Goal setting

OKRs

Somehow you should be able to define what to do and where you want to end up. Goal setting is core to any business. There are multiple goal setting frameworks, such as:

  • OKRs
  • SMART goals
  • BHAG
  • Backward Goals
  • One Word Goal Setting
  • Locke and Latham’s 5 principles
  • Tiered Goals Framework
  • Golden Circle
  • BSQ
  • OGSM
  • Goal Pyramid

DevConcrete’s goal management framework of choice is OKRs. It is very well balanced and uniquely combines abstract ambitious goals with clearly defined results that should be reached to reach the goals themselves.

However, only a fraction of companies actually have made it work for them. Usually, teams and employees set OKRs, but don’t treat them as commitments, don’t review them on a regular basis, don’t achieve the desired goals at all.

Let’s discuss the best practices for implementing OKRs framework.

1. Understand what it is and explain to others

In OKR framework there are 2 major entities:

  • Objectives – realistic, clear, shows direction, motivational, challenging, qualitative. E.g. “Become the best AI solution for automating business processes”
  • Key results – realistic, clear, show steps, focused, quantitative. E.g. “Earn a featured badge on G2”

Usually, you have 3-5 Key results per 1 Objective.

2. OKRs levels

OKRs work the best when implemented throughout all levels of organization: Company, Team and Personal OKRs.

All OKRs should be hierarchically tied together, so when a particular employee reaches their own OKRs, it helps to achieve the company’s OKRs.

Team and Personal OKRs should be both top-down and bottom-up. It means teams and people should be involved into setting their own OKRs. It will raise employees` engagement and commitment to the common vision.

Do not commit to a dozen of Objectives on any level. Start with 3-5 and see how it goes.

3. Communication

Get a buy-in from people. It’s critical. If employees actively participate in OKRs setting, they will commit to reaching out those goals much more eagerly. Golden rule here – let people define half of the Team and Personal OKRs.

4. Control

Reviewing the progress in achieving Key Results is vital. If you just set OKRs without checking them on a regular basis – it would be a complete waste of time. The best cadence for OKRs review is:

  • Company: quarterly or monthly
  • Team: monthly or bi-weekly
  • Person: bi-weekly or weekly

5. Adaptation

VUCA environment is everywhere, you should be ready for it and you should be comfortable with changing your OKRs. If you encounter a black swan or other circumstances that significantly change the environment – adapt your OKRs.

If you don’t update your OKRs, you may blindly following the goals that have very little relation to success.

OKRs TLDR:

  1. Objectives - motivational and qualitative, Key Results - focused and quantitative. It is recommended to have 3-5 Key Results per 1 Objective
  2. OKRs work well when implemented on all organizational levels: Company, Team and Personal OKRs. It is recommended to have 3-5 Objectives on each level
  3. Communication and buy-in from the team is golden, alongside the monitoring of the OKRs
  4. If situation changes drastically - change the Objectives and Key Results

Tools that may be helpful in goal setting automation and tracking