Are You Ready for OKR?
In the right hands, OKRs can be the most effective goal management measure to reach your company’s objectives and 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 its first 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 key results and objectives you define will be chosen according to the capacities of your teams — and tailored to push them to ambitious new heights.
While OKRs are simple at first glance, make sure to respect the effort that your teams and organization will have to commit to meeting your key results and ultimately achieving 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.
While the OKR method is designed to be simple and practical, 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.
Every major project needs establishing leadership in place, and your OKR is no exception. In order to successfully roll out the OKR method into your organization, you will 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 the key results laid out. Before you decide whether to implement OKR into your organization’s objective management, make sure that you have someone in mind that you could nominate as your OKR’s ambassador.
Metrics are the lifeblood of your OKR — the underlying purpose of your OKR is to define, structure and manage measurable progress. So 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 it’s true that just about every organization claims to uphold complete transparency with all of its teams, it’s also true that 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? It’s something to keep in mind as you evaluate whether your company is prepared for your OKR rollout.