Preparing for OKR

Category: OKR University.

In the right hands, OKRs can be the most effective goal management tool that can help you track your performance with measurable KPIs to let you reach your company’s objectives and to reach new levels in your industry. But before you roll out your OKR method, it’s crucial to make sure that your organization is prepared to handle the implementation of a structured plan toward reaching its major objectives. Use these questions to evaluate whether your organization is ready to roll out OKR.

An integral aspect of the effectiveness of the OKR method is the ability to push the boundaries and expectations of its teams and of the organization as a whole. When you write your OKR, the goals and objectives you define will be chosen according to the capacities of your teams — and tailored to push them to ambitious new heights.

While OKR’s are simple at first glance, make sure to respect the effort that your teams and organization will have to commit to meeting your objectives.

As with any new system or implementation, your first OKR rollout is likely to be met with skepticism and maybe a little pushback. While many of your teams may recognize the effectiveness of your OKR, many may view it with something like dismay, disbelief, or even resentment.

It’s crucial that you have the support of leadership across all departments in order to bolster the validity of your OKR method as you expand to company-wide objectives.

Your OKR will serve an important purpose: to define your objectives on all scales, from the smallest goals to the grandest. Without a clearly defined mission or vision from your company, the goals that you set through your OKR may prove ineffective simply by virtue of lacking a frame of reference. Use your company’s clearly defined purpose to inform the objectives that you set with your OKR. “A lack of clarity might easily result in misunderstanding or confusion,” says Diana Adjadj, an expert HR writer at TrustMyPaper. “That’s why write OKRs without using a lot of abbreviations and technical jargon. In case they must be there, hold a special meeting to explain everything.”

While the OKR method is designed to be simple and practicable, it will also serve as an example of the tenet that simple and easy are not at all the same thing. Your OKR will require a significant investment of time, energy, and resources on your part and on the part of your teams. Before you roll out OKR, evaluate whether your staff is prepared to make that significant commitment. With a committed staff and a little patience, OKR will provide to yield impressive results that will speak for themselves.

With a committed staff and a little patience, OKR will provide to yield impressive results that will speak for themselves.

Every major project needs to have strong leadership in order to be successful, and your OKR is no exception. In order to roll out the OKR method within your organization, you’ll need to clearly define a single point of contact for every OKR in order to provide the support that your staff and teams will need as they carry out objectives & key results. Before you decide whether to implement OKR into your organization’s objective management, consider nominating someone as your OKR’s ambassador.

Metrics are the life force of your OKR — the underlying purpose of your OKR is to define, structure, and manage measurable progress. If your company lacks a way to generate meaningful reports based on those measurable metrics, then your OKR may not be ready for rollout. Fortunately, the mere act of considering OKR as a potential method of managing company objectives may itself serve as a motivating factor toward developing your organization’s KPI-tracking methods.

While its true that just about every organization claims to uphold complete transparency with all of its teams, OKR requires a new level of transparency many organizations are not quite prepared to handle. Are you ready to openly and regularly share metrics like revenues, losses, market shares, and KPI progress with every member of your entire organization? This is definitely something to keep in mind as you evaluate whether your company is prepared for OKR rollout.

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