Defining an OKR is easy, Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs in short, is a rigorous goal setting and tracking method invented by Andy Grover and used in Intel from its early years. For more information on what an OKR is you can see our detailed post here. Andy Grover derived the concept of OKR from the teachings of Peter Drucker’s Management by Objective.
To begin, ask yourself the following questions: what do I know about OKRs and how is it going to help my organization achieve its goal. If you are the one introducing OKR concepts to your peers and employees, it’s good to familiarize with the conceptual and motivational aspects of OKRs prior to implementing them.
Start with the fundamental approach of trial and error to set up sample objectives, key results, and also a few underlying tasks. Assess alignment and sharing opportunities across various departments. Once you understand the nuts and bolts of creating and tracking OKRs, you’ll be ready to share the usefulness of this methodology across your organization. See our post on PPP reports
While it’s true that many will instantly recognize the value of implementing OKR, it’s likely to come across skeptics within your organization. And that’s okay! It’s healthy to encourage an atmosphere of public discourse in which members of your team feel comfortable engaging in productive conversations and expressing their concerns.
As you seek to gain the support of teams and individuals, it’s crucial that you clearly and transparently explain the many benefits of OKR, how it will help the organization as a whole to reach desired objectives, and how it facilitates individual success.
Organize workshops, seminars, and discussions to help various departments understand how to create explicable OKRs. Teach employees how to update, report, track, align, and share OKRs. Introduce them to PROFIT, a leading software solution to the strategic execution of objectives and key results.
The main purpose of OKR is to steer all organizational developments and achievements towards the Ultimate, purposeful vision of the organization. This insight is often lost when organizational size grows. Defining the scope and profundity of your vision will guide other OKRs tailored to it.
KPIs enable organizations to look at present/past results, identify their position in the business cycle, and analyze strengths and weaknesses. For all variation in growth trends one might witness in any business cycle, the key is to have good hold on KPIs responsible for that specific trend. Identifying which KPIs are to be increased, decreased or maintained, forces you to look at what measurable actions and behaviors will drive you towards specific goals.
It is important to sit down and decide which KPI you want to make use of, and which results will help boost your production or outreach.
For example, if your goal is to Increase Customer retention rate by 30%, determine what other factors like NPS Score, Average order value, Customer lifetime value serves the above purpose. Then, establish some specific, actionable steps to achieve the goal. Check various other industrial KPIs at PROFIT
It is easy for a company to get lost in the scramble of KPIs until it becomes a jumbled mess of information that the user cannot keep straight. Use what will be the most fundamentally important information for your particular needs in aligned with organizational OKRs.
It can be tough, even intimidating, to identify an objective structure that works well within the OKR you have established for your company. Your OKR bears the heavy burden of laying out the framework for your overarching objectives and organization goals.
Therefore, you must clearly communicate expectations to your teams and leadership alike. This serves to address any questions or concerns your teams may have and also lays the groundwork for a successful launch of your OKR.
With that, here’s some advice:
- Inspire and engage
- Take a reality check
- Avoid ambiguity
- Be transparent and time-bound
- Keep fit in mind
- Teamwork makes the dream work
You must strike the delicate balance of creating goals that challenge your team to rise to ambitious heights, but also motivate them to work towards an objective that they believe in
If the method you implement is too complicated and troublesome to interact with, then your company faces the risk of maintaining your OKR becoming too much of a task on its own. You don’t want to create a new burden that’s unrealistic to keep up.
OKRs must clearly define its scope and be easily understandable from the company’s standpoint
The whole point of creating OKRs is to have complete transparency across the organization. Being time-bound keeps a constant check on daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual deadlines, ensuring all the updates and trackables are in place.
The right objective for an auto dealership is not the same as the right objective for a high-end chocolatier. When you choose the objectives that serve as the framework for your OKR, it is crucial that you keep in mind the factors specific to your company and your industry.
Your objectives are what will drive your business ever onward in its pursuits toward growth and success. So if the goals you set are ones that stand in direct opposition to the mission, culture, and vision of your company, then those objectives are doomed to fail.
Your team is your most valuable resource toward attaining absolutely any goal or objective. Use the knowledge and input of your teams to inform your best next step and identify the right objective for your company.
As your implementation of OKR proves a valuable tool for your company, it’s very likely that the OKR method will expand to other departments and ventures. But writing OKR is a skill set, and one that takes time and patience to develop.
Allow some time for growth and adjustment among your teams! Understand that your team and various department heads will require your patience and understanding as they develop their OKR skills.
Take the time to perform an evaluation to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Such feedback is critical to making changes in the future.
By now you will have a fair understanding of OKR and measuring what really matters. Iteration is necessary for ambitious growth. This gives you a base to effectively improve and innovate your OKRs.
Almost inevitably, your organization will cross something that improving an objective simply cannot address. It’s not that you need to create something new, not that you need to revise something that already exists: it’s just that something needs to change completely with an out-of-the-box approach.
The OKR methodology is particularly conducive to improve objectives as it provides flexibility to modify and adapt across the various teams and individuals who contribute to its ultimate objective. The same timeline and rhythm is not applied to every team — the approach is customized according to key result and according to the timelines and resources available to those to whom the key result has been assigned. This practice maximizes flexibility within your OKR and provides multiple opportunities to readjust and allow for structural changes as your timeline progresses. This agility paves a way to construct and reconstruct your run towards the goal.