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How to structure the objectives of OKRs to achieve the desired outcomes
Setting objectives is an essential part of any business strategy. Objectives help to define the desired outcomes and provide a roadmap for achieving those outcomes. However, simply setting objectives is not enough; they must be structured to support achieving the desired business outcomes. This is where the OKR come into the picture.
OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, is a methodology for setting and tracking goals that are recently gaining popularity. The OKRs were first introduced by Intel co-founder Andy Grove in the 1980s and have since been adopted by companies such as Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
OKR Software help organizations define a business’s desired outcomes and provide a roadmap for achieving those outcomes.
The process of OKRs involves setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives. These then define key results that will help measure progress toward achieving those objectives.
When using the OKRs methodology, businesses start by defining their long-term goals. After that, they are broken down into shorter-term objectives that are aligned with the overall business strategy. Doing so ensures objectives are aligned with the business priorities and are relevant to team members.
Structuring the objectives of OKRs for achieving the desired outcomes
Focus on outcomes, not outputs:
When setting objectives, it’s important to focus on outcomes rather than outputs. Objectives should be set with the desired outcome in mind rather than just the activities or outputs required to achieve that outcome.
For example, instead of setting an objective to “increase sales calls,” a better objective might be to “increase revenue by 20%.” The OKRs methodology ensures that the objective is aligned with the strategy and supports the desired outcome.
Make objectives specific and measurable:
Objectives should be specific and measurable so that progress can be tracked and adjustments can be made as needed. Objectives should be broken down into key results that are specific, measurable, and time-bound.
For example, if the objective is to increase revenue by 20%, key results might include increasing the number of leads generated, the conversion rate, and the average order value. Using OKRs in your organization ensures that your objectives are specific and measurable,
Align objectives with business priorities:
Objectives should be aligned with the priorities of the business. This helps to ensure that objectives are relevant and that progress towards those objectives will have a meaningful impact on the business.
By aligning OKRs with business priorities, you can ensure that your team is focused on the most important outcomes.
The process of OKRs ensures that your organization never operates in silos. The teams are bound to get on the same page when an organization uses the OKRs.
Set challenging but achievable objectives:
Objectives in OKRs should be challenging but achievable. Setting objectives that are too easy can lead to complacency. While developing the difficult ones can lead to demotivation. Finding the right balance between challenge and achievability is essential when setting objectives.
In its nature, the OKRs require one to have an ambitious but realistic goal. Even if someone fails to achieve their OKRs, they’ve likely achieved more than they would without using OKRs.
Ensure objectives are relevant to team members:
Objectives in OKRs should always be relevant to team members, so they feel invested in achieving them.
When setting objectives of OKRs, it’s important to consider team members’ perspectives and ensure that the objectives are meaningful to them. This helps to ensure that team members are engaged and motivated to achieve the objectives.
Break down objectives into smaller, manageable goals:
Breaking down objectives into smaller, manageable goals can help to make them more achievable and keep your team motivated.
By setting smaller goals, you can track progress more easily and adjust as needed. This can be easily done by organizations that use OKRs. The approach in itself initiates by breaking down the ultimate objectives into smaller and achievable goals.
Align objectives with individual performance goals:
When structuring objectives, aligning them with individual performance management goals is important. This helps to ensure that team members are working towards the same objectives and that everyone is aligned with the overall business strategy.
This approach aligns with the “alignment” component of the process of OKRs.
Use SMART criteria:
Using SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) can help ensure that objectives are structured to support the desired business outcomes.
Using these criteria, you can ensure that objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, making it easier to track progress and adjust as needed. This approach aligns with the “key results” component of OKRs.
Incorporate feedback and learning:
Incorporating feedback and learning into the objective-setting process can help ensure that objectives are structured to support the desired business outcomes.
By soliciting feedback from team members and stakeholders, you can make adjustments and ensure that the objectives are aligned with the business’s priorities. The practice of giving and taking feedback is one of the main components of the OKRs.
Continuously monitor and adjust objectives:
Finally, it’s important to monitor and adjust objectives as needed continuously. This helps ensure that objectives remain relevant and that progress is made toward achieving the desired business outcomes.
By tracking progress and making adjustments as needed, you can keep your team focused and on the path toward achieving the desired business outcomes. The process of OKRs gives a lot of importance to monitoring progress and adjusting to objectives as needed.
To get more insights into this and to structure your OKRs, book a consultation call with the experts today!