How OKRs help start-ups scale?
These are questions and apprehensions founders have.
- When will be the right time to implement OKRs?
- We are too small a team for OKRs
- We do not have time for OKRs now
- OKRs are too complex for us.
Well, these are myths, to answer the questions OKRs can be implemented when there is one on the founding team. Starting early help you to continuously check progress and understand the hits and misses. That also answers that OKRs can be used for teams of varied size
OKRs do not need specific time or resources to be implemented, they must be installed in the behavior to start progressing. The advantage of OKR while adopted in culture is that people start delivering the results and not measure the efforts.
OKRs are the simplest framework that is available, implementing this will not be a challenge.
OKRs give clear directions on what are we trying to achieve and how are we planning to achieve it.
Objectives are clearly defined goals that have a timeline and that define “what”
Key Results are the “How” that helps to achieve the Defined goal
Benefits of OKR Implementation
OKR provides value to a start-up when adopted and implemented rightly.
As mentioned earlier OKRs are the simplest framework that is easily understood while implemented. OKRs drive focus because you are advised to keep not more than 5 Objectives with a maximum of 5 Key Results per Objective. This creates focus and priority. Keeping the focus on the priorities will help in delivering what matters to business
OKRs are known for their alignment top-down, bottom-up sometimes even cross-functionally. Alignment can also be not hierarchical when a team can directly contribute to one level up or sometimes directly to a company objective. The alignment gives clear visibility of which team is progressing and who need support to progress. This dives all the teams to travel in the same direction.
Autonomy and Accountability
While the framework itself is autonomous, it allows teams to create their objectives and plan resources likewise. While they take ownership in creating the OKRs it also makes them accountable to deliver. Accountability optimizes productivity.
OKR is transparent each team can understand how their peers are progressing. As they are toward a common goal, it enables a collaborative environment and supports each other in achieving the goal. tracks progress and make progress accessible to team members. With the support there starts deliveries with consistency.
Communications are open, two-way, and multidirectional. As OKRs promote feedback and conversations they also enable performance conversations. It allows the organization to be built on trust and learning.
The particular key factor of OKR is “Stretching”. OKRs allow you to think out of the box and stretch. This makes your BHAG (Big hairy audacious goal) achievable. OKRs challenge organizations to create more aspirational objectives and strive further.
Having mentioned the benefits of OKRs it is well proven that they can be a great partner to any Startup.
You can decide to hire an external coach to help you implement OKRs and then you can continue using them.
Tips to Help Grow Your start-up business with OKRs
1. Keep objectives aspirational
Setting aspirational objectives provides you with a clear direction and helps you to find the resources needed for achieving them.
2. Set measurable Key Results
Keep the key Results measurable. Measurable key results give a clear sign of where we are traveling.
3. Align & Cascade OKRs
Align and cascade cross-functionally and promote network OKRs that increase collaboration and address dependencies.
4. Use a combination of committed and aspirational OKRs
Having both commit OKRs and Aspirational OKRs help you to balance the priorities and plan resources accordingly
5. Use specific targets for Key Results
Keep the targets extremely specific. For example, Achieve a conversion ratio of 5 %
6. Let us look into a few examples.
With well-defined marketing OKRs, your organization can achieve excellent product leadership, strengthen your brand, and set a high reputation in the market.
Objective: Increasing brand awareness
- Key Results 1: Publish 2 blog content every week.
- Key Results 2: increase social media impression by x%.
- Read more about Marketing OKR Examples
OKR for Sales:
Writing good sales OKRs can help create an excellent sales team. OKRs give structure and stretch goals. It helps strategize goals and priorities while also paving the way for individuality.
Objective: Increase annual revenue
- Key Results 1: Increase customer acquisition to 20%
- Key Results 2: Increase annual renewals from 70% to 85%
Read more about Sales OKR Examples
Given the OKR benefits above, it seems that Objectives and Key Results are best suited for highly aspiring Startups. Datalligence 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 start feedback and an 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.