Pitfall 1 – Set – but forget
While the business may jump into implementing the OKR methodology, they may soon return to what they were doing before. This is where cultural and behavioral change matters.
Tracking progress, regular discussions, and reviews are essential to staying in the groove.
Pitfall 2 – OKRs don’t have an Executive buy-in
The entire success of OKR depends on the executive buy-in. It is a safety net for the teams to believe in the process. When there is an equal contribution from the management team it becomes easier to execute as the resources required are planned and allotted.
Pitfall 3 – Setting unachievable objectives
Objectives should be realistic. Possibilities of achieving objectives that are being set should be evaluated. The intent is to push and challenge employees and not demotivate them. Setting objectives that are impossible from the outset will only cause frustration. The business will need to collaborate with employees and help them set objectives that are challenging but achievable.
Pitfall 4 – OKR’s being treated as tasks
OKR’s should not be treated as tick-in-the-box activities. They are outcomes/ results. Companies often focus on project plans for deliverables and it is critical that the focus moves from tasks/ activities to results & outcomes.
One thing to remember is that – projects can have various tasks, but OKR’s can have various projects. Objectives are measured by key results, but how does one achieve those objectives? Associate key results with projects, which in turn have a lot of tasks that need to be actioned in order to complete those projects (and of course, these projects will help achieve KRs and ultimately objectives).
Using a single work management platform to keep track of goals that individuals need to achieve in order to accomplish planned objectives.
Pitfall 5 – Setting only top-down objectives
Setting objectives that are only top-down will foil motivation and creativity. Giving employees some level of sovereignty, on the other hand, empowers the employee, encourages creativity, and facilitates growth opportunities.
Pitfall 6 – Having too many OKR’s
When too many objectives are set, employees tend to lose focus and become overwhelmed which results in a lack of prioritization of critical objectives that are key for breakthrough performance. Employees may feel disengaged leading to delays and slower execution.
It’s can be a healthier practice for employees to exceed the expectations than to struggle with too many objectives.
Pitfall 7 – Not being able to measure key results
Attaching numeric values to key results make objectives measurable. Key results measure the achievement of an objective.
1 – Align
It is very essential that there is a companywide alignment of goals, inclusion & education of employees for the overall success of the OKR methodology. Maintaining transparency and including everyone in updates will ensure teams are aligned and help to anticipate any issues or blockers. Teams should be encouraged to set objectives that align with the overall objectives of the organization.
2 – Less is More
Setting fewer objectives helps prioritization, focus, and overall outcome. Having a maximum of 5 objectives and 2-3 key measurab