OKR ALIGNMENT CHALLENGES 

Published On: September 1, 2022|Categories: Objective and Key Results|

OKR ALIGNMENT CHALLENGES 

Published On: September 1, 2022|
OKR Alignment challenges

What is OKR (Objectives & Key Results)?  

An introduction to OKR can help us to understand how to get started and how to get the best of the framework. OKR is a goal-setting framework that tracks and measures organizational performance. As the name suggests, it has two parts to it  

  • Objectives: Objectives are what the organization, teams, and individuals are aiming for. This is your “What”  
  • Key Result – Key Results are the factors that determine how you do it. They are qualitative indicators that help you measure whether you have met them.  

Google adopted OKRs in 1999 and the rest is history. Other leading organizations like LinkedIn, Uber, Spotify, and Facebook also follow OKR which has been a proven framework for them.  

Once the objectives and Key results are set it is important to create an alignment that is right for the organization and that would yield the results.  

What is alignment?  

The word Alignment comes from French àlignier. Lignier is derived from the Latin word lineare, which means consisting of a straight line  

As clearly stated, they bring the teams and organizations to one straight line that increases the goal velocity. Without transparency, alignment will not work. Teams would continue to work with no sense of direction. Alignments are not something we create and then forget and it also has dependencies. The best way to start with alignment is to create clear communication and make the teams and individuals clear on what is expected. This will have a clear understanding of where one must align. 

Datalligence AI OKR software creates transparency and enables alignment in a moment. This is clear and easily understandable by everyone.  

What do you need to know about OKR and alignment?  

Research has shown that up to 95% of employees do not understand company strategy, leading to misalignment, disengagement, and a lack of purpose in their work. As the leader of an organization, you are responsible for making sure your organization stays aligned.  

Organizational Alignment:   

Before starting with OKR alignment it is necessary to have good planning in place. This will prevent us from being proactive than reactive.  

It starts with the objectives of the CEO and the teams create their own finally individual creates OKRs. Then the project gets started.  

There are two ways that you can create an alignment. Creating OKRs in isolation will not beat the purpose. The Key to alignment is transparency.  

The alignments can be straightforward or directional 

In straightforward alignment, the OKRs can be shared with the people who are directly contributing and not lose sight of the objective purpose. This can be rigid sometimes but needed to be more focused and works well too.  

Directional alignment can be 360 which can align cross-functionally and sideways as well. This becomes a direction to create the department and individual objectives. This method empowers the teams and increases accountability   

Organizational alignment means Everyone is working towards a common goal in a unified way.  

The Two Main Types of Alignment are:

1.Straight forward alignment:  

Straight Forward alignment happens when the objective is owned by the objective owner and the Key Results are delivered directly by the stakeholders. For Example, if the CEO’s OKR is to “Expand the market in North America” the Sales and Marketing team’s Key Results can be added directly.  

Objective: Expand the market in North America  

Sales Increase the revenue from new customer acquisitions from X to Y  

Marketing KR: Increase the lead from X to Y with the new campaign  

This connects the dependencies of the Key Results to achieve the objectives. This method is straightforward. But can be less flexible while cascading to the entire organization  

This measures the outcome and understands the progress as well.  

2.Directional alignment: 

Directional alignment connects the goals to the last level. It allows vertical and sideways as well.  

This refers to the coordination of goals across various hierarchical levels and how they can support one another. If teams do not think about how they (could) support goals from higher levels, the organization cannot pull together. At least, not as effective as it could be. This can lead to organizations failing to reach their goals or not reaching them according to plan. It can also prevent them from executing set strategies.  

When we mention directional alignment, it usually connects the individuals and team/department OKRs to the Company-level OKRs. Company OKRs set the direction for a specific timeframe to guide the teams to stay focused  

Both these alignments bridge the gap between the strategy and the execution. When there is an issue or a challenge comes up, this alignment surfaces the issues immediately to act on them. Both the alignment increases the focus and teams and individuals can collaborate and deliver.  

Few challenges while implementing OKRs  

The value created by OKR is high and we must give it the time it deserves. Since the OKRs should be aligned with what we do and sometimes, stretch beyond what is required.  

  • Planning the capacity and resources aligned with the OKRS  
  • Failing often can create a misalignment, relook at the way the OKRs are drafted  
  • Not communicate the strategy across hierarchical levels. Communication is Key to implementation  
  • Employees not taking part actively, Executives should own to process to create trust  
  • Having the same objectives for many team members eliminates duplication  
  • Lack of monitoring system, onboarding to an OKR software early can help measure and monitor  
  • Lack of Review mechanism will lead to misalignment and ambiguity on the bottlenecks caused by teams   
  • Failing to achieve the OKRs and creating an execution gap is the failure of the organizational objective.  
  • Not effectively using the Time and resources  
  • Failure to achieve/execute the actual company strategy

How Datalligence OKRs can help create alignment:  

Datalligence AI OKR software creates explicit alignment that helps organizations to align the objectives seamlessly. The alignment tree is a ready reckoner to identify the gaps in the execution. This helps us to understand what OKRs that help us to move ahead and what are the challenges that are pulling us down. Find real-time insights that help us identify the gaps between the team and the departmental objectives.  

Conclusion:  

Our OKR experts have implemented OKRs for more than 500+ teams and speak to them today to get started with OKRs. Our coaches will guide you in creating OKRs and aligning it to the right objectives. Talk to us today.  

OKRs and alignment FAQ:  

What types of alignment are there?  

There are two types of alignment: Straight forward and Directional alignment  

What can an OKR align to?  

  • Company objective   
  • Support the team objectives  
  • Support cross-functional objectives  
  • Peer-peer alignment to create collaboration   

Who invented OKR? 

Andy Grove is known as the “Father of the OKRs”. He then called it iMBO as the concept emerged from the MBO (Management by Objectives) framework  

How to choose the best OKR tool?  

Best OKR software should be user-friendly and easy to use. Should be the easiest and the fastest way to start. Having the best customer success team can bundle up to being the best OKR software.

Why Datalligence AI OKR Software?  

Built by the OKR experts and has proven that the platform has ease of use and the UI is self-explanatory. Contextual support enables the users to adopt more quickly than the other software. Datalligence AI has the best customer success team that has a quicker response time than the other software Start you Datalligence OKR free trial today to create and align your OKRs

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