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How to Transfer Strategy Maps to OKRs

Transfer Strategy Maps to OKR
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Annual Strategy retreats consume a significant amount of time and effort. Over 90% of strategic plans are focused on increasing revenue, which is understandable because, without it, businesses would most likely fail over time.  

When there are numerous opportunities, few resources, and a need for focus to take advantage of them, a solid strategy aids in deciding what to do and what to avoid doing.   

The use of OKRs aids in translating strategy so that everyone in the organization, regardless of role, understands it and coordinates efforts to contribute to the crucial metrics that aid in executing strategy.

Introducing OKRs: Where do I begin?

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a goal-setting framework that helps organizations, teams, and individuals define and track their objectives and measure their progress toward achieving them. OKRs provide a clear structure for setting ambitious goals and aligning efforts across the organization.

The framework consists of two main components:

Objectives: Objectives are ambitious and qualitative goals that define what an individual or team wants to achieve. They are typically short, inspirational statements that provide direction and purpose. Objectives should be challenging but achievable and should align with the overall mission and vision of the organization.

  • Example Objective: Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Key Results: Key Results are specific, measurable, and time-bound metrics that determine whether an objective has been accomplished. They are used to track progress and provide a quantitative way to assess success. Each objective can have multiple key results associated with it, usually between 2 to 5.

Example Key Results:

  • Achieve a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 8 or higher by the end of the quarter.
  • Reduce customer churn rate by 20% within six months.
  • Increase the average customer lifetime value by 15% in the next fiscal year.

The key results should be challenging and directly linked to the objective they support. They should be measurable and provide a clear indication of success or failure.

OKRs are typically set for a specific time frame, such as quarterly or annually, and are frequently reviewed and adjusted to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with changing circumstances. The idea behind OKRs is to set ambitious goals, encourage transparency, focus efforts on what truly matters, and foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning.

What are Strategy Maps

Strategy maps are visual tools that help organizations articulate and communicate their strategic objectives and the cause-and-effect relationships between different aspects of their business. 

They provide a clear and comprehensive overview of the organization’s strategy, illustrating how various elements align to achieve desired outcomes. Strategy maps are typically presented in a graphical format, allowing for easy understanding and communication of the organization’s strategic direction.

Benefits of using Strategy Maps:

  1. Visual representation enhances understanding and communication of the organization’s strategy.
  2. Alignment of teams and departments towards common goals.
  3. Measurement of performance against strategic objectives through key performance indicators (KPIs).
  4. Improved communication and engagement with stakeholders.
  5. Strategic focus and prioritization of initiatives for maximum impact.

Executive teams can precisely define their execution map by writing a step-by-step approach using a potent tool like strategy maps.  

How exactly do we convert these to OKRs now? Let’s investigate! 

How To Translate OKRs and Strategy into Actionable Plans

Translating OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and strategy into actionable plans involves breaking down the high-level goals and objectiv