Objectives & Key Results
Why use OKR's? Well that's simple enough to answer on your own, you have goals!
Excellent. You have goals. OKRs (objectives and key results) will help you get to those goals—no concern will stop you.
Whether you are looking to improve your individual goals, your company goals, or are suggesting a new tool to upper management, OKR's will scale you up.
That’s because the founder of OKR's, Peter Drucker paved the way for the Pioneers like John Doerr of Intel who said, "Execution Is Everything.”
The OKR process helps turn great ideas into significant execution. They strengthen employee engagement and drive high performing teams into successful companies. Those who have adopted OKRs include companies like Intel, Google, Netflix, and more.
1. OKRs help you articulate your goals
The first step of using OKRs is to define your Objective. Really audacious goals make fantastic objectives.
An Objective is simply what is to be accomplished.
It should be a crisp, one-line statement that is meaningful, action-oriented, and, ideally, inspirational.
Once you’ve defined your objective, you have to articulate how you are going to achieve it. For this particular goal, think of 3-5 key results that best chart your path to accomplishing it. Key results should be specific and time-bound. They should be measurable and able to be assigned a grade at the end of the OKR cycle.
Now that you have a bold objective and trackable key results, you can get to work. Just be sure that others know about it. OKRs must be transparent.
2. OKRs help you track and measure progress
Track your progress on a regular basis. Ideally weekly. Record how you are doing towards your key results. There are various tools to help expedite this but a Google Sheet or something similar will work for smaller companies. You can request a free evaluation to see active ones in action.
Some team members also like to hold a weekly or monthly all-office WINS meeting where people can update everyone on their OKRs or give shout outs. Companies like Apartment Therapy and Zume Pizza do this and it not only helps with the completion of OKRs, but also company culture, too.
3. OKRs help you reassess and stretch
One important thing to remember, however, is that OKRs are not written in stone. At any point within an OKR cycle, typically a quarter, feel free to revise, add, or delete OKRs as appropriate. It’s counterproductive to hold stubbornly to objectives that are no longer relevant or attainable.
But no matter what, at the end of each OKR cycle, you should look at your key results and determine if you accomplished them or not.
If you have not, then this is an opportunity to ask yourself if the key results you chose need to be adjusted. Were the challenging objectives too ambitious? With what you know now, how can you make your key results audacious, yet realistic?
If you have, then you can celebrate, you have reached your objective. This an opportunity to stretch goals and commit to an even bolder objective with even more aggressive key results. It may even be time to implement an aspirational OKR, also known as a “moonshot.” It’s a kind of OKR that helps move teams from smaller steps to moonwalks.
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