OKR method, do you have the basics?

Let’s check it together. Main principles, implementation, application… In this article, Rising Goal answers questions that the OKR method raises on its own.

OKR method, do you have the basics?

When to implement the OKR method in your organization?

The OKR method assumes an essential prerequisite: to develop a strategy. The company, its leaders in particular, must know in which directions to engage the whole organization. Without a clear vision of its orientations and fundamentals, defining OKRs is tricky.

Their application is precisely adapted to move from the strategic vision to the execution. This type of objective is able to initiate the transition to action. With the added bonus of more serenity and evidence.

The keys to developing a strategy, find them in this article.

In which types of organization is the OKR method relevant?

Let’s put aside the size and sector criteria. Companies for which the OKR method is beneficial have multiple scales and value propositions. We found startups, SMEs, groups, from various sectors. Moreover, there are OKR tools for each type of organization. On the other hand, they agree on their mindset.

The same appetite to make their organization definitively agile. That is, who knows how to manage change. And, the OKRs are wired to favor it. Why? They aim for impact, achieve structuring outcomes.

What is more, this state of mind implies agreeing to entrust autonomy and (really) trusting your teams. These play a leading role in the execution of the OKR method. Acquiring this mentality often represents, at the level of leaders, a major challenge. Sometimes, it is even a renunciation. But once we cross the line, the gains appear at all levels.

What is the OKR method?

A management method? Yes. Particularly powerful? As well. OKR stands for Objective and Key Results. The objectives express the intended destination, a state that one wishes to achieve. As for the key results, they size this course by indicating a metric (more details in the article here).

The agility, autonomy and confidence mentioned above will now make their full meaning. By its nature, the method works on a mixed top-down and bottom-up model. Each hierarchical level defines its own OKRs. These are aligned with those of its higher level. Or more generally with the strategy.

Align OKRs

Schematically, the board initiates the process. Its members set the company’s OKRs. They formulate the main priority orientations, based on strategy.

From these first objectives, the different teams then define their own OKRs. In a process of co-construction, all of them thus decline the fixed priorities. These specify their future actions.

At this stage, two observations appear. Firstly, this principle leads everyone to focus on a single project on the same timing.

Secondly, we understand how crucial it is to develop a business strategy upstream. However, it is essential that the highest levels have clear ideas about their intentions. They must also share them transparently. Without it, the risk of employees making bad decisions would increase.  In this regard, the mission of Rising Goal can help you find a favorable terrain adapted to your organization.

When is an OKR considered achieved?

To find out, let’s look at the key results. They specify a performance metric, for example:

Increase site Y traffic from 500 to 1000 visitors.

These quantities, these volumes are measured regularly. A percentage expresses the progress towards the target. 

We will consider a key result achieved when the progression shows 70% of success. It is a performance when fully reaching them! Google calls them stretch goals.

In our example, when we reach 850 visitors.

Why? It’s all about the dosage of the objective. An OKR must be balanced. Encourage teams to surpass themselves by being realistic. This will avoid any feeling of frustration. An increase in the key result of 100% probably lacked constraints, too easy.

When reaching 50%, on the other hand, three possibilities. Either the OKR proves impossible, or it has been misunderstood. Sometimes the employee’s involvement is simply elsewhere…

The deadlines conditions the objectives. The OKR method assumes a sustained and reactive pace. 

In itself, the principle of the OKR method, through these generalities, seems quite simple. This is the case. And its simplicity is proportional to the rigor that is provided during operations. That is why, you will improve the process over time. 

OKR method do you have the basics?

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OKR Model

This is an agile methodology for collaborative goal setting practices. It stands for Objectives and Key Results model.