Wondering if your company is OKR ready?
Which Business Problems Do OKRs Solve?
Keep in mind the setting in which you now find yourself employed: What are your own goals? Aims of the group? What is your company’s goal? Read on if you are still uncertain about the aforementioned three points.
It might be difficult to enable a group to move ahead toward a common goal. Once a year, managers of “conventional,” hierarchically organized firms sit down and map out everyone’s goals, starting with the company’s overarching vision and working its way down through the ranks. In many cases, monetary bonuses are contingent on the completion of one or more predetermined goals. The company’s goals are defined annually by upper management, who then breaks them down into more manageable pieces for the middle management, who in turn develops the team and individual goals. The yearly performance reviews are often the sole time that progress and input on those goals are examined.
For many reasons, this becomes an issue.
1. You create business-as-usual OKRs
When this happens, the OKRs are focused more on what the team thinks it can do in its current state than on what would actually help the firm develop and have a greater effect. OKRs, as you may know, are designed to serve as an excellent framework for inspiring businesses to establish and pursue lofty objectives. OKR software is intended to improve operations, therefore using them for routine tasks is counterproductive. Metrics like key Performance management indicators and balanced scorecards work better for routine tasks like these.
2. You set and forget your OKRs
To get the most out of OKRs, you need to establish a reliable and durable routine. Regular updates on the status of your important results from you and your staff are essential. To correctly evaluate progress and maintain a disciplined approach to achieving goals, it is essential to conduct regular checks, preferably every week. Don’t wait until the end of the quarter to realize you’re completely off target! Without these check-ins, OKRs become a quarterly ritual that serves little to advance the company.
3. You are equating Company-wide Objectives and Financial Goals.
Increasing revenue by X percent or decreasing expenses by Y percent are two common suggestions for company-wide goals. Instead of goals, they are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to strive towards.
A Company-level Objective is a quarterly focal statement that provides strategic guidance. Obtaining new alliances, expanding into new markets, enhancing brand recognition, increasing customer happiness, etc. might all be part of a quarterly Objective aimed at increasing income for a firm. It may be challenging for a company to decide which of many potential areas of concentration to emphasize. Leaders should solicit opinions from team managers and their teams for this very reason.
4. You fail to keep the big picture in mind
When individual development objectives and milestones are not contributing to the attainment of Company, Team-level OKRs, or when Team-level OKRs are not aligned with Company-level OKRs, this typical OKR error arises. Therefore, management should be having conversations with team leaders about the wider picture, and employees should be aware of how their individual growth contributes to the achievement of Team OKRs and the Company OKRs. Having a meeting at the time OKRs are developed is also recommended for getting everyone rowing in the same direction.
5. You’re Trying to Accomplish Way Too Much
Setting too many Objectives for a single team not only demonstrates a failure to prioritize, but also suggests that the significance of each Objective is too little. The overwhelming number of Objectives with little effects makes it difficult to keep track of them all and is unlikely to inspire much enthusiasm.
Furthermore, numerous initiatives might contribute to a single Objective, which is an improvement area or problem that you would fix within 90 days. If you find yourself with an overwhelming number of Objectives, it may be time to sit back and brush up on your writing skills. Each year or quarter should focus on three or four crucial Objectives, with a maximum of five or more Key Results. Workloads can be significantly reduced and clarity increased in this manner.
6. Your Goals Are Either Too Hard or Not Hard Enough
Maybe you believe it’s fantastic that your team has achieved all of its objectives. But perhaps you’re aiming too low. Goals have to be challenging yet attainable. In every given quarter, you should aim to accomplish between 70 and 80 percent of your Objectives. If it’s more or less, it’s time to examine your objectives and key results.
7. Your value is incalculable
Key Results are the indicators of whether or not an aim has been met, whereas Objectives are the lofty targets you’ve set for yourself. To know when you’ve achieved success and can exclaim, “Oh, we did wonderful!” you need to define what that means and track your key results. The Key Results are not the steps used to complete an Objective; rather, they are the criteria used to judge whether or not the Objective has been met. For this reason, it is important that your Key Results have a numerical value so that you can monitor your progress as you work towards your Objective.
To describe your Key Results, you utilize phrases like “at least” and “above.”
We may all agree that Key Results should be demanding. Use of the words “at least” or “above” in the title of a Key Result indicates that you want the result to be at least that high. If you don’t push yourself, you won’t push your team, and if you push them too far, you’ll demotivate them.
Okay, so maybe your “at least” value isn’t all that ambitious. If that goal is met by the end of the quarter, then our expectations for the next fiscal year will be met. What’s going to happen? It will have already been completed at a 100% rate of progress. Is it your expectation that individuals will make more efforts? Not likely to occur. The 70% rule assumes that you may reasonably expect to make progress until you reach that threshold, but that doing so at 100% would be unrealistic. Then, instead of using qualifiers like “at least” in the title of your Key Result, try increasing your goal value.
Now that you have understood, getting an OKR software for your organization should be a top priority for you. Contact us straightaway to get more insights and proficient guidance in getting an OKR program for your organization.