In conversation with

Vedran Babic CEO MMC Ltd

“The TBG methodology is tried and tested and it helped immensely.  We’ve now got all the core components of the process in place, which we would have otherwise struggled with.”

Vedran Babic, CEO @ MMC

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The situation

Founded in 2002, MMC Ltd is an investment administration business based in New Zealand.  They are a leading provider of full outsourced investment administration services for over 100 clients covering fund managers, product providers and financial advisers.

We asked Vedran~ ‘What was it that lead you to seek our services? What was your challenge’?

“Our business experienced significant growth in a short period of time, which led to a lack of structure around key growth and change initiatives.  We did not have visibility over major initiatives in progress and were not putting enough effort into making the right priority calls on what to work on next. The lack of visibility at times led to a disconnect across the business in terms of what items were being worked on and why they were selected, which made it difficult to get buy-in.

As a new CEO coming into the business, I felt the OKR framework would be of value to MMC by helping us connect our people around a prioritised set of objectives that were aligned to our business strategy.”

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“I felt the OKR framework would be of value to MMC by helping us connect our people around a prioritised set of objectives that were aligned to our business strategy.”

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The solution

We asked Vedran~ ‘What work did we do together’?

“We engaged There Be Giants to help us set up the entire OKR framework and roll it out across the business. We took our high level strategy and translated it into OKRS – for the next 12 months, as well the first quarter.

We benefited immensely from the considerable time that all of our key people and decision makers spent together in several workshops, with assistance and attendance by TBG, to understand what was important and what would make the biggest difference to our clients, staff and overall business. This time was invaluable as everyone played a hand in the planning process and took ownership of OKRs across the entire business from the start.

TBG provided us with the knowledge and tools, and their guidance based on years of experience was extremely helpful. It was apparent from the outset that we would learn from and lean on TBG’s experience – from getting insights into the real-world mistakes that other businesses had made to helping us avoid delays in getting our OKRs established – to give ourselves a better likelihood of success.

The TBG’s methodology is tried and tested and it helped immensely.  We’ve now got all the core components of the process in place, which we would have otherwise struggled with.”

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“The TBG methodology is tried and tested and it helped immensely. We’ve now got all the core components of the process in place, which we would have otherwise struggled with.”

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The impact

We asked Vedran~ ‘What outcomes were achieved? What was the impact on growth’?

“We’re now into the second quarter of working with OKRs, so it is still early days for us. The major achievements so far have been alignment across our teams and prioritisation within the business of what’s important. On top of that, we have clear visibility of how we’re tracking on a regular basis and our weekly reflections are really helping us keep our finger on the pulse. Monthly check-ins and quarterly reviews are becoming a real focus point at MMC.

Because of the investment we made in the beginning, things are now starting to become part of our operating rhythm and in some ways self-policing. We’re seeing higher levels of accountability as OKRs have brought a high degree of transparency to our business.  The time and effort spent initially to define our objectives and key results, along with upskilling our teams, is starting to pay dividends.

We use KOAN (a SaaS product recommended to us by TBG) which provides a great structure to manage OKRs on an ongoing basis with all staff having access and ability to keep track of OKRs and our progress.

We set up and launched our OKR framework during Level 4 lockdown in New Zealand when all staff were working remotely. The implementation journey wasn’t always easy – it demanded patience, trusting the process and a commitment to figure out how to adapt the OKR framework for our business. This is where we gained from TBG’s experience! Every business is different and having TBG help us with making OKRs fit for MMC’s purpose was vital.”

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“The implementation journey wasn’t always easy – it demanded patience, trusting the process and a commitment to figure out how to adapt the OKR framework for our business.”

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In conclusion

We asked Vedran~ ‘What would you say to someone like yourself, facing the same challenge you had’?

“Deploying OKRs for any business is not a trivial task. There is arguably nothing more fundamental to a business than getting its framework for strategic execution right and this is what OKRs have provided for us.  Being able to lean on experts like TBG who will guide you through the set-up process and the routines and practices for ongoing management of it is undoubtedly worth the investment.”

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