau is a very customizable tool that will help you monitor KPIs and let you visualize your company’s data in whichever way is meaningful to you. It’s used by Pipedrive, to help them monitor their weekly and monthly KPIs via Tableau Online or Tableau Reader.


The work collaboration tool for businesses of all sizes

If you’re looking for a fresh start on how to make New Year’s goals for your company, consider the S.M.A.R.T. method. The SMART method is broken down into.”

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

By clearly defining a goal this way, employees will stay on track and become aware of the expectations they have to achieve.

And if you start using the SMART method at your startup, why not consider using Smartsheet? Smartsheet is a cloud-based project management tool that works like a spreadsheet app. It’s very customizable, and you can collaborate with team members on your sheets.

By tracking and highlighting changes in sheets, you get an easy way to see how your team is reaching your company goals.


Organize anything, anywhere with anyone

Trello is a popular project management tool that also has great use-cases for goal tracking. By making a board specific to the goals you are trying to achieve, you can structure different lists corresponding to each goal.

Then you can build onto those lists using Trello cards. By assigning them to team members, color coding them and setting due dates, you can turn this project management tool into a goal tracking tool.

Trello is a tool that is frequently commented on as being too “simple” and “not robust enough.” But the truth is that Trello’s simplicity lets you customize your boards and use it for a variety of functions, just like how Dennis Mortenson, the CEO & Founder of x.ai, uses Trello at his company:

We use Trello extensively. We use it for everything from traditional project management, to OKR planning, to ASI-specific initiatives, to onboarding new employees (e.g. new employees each get a board with tasks to complete during their first weeks).

Excel/Google Sheet

If you’re a bootstrapped startup (or just feel at home in a spreadsheet), there’s nothing wrong with tracking everything in an Excel spreadsheet or a Google Sheet.

You can make your custom spreadsheet to measure and track your goals in a timeframe that makes sense to you, whether it’s yearly, quarterly, monthly or weekly.

If you’re tracking goals on a Google Sheet, it’ll let you easily work and collaborate with other team members. Just make sure everyone is updating their progress regularly.

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