Some OKR basics
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results and it is a powerful goal management framework used by companies to improve their focus on results and increase engagement and ownership among teams.
An "Objective" is an inspiring and measurable goal that is based on results, effects or outcomes.
A "Key Result" is an indicator that shows progress towards achieving the objective, it is a measurable outcome that allows to track the progress and adjust the strategy accordingly.
The framework emphasises on results rather than activities, and it's important that the objectives and key results are defined and followed up regularly, usually on a quarterly basis.
What are the benefits of using OKR?
Companies that are skilled at using OKRs are the companies that successfully achieve their inspiring goals by focusing on what creates the most value.
The need for coordination, meetings, and reporting is reduced when following up on results that are transparent to the entire organisation.
There are also great values, such as employee engagement and efficiency, when teams have clear goals in combination with mandate and resources to achieve their goals.
How do you start?
You start by defining what you want to achieve, and then work backwards to identify the key objectives and results needed to reach that goal.
A clear vision and mission can help guide the direction of your OKRs, and it's important to define strategic goals that align with that vision.
Measuring progress is key to the success of OKRs, so it's essential to establish clear indicators that demonstrate where you currently stand and whether you're moving in the right direction.
To get the most out of OKRs, it's important to be patient and invest time in reflection and learning. This will help to ensure that you make the necessary adjustments and improvements along the way.
What makes it difficult?
We sometimes get caught up in defining goals as activities. For example, instead of saying "Our goal is to acquire 15 new customers within segment X," a manager in an organization might say "Our goal is to make 100 cold calls." The latter is easier to measure and track, but it's important to keep the end goal in mind.
Some managers may find it simpler to distribute and coordinate tasks. It's easier for a manager to say, "Anna, you make these 50 cold calls, Pelle, you make these 50 cold calls, and report back to me every day," than to create a shared goal where we can challenge the assumption that 100 calls is the most effective way to acquire 15 new customers. By utilising the full capacity of the team, we can more quickly find more effective ways to acquire new customers.
We don't have relevant metrics available. It's important to have access to metrics in order to track progress and make adjustments as needed. Without access to data, it's difficult to understand if the actions being taken are leading to the desired outcome. This information can guide us to finding better and more effective ways to achieve our goals.
Where can I read more?
We highly recommend Niklas Olsson's book on the subject for those who want to delve deeper into how OKRs can help your organization. Niklas has also created a website that describes OKRs as a framework in an educational way.
Another recommended site is whatmatters.com, where OKR evangelist John Doerr offers a lot of useful information.
A reference book for those interested in OKRs is the book "Measure what matters."
Can I get help?
Absolutely. Responsive Tribes offers tools (Our Big Picture), introductions, trainings and workshops with you and your organisation. Get in touch and let's discuss how we can help
Per Egnell +46 761841194