What is OKR, and why is it a critical part of the corporate world?
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are an easy goal-setting framework that benefits teams to accomplish all the goals, starting from Long-term to Short-term goals. It is an effective way to smoothly achieve the company’s objectives while also tracking teams and employees’ progress.
To simplify, The Objectives will help you find the answer for “What” you want to achieve whereas the Key results will help you with the “How” to achieve.
OKR has driven the world’s leading companies like Netflix, Walmart, Twitter, and Spotify into massive success that they enjoy today. But there is more to it. Let us learn how OKR is possibly this powerful of a tool for companies.
Why do companies implement OKRs?
As it is already known that all organizations regardless of their size have certain Goals and Objectives in their vision and mission statement. Unfortunately, it becomes extremely difficult to achieve these highly set goals. Sometimes it is due to lack of proper management or difficulty to prioritize tasks or even just lack of clear focus.
Hence, to overcome such problems, companies resort to incorporating goal-setting tools like OKRs. With OKRs, goals become clearer, more agile, and easier to track. Employees have a clear pathway to follow and become much more motivated to accomplish their goals.
Start OKRs with the company level and from there comes a clear understanding of, how to create a team and individual objective. With this, we have a clear goal-setting and you can visualize how to reach there too.
The main benefit of using OKR is, it helps you to keep your focus for that particular quarter and ensure that the team travels towards a specific direction that delivers the key business value.
Most organizations prefer OKRs quarterly. Quarterly gives us ample time to learn and reflect. With the learnings, the OKRs can be changed or adjusted accordingly. It is just the other side of retrospective review, where you can be agile in correcting and refocusing.
Benefits of using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
The top 6 benefits of using OKRs in any organization are;
Keep OKRs simple to make others understand them. Keeping 3 to 5 objectives makes it highly focused and helps prioritize goals. It also saves time and maintains focus on plans and execution. There is no room for procrastination this way, and one achieves goals in an organized and focused manner.
The main reason organizations opt for OKR is alignment, it makes teams travel in a highly aligned way and eliminates silos. Using shared OKRs enhances teamwork and improves collaboration between teams and boosts engagement. Even in is not working in a shared objective it still is possible to get aligned to the bigger overarching objective, more importantly, it makes sure that everybody is on the same journey to achieve the overall goals.
OKR tracks progress and makes progress accessible to team members. This enables awareness and ensures consistency. Since alignment is ensured and everyone is traveling in the same direction and with transparency, it helps to share experiences and support team members to travel that extra mile.
Since there is a give-and-take feedback system, there is always room for development. It encourages to discuss problems and solutions as well. Hence, participation among teams as well as individuals increases along with improved decision-making. Overall, it allows the organization to be built on trust and learning.
Autonomy and Flexibility
Schedules and resources can be adjusted by individuals. They can hand-pick the ways of achieving their OKRs. This motivates employees to achieve their goals both qualitatively and quantitatively.
The very important factor of OKR is “Stretching”. OKRs allow you to stretch and think out of the box. This makes your moonshot objectives achievable. OKRs challenge organizations to create more aspirational objectives and strive further.
When all the previous said points are implemented correctly in an organization, it automatically means that they are functioning well and traveling towards massive success.
How to Adopt OKRs to Your Organization Successfully?
Now that you are aware of the multitude of benefits that OKRs will bring to your company, ask yourself the following questions:
“Can I/we write good OKRs”
“Will I/we be able to explain the roles each employee plays in the OKR?”
“Do we have the desire to successfully implement the OKRs?” etc.
It is extremely necessary to have answers to these questions as one is supposed to be fully informed, confident, and committed before adopting OKRs, otherwise, you would not be utilizing OKRs to their full potential.
After setting these OKRs, it is equally important to have frequent check-ins to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Once these are in place, OKRs serve their full purpose in running your organization effortlessly.
Examples of How OKR Benefits Almost Every Team
As mentioned earlier, Objectives are Key Results go hand in hand. Let us put it this way, the Objectives(s) are your Coffee, and Key results are the ingredients to making a perfect cup of coffee.
Let us look into a few examples.
OKR for Marketing:
With well-defined marketing OKRs, your organization can achieve great product leadership, strengthen your brand, and set a high reputation in the market.
Objective: Increasing brand awareness
Key Results 1: Delivering blog content for the audience weekly.
Key Results 2: Putting out content on social media platforms.
Given the OKR benefits above, it seems that Objectives and Key Results are best suited for highly aspiring organizations. Datalligence’s OKR platform is an agile goal-setting framework that helps inconsistent progress tracking. We help create company objectives as well as align team objectives with individual objectives. Our OKR framework helps initiate feedback, OKR retrospective inside the platform. It also allows you to share success and celebrate achievement within the tool. Check out our tool for a trial version.
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