OKR may mean little to many, but it becomes exciting and appealing to everyone when we talk about Objectives and Key Results. And the reason is that we are all, to a greater or lesser degree, constantly setting objectives and waiting for results with great expectation. Organizations at all levels require objective setting to establish the course of action. OKR’s are a practical methodology to achieve the proposed objectives optimally in terms of time and scope.
The term OKR is most often associated with Google. In 1999 it adopted the OKR methodology by John Doerr and Andy Grove, its creators. The founders of Google, Page and Brin embarked on this adventure with doubts, but they bet on its success, and the results confirm that they made the right decision.
What is OKR?
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. They identify a methodology focused on the precise definition of objectives directly linked to the measurable results to be obtained.
Peter Drucker, a pioneer of management theory, said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” and rightly so. Establishing objectives associated with measurable and tangible results allows the conscious evaluation of goals and actions in the short term.
How OKR's work?
The starting point is the definition of Objectives and Key Results. For this, it is necessary to be clear about what both terms mean.
Objectives are what we want to achieve. They answer the question: where do we want to get to?
They must be:
- Meaningful to the organization
Aspirational or, in other words, challenging. Inspiring to develop maximum potential when it comes to achieving them.
Properly formulated objectives become the driving force to engage all staff in their achievement. They facilitate team building and the establishment of actions to be taken.
For this reason, objectives should be public so that everyone is aware and informed of what is expected of their work. In addition, maintaining transparency is vital to achieving the commitment of all those involved.
It is essential to emphasize that objectives should not be set only by the leaders of the organization. Only 40% should be left in the hands of superiors. The team should define the rest to ensure public participation and integration when working towards their achievement.
Key results are the quantifiable facts that allow us to determine whether we are on the right track to achieve our objectives. They give us the answer as to whether we are moving in the right direction.
They are defined as minor goals formulated for the achievement of the main objective. They are perfectly measurable and provide us with factual data for necessary adjustments.
A key result must be formulated ambitiously. There is no point in setting goals that are easy to achieve because we will not be working towards achievement based on our maximum potential.
Each goal carries its associated vital results, the initiatives or actions formulated for its achievement.
Google has an OKR measurement system where it rates the critical results with a score between 0 and 1. They consider that the optimal score is between 0.6 and 0.7 when measuring the scope of development and its impact on achieving the objective. A score very close to 1 would reveal that the goals and their results were not as ambitious as expected and should be reformulated.
In terms of timing, organizational objectives are formulated annually—still, critical results quarterly to allow for constant monitoring and review. In the same vein, each department or work team can develop its objectives and critical influences quarterly to optimize the necessary study and adjustment periods.
Advantages of the OKR methodology
The establishment of the OKR methodology within an organization brings with it a large number of advantages. Among the most important we can highlight:
- First, it strengthens the organizational structure. The joint work of leaders and employees in setting objectives strengthens existing ties and creates new ones. Second, it requires greater coordination between work teams and the alignment of individual efforts toward joint achievement.
- Facilitates the integration of each member with the organization.Identifying measurable results and how everyone contributes to their scope allows the different actors to visualize the value of their contribution to the overall objective. In this way, it increases their commitment to the achievement.
- It is an abundant source of data that contributes to the improvement of current processes to refine the steps towards achieving the objectives set.
Contributes to strengthening the organizational culture and optimizing the work of each of the collaborators.
Agile Companies and OKR's
One of the fascinating aspects of OKR’s is their incredible contribution to all organizations whose philosophy is centered on the Agile methodology. Hypernova Labs is aware of its immense potential and therefore fully shares its benefits as a tool for achieving its objectives daily.
The Agile methodology comprises a set of values and principles oriented to provide continuous customer service. Its benefits focus on:
- The value offered to the client through review and continuous work,
- the building of teams committed to the customer.
- The ability to respond and adapt to change.
- The speed of response to customer needs.
Agile laws focus on working hard for the customer, forming teams that constantly feedback to each other, and weaving internal collaboration networks.
In this context, OKRs become a tool that aligns perfectly with agile laws by facilitating the necessary feedback, the autonomy of each work team, and an effective leadership oriented to customer satisfaction.
An organization committed to consciously defining and achieving its objectives has taken the first step towards organizational success. If it is also attuned to a passion for customer service, feedback, and speed, it has everything to gain. Hypernova Labs has built its organizational culture on Agile methodology and looks to the future with clear, defined objectives to develop the solutions the customer requires in optimal time. So don’t wait any longer. Discover with us the peace of mind of seeing your requirements become a reality in the blink of an eye.