OKRs they are all the rage, but how do we actually use them effectively so that they literally move the needle?

This week's project:Ignite session, led by our fabulous community member Doug Wilson, was fantastic.

He helped us boil it down to three key things to remember.

Number one, don't use OKRs for everyday work. Don't bottom up those OKRs. Start with one key strategic area that you really want to focus on, get alignment and use that to really drive the capacity that your team has for strategic work. And start with one objective. And maybe three key results and and go from there, really focus on that and get good at it before you add more.

Number two, use some sort of template and there are a few out there to make sure that you're really capturing the key components of those OKRs.

For objectives, we talked about using a template that is verb action in order to drive some business value. So for example, increase our Community of Practice engagement in order to increase the agility across the organisation.

But be very clear on that business value and make it something that you can measure so that you can get down to your key results. A template might look like verb action, and from x to y. So decrease our cycle time for high priority customer challenges from three months to three weeks. So those those things are linked together, and we can measure them, we know the needle etc.

And that leads us to our third thing to really pay attention to for OKRs. Follow up, follow up, follow up. You cannot set it and forget these things.

So Doug gave some great examples around maybe weekly we do a confidence vote, monthly we score the key results and quarterly,  we measure those objectives, the key results, review them and then pivot to what are the next OKRs that we're really going to focus on.

So thanks again to Doug for a fabulous session and really helping this community to focus on those objectives and the outcomes that we really want to move that needle on and not just the tasks or the outputs of things that we have in our backlog.

About the Author

I aim to make the planet happier, one organization at a time. I believe we should love what we do and the teams we work with. Through leadership and team coaching, my goal is to create great work cultures and help people find joy every day. This naturally results in more creativity, innovation and productivity.

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