A Deep-Dive into the OKR Framework
It’s quite possible that some of you are here because of the buzz created around OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, currently featured in numerous modern team performance tools. However, are OKRs enough to ensure usability? Perhaps. Is it also enough to ensure growth solely based on the successful use of OKRs? Read on, and let’s reach that conclusion together.
John Doerr is recognized as the main figure behind this goal-setting approach, and his book - “Measure What Matters” - can certainly be held responsible for all the companies deciding to experiment with OKRs themselves.
Since we fully support these initiatives to the best of our abilities, we have also implemented OKRs in the Mirro platform so that other companies can easily adopt them.
But first things first, Let’s start by breaking down the two main ideas behind OKRs:
- Significant - this aspect separates an objective from a task and will show you where you want to go. If your objective is to cross the street merely, you’ll surely get no further.
- Action-oriented - groups or individuals can align with an objective and ideate the means to conquer the feat, the timing, and the specific milestones that pave the road ahead.
- Inspiring - objectives should represent the directions that the company should always follow, the zenith, if you will. Therefore, they should speak to every one of your people for them to join you in this
Objectives are the WHAT of our purpose. They bring people together and call for action. A “What” is measured in “achieved” or “not achieved”; nothing else matters. Don’t focus on metrics just yet.
KEY RESULTS are:
- Specific - the right people for the job will always know if these are up to them and, subsequently, how they can contribute.
- Time-bound - key results ensure a certain rhythm and remind people of the bigger picture.
- Realistic but aggressive - again, an OKR is not a task. A key result should be reachable, but the feeling of achieving it shouldn’t compare to a minor day-to-day accomplishment
- Measurable - numbers, percentages, growth factors, pin them down here - they belong in key results.
The Key Results show HOW I’m going to get my WHAT done.
As Steve Jobs once (or twice) said, ‘one more ...
Here they are, easily explained. OKRs, made simple and clear.
So, are you ready to work and implement your OKRs to start experimenting with different setups and reach stretch goals in no time? Ready to fire up your shiny brand - new OKR tool and rock-and-roll?
PLEASE DON’T, not yet! To spare you an upcoming year of still-unachieved goals and of then ditching a potentially beneficial framework, read on for another couple of minutes.
We got to this point, forgetting what might be the most important question thus far: WHY are we doing it?
Before you roll up your sleeves, ask yourself: What’s your mission? What are your company values? Who and what do you stand for?
The goal is to think OKRs - not only to set and follow - think, feel, and live OKRs.
People adhere to inspiring goals when they live in that reality - don’t break OKRs from culture, from your values, and don’t treat them as a standalone initiative.
Associate recognition with completed OKRs - remember that Mirro also links recognition to company values, and goes full circle, so apply that in your day-to-day business. Make success as visible and transparent as possible and let it inspire, all by using OKRs.
Setting OKRs top down or bottom, in 3s-or-4s-or-no-more-but-no-less-than(s) is, again, not the case.
Let’s think about Agile and the different frameworks that fit the mindset. It’s the same with OKRs - they’re also a mindset and better off in a company that sets them true by its values.
Moreover, they're a mindset to take home with you and implement even in your private life while staying true to your values.
To conclude, Mirro’s WHY in terms of OKRs: makes people perceive their work from a different perspective. One of cohesion. That has always been our WHY.
Setting OKRs top down or bottom, in 3s-or-4s-or-no-more-but-no-less-than(s) is, again, not the talk.
We referred to Agile and different frameworks that fit the mindset. It’s the same with OKRs - they’re a mindset and better off in a company that sets them true to its values.
They’re a mindset to take home with you and implement in your private life and are true to your values.
Here’s Mirro’s WHY regarding OKRs: Making people perceive their work differently. One of cohesion. It’s always been our WHY.