February 7, 2017

Why OKRs Make Organizations More Powerful

Why using OKRs make organizations more powerfulContinuing the discussion on using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to set, measure and achieve your organizational goals, let’s look at the advantages of this approach and how using it can make your organization more powerful.

For many organizations, the prospect of working on objectives and results over a year is daunting. Instead, they find it helpful to think about goals and results in quarterly increments. Using OKRs provides a good line of sight for the next 90 days and, therefore, generates clarity, focus and collaboration among the team. Here’s why:

First, it’s easier to gain momentum around an inspirational objective when its viewed in the near-term because short-term goals are more concrete and tangible. The team will naturally focus on activities that will result in growth, engagement, revenue, performance and quality. In short, using OKRs inherently translates the objective into the daily work required to achieve it.

Second, when key results are quantitative and supported by metrics (as they are in the OKR approach), this also brings more focus to the effort.

Finally, using OKRs encourages collaboration because teams are encouraged to set bold objectives together and then drive execution through key results. In other words, teams are empowered to go for it.

ACTION FOR THE MONTH

If your organization set OKRs in January, now is a good time to evaluate your approach and explore how you might be more effective when it’s time to set OKRs for the second quarter.

Then, armed with the understanding that the benefits of this approach include clarity, focus and collaboration, evaluate how you organization is doing.

Are your objectives inspirational and time bound for the quarter? This improves clarity.

Are your objectives a rallying cry for the team, ensuring focus and alignment? And are team members able to provide weekly updates on the progress they’ve made? Your key results should be quantified targets that are difficult to reach but achievable and, overall, individual accountability should increase.

Finally, look at the confidence level that you set for each objective and determine if you were on target. Did you set objectives that were ambitious and really pushed your team to achieve the growth, engagement, revenue, performance and quality your organization needs to get to the next level?

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