OKRs are a really powerful framework for managing teams, with the right OKRs software you align your company objectives to team and employee OKRs.
PeopleGoal is an OKRs software platform that allows organizations to set goals at an organizational level and cascade objectives down to departments, teams and employees in an effective manner. Our OKRs software connects the leadership team with the employees through the objectives setting process.
Companies often disregard how important it is for employees to understand the company objectives; resulting in teams and employees working on siloed objectives that do not necessarily contibute to company success. With PeopleGoal, employees can align their OKRs to team and company objectives and enables them to focus on what matters most in an organization achieving company objectives.
Management by Objectives and OKRs are becoming very popular amongst agile and modern organizations because the framework has enabled organization to increase employee engagement and connected the C-Suite, with middle management and employees. Companies like Google, Intel, Adobe and LinkedIn are using OKRs and openly linked the OKRs framework to their growth and success. Having said that, in order for the framework and software to work an organization should fully embrace OKRs. It requires employee and team transparency when setting, updating and reflecting on OKRs.
The right approach when writing OKRs is to first start with the Objective and then move to the Key Results.
CEOs and the management team should set OKRs at company level then ask their teams to set OKRs that are aligned to their OKRs. Here are some OKRs examples to get you going:
|Objective||Increase the number of qualified leads for Q3|
|Key Result 1||Receive 500 inbound per month|
|Key Result 2||Respond to 100% of requests within 24 hours|
|Key Result 3||Contact 500 new potential leads per month|
|Objective||Simplify marketing presentations|
|Key Result 1||10 customer responses on effectiveness of marketing material|
|Key Result 2||5 reviews of our customer proposal with customer leads|
|Key Result 3||Rollout 1 marketing survey|
If you wanted to create and update your objectives without using software we have created an OKRs builder which allows you to create and copy the text if you wanted to give an update to your team.
According to John Doerr the benefits of using OKRs are:
We follow an accelerated delivery method that reflects our best Project Management practices from our industry experience. We adjust our delivery approach based on your organisations requirements. Our typical implementation cycle is 1 to 4 weeks depending on your requirements and company size.
Our account managers will work closely with your HR team to configure your PeopleGoal account to your specific requirements. We will review your requirements and make recommendations to improve your existing process. PeopleGoal integrates with BambooHR, Workday, MS Azure, ADP. We can utilize our integrations to import your employee data. Alternatively we can load the employee data in your account via excel. We will provide training to your HR function and employees. Our aim is to ensure that every user has a comprehensive understanding of our platform and its capability.
Company OKRs are top-level goals objectives for the business. You can describe them in a very basic OKRs format. Each company objective can be broken down to sub-objectives and measurable key results can be added for each company objective.
Team and department OKRs should derive from the Company key results. The company key results should be converted to department objectives and department key results should be converted to team objectives. The same goes for employees. The picture below outlines the approach in more detail:
Using PeopleGoal, a department leader will be able to align the department objective to a company OKR. When setting a department OKR an OKR owner should be assigned. The OKR owner is responsible for the department OKR and she can make changes and updates to the OKR.
Each employee will be able to create OKRs in PeopleGoal. In addition, managers will be able to set OKRs for their direct reports. Employees will be able to align the individual OKRs to team, department and company key results. This will alllow them to understand better how they contribute to the overall business agenda.
Updating and reviewing OKRs is straight forward. As an employee you will be able to highlight a status update for your OKR (On track, At Risk, Corrective Action Required, Complete) and also update progress % and add comments. As a manager you will be able to reviw your direct reports OKRs and make updates if required.
PeopleGoal offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to OKRs reporting. As an admin you will have access to an in-depth view of OKRs by department, team and individual level. All the OKRs metrics are being reporting live and reflect all the updates made by the OKR owners. In addition, all data can be exported to excel for further analysis if required.
Agile development focuses on developing solutions through the collaborative efforts of self-organized cross-functional teams and the customer. Many agile development teams start adapting Objective Key Results (OKRs) as their preferred method of goal setting.
The main reason is because the framework can connect developers with business objectives, and eliminate silos across departments. It enables them to focus on what matters most in their division by setting objectives and clear key results.
Setting up the OKR process begins with creating the overall objective, and then developing key results which align to product development. Once the OKRs are set, product development items should be aligned to key results. OKRs do not always work, especially when they are not integrated with the development routines and tools.
Scrum and OKRs can go in hand as both of the frameworks require a clear definition and the development teams should follow them. In addition, both frameworks follow a set of rules required when creating them. Depending on the OKR frequency the OKR owners and Scrum masters should have a meeting to discuss the most important things they need to achieve in a given timeframe i.e. month, quarter. While Scrums also measure output and volume the OKRs should only focus on specific outcomes that will achieve the objectives.
If you are considering OKRs for your business and you don't know to how to present the framework to the management team you can use our OKRs guide below which covers the OKR process basics and key benefits.
Yes and no. Like with many things in life, rigidity can be an issue. Companies that use OKR’s should evaluate their employees in a similar or same way as companies that don’t use OKR’s.
Some companies use OKR’s as a method of review and evaluation at different milestones, whereas some companies do not use OKR’s as a tool for evaluation as they feel that it discourages employees from taking risks. OKR’s for evaluation are most commonly used in the sales industry. Although they are not directly linked, there is some tangible link between OKR’s and evaluation.
There is no one product fits all. Work out what software platform works best for you. Have a look at what you want from a platform. Have a look at the size of your team. Do your research and consult before making your decision. You are not going to want a payroll platform to help you with your end of year reviews For task management systems we like the look of ASANA and Trello. They also work in combination with PeopleGoal.
Smaller companies usually use an Excel or Google sheets spreadsheet to keep track of there OKR process. As companies grow bigger, they usually will want to start using a platform to be able to share and track all employees’ OKR’s in an easier and more digestible format.
Employees will create, update, track and hopefully complete their OKR’s throughout the process before beginning it again. At the end of the process, companies will conduct a 1:1 between the managers and employees, to discuss recognition, what went well and also development areas.
The best idea for this is just to keep doing your research and keep staying up to date. But let’s give you a helping hand to get you started. We like these resources:
This can vary. It is easy to say that any team will need OKR software. But in reality, the needs of a team of 10 are different from a team of 50 and they are vastly different from a team of 1000 people. Different software platforms may be more appropriate for your team so it’s important to research before investing.
Objectives should really be qualitative and descriptive. They need to describe the desired outcome. Objectives don’t need to be based on quantitative metrics as this is included in the Key Results section. Key Results add numeric metrics onto your objectives providing you with data on how far you are from your objective. Key results of individuals are different from that of teams, departments and the organization. Key results for the organization tend to be more strategic, compared to individuals and teams which tend to be more operational and tactical respectively.
|Questions||Best Practice Answers|
|How many OKRs per performance cycle?||3 in any given time|
|How many key results per objective?||Minimum 3 key results per objective|
|How frequently to set OKRs?||Set OKRs every quarter|
|What type of OKRs to set?||Set company, department, team and individual OKRs|
|How frequently to review OKRs?||Review every week or every 2 weeks|
|Do I share my OKRs?||OKRs should be shared with everyone|
|How to measure a successful OKR?||Achieve 70% completion or above|
|How frequently to update OKRs?||Twice a year|