Speaker: Vikas Baijal & Sundar Nookala
Kanika Gupta, Senior Marketing Executive, uExcelerate
Business has long started from KPIs and set projects to achieve them. The problem with this method is that teams often lack clear direction and a common focus for the entire organization lacks. This is where OKRs come in. In this webinar, you will learn how OKRs fit in with goals and projects, how they drive innovation and growth, and what steps needs to be taken by a company to implement OKRs. OKRs were introduced in the 1970s by Andy Grove, the legendary CEO of Intel.
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, where objective refers to the organization’s, department’s or individual’s broader goals. Key results are the success measurement of that goal/objective. OKR is used by many companies, including Google, Amazon, Uber, and many more. Google trends show that in the last 5 years OKR has become mainstream for many organizations and has gained popularity beyond the tech industry.
With OKRs proving to be a simple yet powerful framework for many organizations, we’re conducting this webinar that will teach you how to implement OKR strategies through coaching and how to optimize your OKRs using technology.
The Journey of OKR
Andy Grove created OKRs to execute Operation Crush at Intel in the 1970s. In 1999 John Doerr introduced OKRs to Google and then Google become successful over the next 20 years. Today OKRs have become a best-practice goal setting framework.
What are OKRs?
OKRs are a critical thinking framework and goal setting methodology that helps companies align goals and ensure everyone is working collaboratively on goals that really matter . OKRs support a goal or vision and they are measurable, flexible, transparent and aspirational. OKRs follow a quarterly cycle and not annual. OKR formula is to set an objective, which is “what I want to have accomplished,” and the key results, which are “how I’m going to get it done.” With OKR, a goal isn’t just what you want to achieve; it must include a way to measure achievement. OKRs help monitor progress on the Objective on a 0 -100% scale. OKR are never tied into compensation or performance reviews.
If the company direction is to increase the revenue per customer then the Sales team can focus on upselling to new customers. Product Development can work on new introductions or improvement in products to capture new segments. Marketing can develop new offers and campaigns to attract existing customers (Loyalty Club members, repeat purchases).
What’s so special about OKRs?
It measures what matters and leaves aside the unimportant aspects.
Measurement Is Core: Focused on ‘measuring what matters’ right now
Encourage Ambition: Encourage ‘hard’ goals to be set, which means we achieve more
Alignment Is Systemized: Facilitates top-down and bottom-up alignment
Transparency Can’t Be Avoided: Forces transparency which builds trust and creates accountability.
What do OKRs bring in?
OKRS bring ownership in teams of moving the company forward.
Team OKRs align with the Company Objectives. They create a unified understanding of success. When the Key Results are clear, the teams then have freedom in deciding which plans are more likely to deliver on the desired outcomes.
OKRs bring Organization-wide transparency and build effective communication.
They bring company objectives for the quarter with context and background information. What problems are we facing? What areas should we improve? What’s stopping us? They save the team’s time in meetings. Business processes can run faster and it boosts engagement and fuels accountability.
What is the difference between OKRs and KPIs?
- Typically driven by historical performance
- Aligned to annual budgets
- Key input for an employee’s annual appraisal
- KPIs are mostly lag indicators
- Actions get initiated if KPIs are falling short
- Employee may resist stretch KPIs
- KPIs are The What (outcomes)
- Aspirational or Mission driven
- Aspirational, hence not necessarily tied with budgets but are quarterly
- Aspirational OKRs are stretch and not included in employee’s appraisal
- OKRs also measure & monitor lead indicators
- OKRs are action oriented by design
- Employees get motivated by aspirational KPIs
- OKR combine The What with How
Committed and Aspirational OKRs
Committed OKRs are ones that your organization or team has agreed to execute and might have a clear action plan for achieving. Committed Key Results are where 100% progress is expected.
Aspirational OKRs are more visionary and likely won’t get completed 100%, but they are important for moving towards the future. Achieving these OKRs brings huge success, but the risk of failing is high as well. Usually, 65-70% progress achievement can already be called a success.
It is recommended to always shoot for stretch objectives. If you are consistently hitting your goals, you are undershooting your capabilities
Litmus Test for OKRs:
- If you wrote them in 15 minutes, they probably aren’t good. Think, think some more
- If your objective doesn’t fit on one line, it probably isn’t crisp enough
- If your KRs are expressed as “launch …”, they probably aren’t good. What matters isn’t the launch but its impact – “launch to improve sales by …..”
- Use real dates. If every result happens on the last day of the month/quarter, you likely don’t have a real plan
- Make sure KRs are measurable. “Improve daily footfalls by 20% by ……
- Too many owners for a KR, it is likely to fall between the cracks
OKR Quick Tips:
- Start with only few specific objectives at organizational level
- Think a Quarter
- Build buy-in of the Leadership team – yet another gimmick of HR?
- Works best if you are looking for faster growth or innovation. For a maintenance/steady environment, OKR will not create the stretch
- Use a software tool if you are implementing it organization wide
- CFR are key enablers for OKR, don’t ignore them – Conversation, Feedback, Recognition
How can OKRs help Coaches?
- Supports in coaching – Performance Coaching, Career Coaching,
- Helps in setting up and monitoring quarterly objectives/goals
- Brings in clarity and focus for the individual
- Simple to use and self-monitor for the individual
Technology as an Enabler for OKRs
- Organization wide OKR implementation
- Alignment of OKRs
- Cascading – Top down
- Collaborative – Across functions
- Track progress across OKRs
- Consolidate the output for strategy review for the organization
- Support in 1:1 coaching conversations between Manager and Employee
Huminos is a comprehensive OKR software to achieve impactful outcomes. To see how the software works check out the full webinar here: Click here
“OKRs push us far beyond our comfort zone, they lead us to achievements on the border between abilities and dreams” – John Doerr, Measure What Matters
uExcelerate – a Digital Leadership Coaching Platform