Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

How OKRs Help In Prioritizing What Matters

12 July, 2022
5 mins

The very act of writing OKRs serves as a useful exercise in articulating the issues that need to be addressed. A clear set of objectives lays forth the direction you wish to move in, or the problem you hope to solve. Defining your business goals in this way gives you a clear picture of what you want to achieve and encourages your team to work toward it.

As a result, a large number of organizations have a big wish-list of goals, but only a small number of resources are available for accomplishing those goals. If you want to maximize your resources, you must be able to prioritize which goals to focus on by embracing an OKR software.

OKRs Help In Prioritizing What Matters
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When it comes to OKRs, how do you prioritize? Let’s discuss the strategies and approaches you can put in place at your company to properly prioritize your OKR management and begin generating better results for the business.

1. Push The Mindset Beyond The Business As Usual (BAU)

Let’s be clear about the goals of this methodology before deciding which OKRs to focus on. The OKR management approach isn’t meant to be used in a business as usual mode (BAU). It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and expanding your business.

The growth-share matrix can help you see how OKRs and BAU differ. It plots the growth of the market against its share of the market. As we go through each quadrant, the key message is to prioritize OKRs that will lead to growth rather than those that would keep things the same.

a. Exploit

When a firm knows how to make money in today’s market, it is in the “Exploit” quadrant. While improving with time, BAU tends to produce the same results day in and day out; thus, there is little room for progress here. OKRs should not be focused on this area.

b. Exits

Your exits are located here. Focusing on what isn’t working won’t help you grow or make money, so don’t do it.

c. Explore

You can stay ahead of the curve if you invest in the areas where the market is expanding; therefore, exploration is worthwhile. You’ll be able to achieve more business growth if your OKR management falls into this category.

d. Expand

You have the highest chance of expanding your capabilities and seeing results in markets where demand is rising, and you already have a presence. To get the most out of your OKRs, focus your attention here.

Checking back to this picture while developing your OKR management plan can be extremely helpful in ensuring that you aren’t straying into BAU-land. Cross out any goals that will result in your organization simply maintaining BAU. Retain just those employees who will help your company grow.

2. Choose A Prioritization Activity

What is known as the “5 Whys” method is a way to get to the bottom of a problem by asking the question, “Why?” Typically, you have to ask this question five times before you get to the core, which is why the method is named after that numbering system. By completing this task, you can be confident that achieving your goals will contribute to the expansion of your firm.

What to do with it: With this method, you can “interrogate” your goals like this:

Goal: The goal is to raise staff retention from 75% to 90%.

a. Why? Because our staff turnover is at an all-time high.

b. Why? Because of the departure of our best employees to rival companies.

c. Why? Because we do not involve our staff in the decision-making process.

d. Why? Because we aren’t recognizing or praising their achievements.

e. WHY? Because we don’t have a system in place to track progress or evaluate effectiveness.

3. 2-Factor Matrix For Prioritization

A two-factor matrix can be used to categorize objects in a two-factor matrix. These matrices can be used in a variety of ways based on the elements that are most important to your company. In this case, it’s critical to remember that the two factors operate as restrictions to help you establish priorities while also providing an opportunity for in-depth discussions about your goals.

What to do with it: Is it possible to create a four-quadrant matrix based on two elements of your choice and then categorize your goals in accordance with those categories? It is easy to identify objectives in the lower right quadrant in the following cases. Instead, pay attention to the first three rows.

The effort-impact matrix does not have four equal quadrants, as can be seen. We underestimate how much work it takes to make a difference because we are human.

4. Limit The Objectives And Key Results To 3 To 5

Once you have a list of realistic OKRs, it’s time to sort them out. To get the most out of your OKR management program, we recommend limiting your goals to three or fewer, each with a set of three to five critical outcomes, in order to avoid getting overwhelmed. When everything is on the line, it’s easier said than done to focus your efforts.

Stagnation is a death sentence for any firm hoping to thrive in the modern economy; thus, it’s critical that you go through this exercise. It is important to keep your business moving ahead towards the future state you want. Some of our favorite strategies for prioritizing your OKRs are included here to help you get started.

Keep in mind that not all of these strategies will yield a “solution.” Constraints such as these can assist guide the discussions that are necessary to identify your top objectives.

You’ll notice that all of the strategies listed above are meant to be practiced in groups. As a result, it’s critical that you include key stakeholders in the creation of your OKRs from the start. It is unlikely that they will be engaged and driven to attain your objectives if this is the case.

Make sure to contact us for more proficient guidance related to Okr software.