How does the OKR process work?

by Gill Arnott | Jan 11, 2021

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OKRs are not a model to get right or wrong!  They are intrinsically a collection of principles and practices that can be interpreted and applied in many different ways. There is no one size fits all. So, it begs the question “How does the OKR process work”?

At There Be Giants we work tirelessly on our OKR methodology and continue to evolve this. OKRs can be a moving target, and it’s part of the process to stay alert and agile, not just around implementation but on future progress to ensure you get the success you deserve.  

 

So, what is the OKR process?

It’s important to understand what you actually want to use OKRs for. Simple, right?

Not always, as there is a lot to think about and it’s important your senior leadership and executive teams are fully onboard. 

OKR intro

Pre-implementation sessions work well, with open forum discussions, topped off with OKR eLearning modules being completed prior to any strategy prioritisation sessions. This will help everyone involved get to grips with the OKR basics.

OKR goal setting

The next step involves deciding how you’ll measure success and scope out the general structure and messaging behind OKRs. 

In our OKR process, we help put this together with you (not for you). This will leave you with an OKR charter or manifesto that will outline your organisational structure and the synchronisation of your newly founded OKR routines. This really is a vital part of ensuring OKRs have a strong foundation that can be built on. 

OKR measurement

Another important part of OKR success is choosing the right OKR software platform. This enables monitoring and transparency across your organisation. Regular (weekly) check-ins and reflections are easy to manage.  

Monitoring your confidence levels on achieving your OKRs will showcase early signs that someone is having difficulty, and will trigger the need to revisit and resolve, before it’s too late.  It really doesn’t work putting your OKRs on a google sheet! Trust us.

OKR training

Another element is ensuring that you have at least one (if not two) internal OKR champions upskilled on all things OKRs. By carrying out OKR training during the early stages you’re putting in place skills required to continue your growth journey. 

These champions will then have the skills to upskill others in writing awesome OKRs, help others to identify management skills they may need to work on helping others to improve their OKR skills. See where we’re going with this? Knowledge is key. 

With most things, success is made in the planning.  “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” (Benjamin Franklin). OKRs are no different.

 

The Big Moves and Level 1 Team Objectives

The big moves are the translation of your 3-year strategic priorities, which in turn will become the themes to your level 1 (12-month) OKRs. At this stage, it’s good to challenge what these ‘big moves’ are, what they mean across your senior leadership and executive teams!

And so, it’s time to build on your objective setting. The key results that sit beneath these that will be metric-driven, allowing you to clearly see your journey to reaching your goals. We’ll always advise a stretch, so it’s good to understand that not reaching a 100% success isn’t a failure! It can fundamentally mean you didn’t push your big moves quite far enough!