In this article, we take a look at OKRs; How Objectives as measured by Key Results help organisations achieve the alignment and acceleration of business goals.
Note, it is common to come across the phrase Objectives and Key Results rather than the slightly longer-winded Objects as measured by Key Results. Whilst the former is more common than the latter, the latter is, in fact the correct phrase because Key Results measure progress towards Objectives. The conjunctive and implies that the two things are somehow related, at complements to a whole; whereas, the truth is they are codependent – one absolutely requires the other to be present. We’ll explore this more in a future article.
In today’s digital, fast-paced, competitive environment, it’s more important than ever to have a clear strategy and focus on achieving business goals. However, many businesses struggle with aligning strategy throughout the organisation, leading to inefficiencies, missed opportunities, and ultimately, failure to achieve objectives.
This is where OKRs (Objectives as measured by Key Results) come in. OKRs are a powerful goal-setting framework that help align strategy and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals – pulling in the same direction. In this article, we explore how OKRs help businesses align their strategy and achieve their objectives.
What are OKRs?
OKRs are a goal-setting framework first popularized by Google in the early 2000s. The framework is based on setting clear and measurable objectives, and then defining the key results that will help achieve those objectives. The key results are specific and quantifiable outcomes that indicate progress towards the objective.
The key benefits of OKRs are that they help businesses focus on what really matters, encourage alignment and transparency, provide a clear and measurable way to track progress towards goals, and aid with acceleration of business goals. OKRs are flexible and can be adapted to suit different business needs and objectives.
A major difference between OKRs and KPIs is that OKRs are really leading indicators, predictors, if you will; whereas, KPIs tend to be lagging indicators. We will explore this is a later article.
Alignment of Strategy Using OKRs
OKRs are particularly useful for businesses looking to align strategy across different departments and teams. Here are some ways in which OKRs can help businesses achieve alignment of strategy:
- Cascading OKRs. One of the key features of OKRs is they can be cascaded down from the top level of the organisation to individual departments and teams. This ensures everyone works towards the same objectives and alignment exists between different levels of the organisation.
- Cross-functional collaboration: OKRs encourage cross-functional collaboration by requiring teams to work together towards common goals. This helps break down silos and promote a culture of teamwork and collaboration.
- Clear communication: OKRs require clear and transparent communication about objectives and progress towards key results. This ensures everyone is on the same page and there is no confusion about what needs to be done.
- Focus on outcomes: OKRs focus on outcomes rather than outputs, which means everyone works towards the same end goal rather than just completing tasks. This helps ensure resources are being used effectively and everyone is working towards the most important objectives.
- Data-driven decision making: OKRs are based on measurable key results, which means progress towards objectives can be tracked and analysed using data. This helps businesses make more informed decisions and adjust strategy as needed based on actual performance.
OKRs are a powerful goal-setting framework that helps businesses align strategy and ensure everyone works towards the same goals. By cascading OKRs, encouraging cross-functional collaboration, promoting clear communication, focusing on outcomes, and using data-driven decision making, businesses achieve alignment of strategy and improve chances of success. If you’re looking to improve alignment within your organisation and achieve your business objectives, OKRs are definitely worth considering.
If you would like to learn more about how OKRs can help your organisation, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you and see how we can help get your strategy supercharged, aligned, and really understood at all levels of the organisation.