Everyone has fire, but Champions know how to ignite the spark.
“What does it take to be a champion? Desire, dedication, determination, concentration, and the will to win. Extend their limits and make things happen.”
- Amit Ray, Author
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a strategy-execution framework that has taken the world by storm, boosted by the success stories of tech giants like Google, LinkedIn, and Netflix. It’s no surprise that leadership teams are on the hunt for OKR software to help them implement OKRs effectively. The surprising part is that strategy execution isn’t the only benefit that OKRs bring about!
The key to finding success with OKRs lies in good implementation. We reached out to top practitioners who have successfully implemented the framework correctly in their organizations to share their experiences and best practices. Here’s what our Champions had to say about it!
I love OKRs, as I see it as an effective platform for leadership teams to communicate what they want to accomplish and what milestones you'll need to meet in order to accomplish ambitious goals. The beauty of the OKR is 'align and connect' where every layer in the organization knows its top-level priorities with its ultimate purpose. In fact, every individual feels a sense of accomplishment when the organizational objectives are met.
OKRs allow our teams to be strategic in their focus on projects and initiatives to drive value to the organization. We have transparency to what other teams are working on and a clear view of how it impacts the company and how each of us can contribute.
Our biggest win has come in the form of cross-departmental kick-off calls each quarter to discuss resources and constraints. It allows our department leaders to leverage each other’s resources and discuss collaboration on OKRs.
OKRs are all about outcomes over output. This basic premise promotes a whole new way of strategic thinking for most of the organization, including new and experienced leaders.
OKRs promote focus on the most important things a company should be rallying around.
Increased focus = Increased likelihood to succeed.
OKRs promote dialogue and alignment. OKRs provide a cadence that requires teams to have alignment dialogues and the transparent nature of OKRs helps to highlight potential disconnects.
We love the OKR Platform, which provides a clear understanding of business goals in an objective manner that helps us cut down the noise and focus on what’s important for the organization. We are easily able to track progress, identify and de-risk elements, and focus on stretch goals with clear visible pathways laid down for all teams to meet the organization’s objectives and goals.
It's a continuous, dynamic, and evolving mechanism keeping the adrenaline kicking!
We started with clear definitions of objectives top-down. This helped build transparency, focus, clarity, and visibility of where we want to go as an organization with well-defined and qualified goals. We invested a lot of time defining organization-level and department-level OKR definitions that helped build an OKR momentum across the entire organization.
OKRs now demanded teams to have a higher sense of collaboration, clarity, and precise objectivity in aligning department/team goals to organizational goals.
Some of the key activities that helped us were having champions, cross-functional team cadence, sharing of best practices, etc. to enable teams to learn and evolve. We also follow a four-step process of mining, shining, polishing, and publishing with established guidelines.
We have also incorporated OKR as part of our new employee induction program.
OKRs have brought a structure to how we grow! While we had an understanding of how to grow, it was not written or communicated. By implementing OKRs, we put forth the path and gave clarity to the team on how the company is moving forward.
Much to the contrary that OKRs take bandwidth, they in fact help save bandwidth, since planning is completed before the start of a quarter. Our teams are prepared on which metrics need to move, aligned to a specific Objective that sets the direction for the 90 days.
Initiatives are planned and ownership is assigned. These move into sprint planning as well, so that there is consistency and clarity.
OKRs will need some practice and reflection. You cannot get it 100% right in the first quarter, but it is important for each stakeholder in the company because of the big impact that it has. Since team members are building the OKRs, rather than being assigned to them, it helps all individuals visualize what the team is trying to achieve.
We put a lot of rigor into the OKR planning exercise. Every member is part of it and presents what the team would be working towards and their individual initiatives to make it happen.
The best thing about the OKR (Fitbots) platform was that it helped us see the various challenges we faced in the first quarter and then helped us connect the pieces together to start addressing them.
Once we started using the Fitbots OKRs platform, it became easier to manage OKRs because we could visualize the outcomes of each week. Every week in the check-in meeting, we could measure our real progress and identify roadblocks early on. In case there was something that was not making any progress, we could make changes in our approach. It opened up a lot of scope for discussions.
OKRs has a goal-driven approach that is way ahead of the regular task-driven approach of appraisals. OKR gives the perspective of a “Shared Vision” and “One approach” within the organization. This helped our employees understand how much and how far their contributions add to the success of the organization as well as understand the cross-functional dependencies and timeliness in action. OKRs also paved the way for more cohesive working across all levels and roles.
In addition, it enabled the leadership team to proactively identify the focus areas needing attention and helped resolve issues in no time. When individual growth meets organizational success, employees feel valued alongside a sense of belonging. This is made possible because OKRs enable collaboration and communication, in addition to a great level of positivity and oneness across the organization.
Evidently, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding success with OKRs. Our advice, to top it all off, would be to trust the process and beware of implementation traps along the way. If you feel that your company would benefit from a systematic onboarding technique coupled with OKR coaching, we offer affordable packages with experts of the highest tier!
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