Companies want to build a culture where every employee can visualize how they contribute to the growth of the organization. That was the initial vision for KPIs, although nowadays they are mostly used to set targets within a certain role, monitor employee performance, and keep the business "running." What that means is employees finish off their list of tasks for the day and clock out. They tend to work in silos and focus only on their inputs, without connecting to the final outcome of the process.
To tackle this, some companies use OKRs to drive an amazing strategic advantage for growth, while simultaneously managing BAUs (Business-as-usual) metrics through KPIs.
When considering this approach, a few questions arise from the leadership teams:
Before we dive into the answers, let's establish a foundation. If you have some experience with OKRs, you would know that OKRs are not a substitute for strategy. Instead, the OKR framework is used to align teams and boost cross-functional collaboration to achieve aspirational company goals - it is a way to execute your strategy.
OKRs are heavily dependent on context and business value. If we take the example of a SaaS scale-up that wants to break into the North American market by the first quarter of 2023, their OKR may look something like this -
Objective: Improve free trial experience in order to increase new customer acquisition
KR 1: Increase high-intent demos in NA from X to Y per month
KR 2: Increase average (personalized) touchpoints with each prospect from X to Y
KR 3: Improve MQL to SQLs from X% to Y%
KR 4: Increase ACV from USD X Thousand to USD Y Thousand
KR 5: Increase revenue from USD X Million to USD X Million
The Objective illustrates the vision and calls out the business value. Under the Objective, the KRs identify the high-priority metrics that need to be fulfilled in order to achieve the Objective. It is evident that cross-functional alignment across Sales, Marketing, and Product/Engineering teams is vital to see the OKR through.
In short, the OKR is used to make strategy execution precise, by:
OKRs and KPIs are used to measure different things. Depending on the needs of your organization, you can use one or the other, but the ideal way is to use both together.
OKRs - Objectives and Key Results - A strategy execution framework that helps companies grow faster
KPIs - Key Performance Indicators - KPIs are standards or targets for employees to keep the company running
Most companies start off by using KPIs to measure each individual employee's performance within their specified role. KPIs are important to keep the business running by monitoring day-to-day activities. OKRs come in when the company decides to move from the 'just existing' mode into super growth/competitive mode. Naturally, this affects KPIs, by connecting employees and teams to strategic levers that will help the company grow.
Although, if you're not the biggest fan of KPIs, here is how 6 High-growth companies use OKRs to navigate Performance Reviews.
Strategy and BAUs go hand-in-hand. We have analyzed 100,000+ records over time and found that managing both in the same screen is vital to strengthen the relationship between OKRs and KPIs, and by extension, connecting everyday tasks to business outcomes.
It's no secret that templates can be a powerful tool for accelerating the adoption of new concepts, but many people don't realize how it simply works.
Our KPI/OKRs template can be used as an outline, guidepost, or framework for you to use when you are choosing what's best for your organization. We constantly consolidate and recommend new templates to our end users.
Should information confidential or open? There are times you need a bit of both.
The best part is that you can tweak all of your KPI/metric boards access controls, as they are completely configured by you. We understand that not all of our users can have similar access across the board. The metrics in private boards are by default private metrics and are sharable in private boards. In contrast, the metrics in public boards may be used across the application.
Once KPIs are tracked month-on-month or week-on-week, you could view trends using our simple and easy to use graphs. These tell a ton on the health of the business or department, team, or individual! The best practice is to review these graphs regularly and make data-driven decisions for the future of the company.
“Words inspire, but only action creates change.”
It's not enough to simply communicate the strategy, but also to connect each task/action to an outcome. For each KPI, a user can set a series of actions to achieve the KPI. These actions can be assigned to owners, have due dates pinned against them, and notifications configured to never lose sight of the goal.
If you would like to be part of our Beta List of users, you could use this link to Apply. This is an invite-only Beta, and we will get back to you in 24 hours of your application. Of course, you can always start tracking your OKRs for free on Fitbots and seek guidance from our Coaches to help your teams adopt OKRs seamlessly.
Bani is an OKR enthusiast who anchors content and marketing at Fitbots OKRs. She loves spreading the love of OKRs to enrich workplaces and collaborating to create engaging content for her readers.
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