Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

Crucial Steps For An Effective OKR Planning Process

8 August, 2022
4 mins

Numerous pieces of research and surveys have suggested that only a handful of employees have clarity about their connection with their organizational priorities. In such a scenario, how can your employees deliver results without having the knowledge about how their daily contribution affects the business goals and vision?

Effective OKR Planning Process
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To establish a culture of transparency and clarity, organizations are swiftly paving the way to embrace the very renowned OKR management framework in their organization. In order to successfully embrace this approach, ensure that you are planning your OKRs on both the organizational and team levels. These OKRs should be aligned with the organization’s vision to ensure that the entire organization’s efforts are focused on what matters the most. Having an OKR tool has become a necessity for organizations that aim to grow and develop. So, let us now look at the basics of the OKR management framework and the steps for an effective OKR process. 

The term OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results and is a goal-setting approach that is driven by outcomes. The objective refers to the qualitative outcome that reflects that to work towards for a specific period of time. While the KRs are used to support the set objective by defining what needs to be achieved in order to attain the objective. It yields the best results for the organizations when it is planned, implemented, and gauged on a quarterly basis. 

The principles of the OKR management framework:

  • The Objectives should always be inspirational and qualitative.
  • The Objectives have to be actionable and attainable.
  • The Objectives should yield value for the business.
  • The Key Results have to be measurable always.
  • The Key Results must be time-bound and actionable. 

Crucial steps for effective OKR planning

Now that you are familiar with the OKR management approach, let’s look at the long-awaited steps for ensuring effective planning of the OKR process:

  1. Leaders agreeing on the organizational objectives

First things first, you have to make sure that you don’t consider the organizational objectives to be the KPIs. The reason is that the Objectives refer to the qualitative areas that demand focus and efforts from the entire organization. The leaders should always be clear and in agreement on the organizational objectives. These Objectives will serve as the north star towards which the whole focus and effort of the organizations will steer. Ensuring that these objectives are a reflection of the organization’s mission and vision is highly crucial. 

  1. Teams to develop their OKRs

Once you and your management have determined the organizational level OKRs and have discussed them with your teams, the next step is for them to develop and establish their OKRs.  Even these team OKRs have to be quantitative and aspirational. Moreover, these should be in alignment with the organizational objectives. This will establish a sense of focus, urgency, and motivation for your entire team. Make sure that you have a thorough discussion while planning out the team OKRs for using that your teams yield the benefits of the OKR software

  1. Plan the execution of the OKRs

The OKR management process should consist of methods that will enable you to achieve your goals. Therefore, the execution process should comprise initiatives and weekly check-ins. In the absence of these, the OKR tool being used by you won’t turn out to be as effective as it should. It might also leave your teams feeling stagnant against an objective that appears too tough to attain. The word initiatives here refers to the ideas strategized by your teams for moving the needle forward of their OKRs. While the check-ins are the typical weekly meetings done for discussing the progress of your OKRs. 

  1. Provide feedback

The weekly check-ins provide a great opportunity for you and your teams to give feedback on the performance of your employees. The OKR software enables you to establish a culture of feedback in the organization. This feedback is highly crucial as employees are known to thrive in a culture where giving and taking feedback is a part of the routine. Now your teams will have a better understanding of their performance and what they need to improve in order to perform at the best level. 

  1. Have company-wide reviews

It is highly crucial for you and your teams to have monthly OKR reviews. Yes, ideally you should be having at least 3 OKR reviews each quarter towards the end of the month. This will serve as an opportunity for you to have a retrospective look at the performance and also discuss the forthcoming targets. Such reviews are quite useful for keeping each and everyone on the same page and ensuring that things are moving on the desired track. 

If you have finally decided to introduce the OKR management framework in your organization, getting an OKR tool right from the start is highly recommendable. For more proficient assistance regarding OKR methodology, reach out to us today!