Planning is a key part of effective goal setting. Taking the time to roadmap an aspirational vision, identify success metrics, aligning your team, and allow time to design initiatives that roll up into the company goals will pay your team back in dividends with projects that make a business impact.
What is OKR planning?
OKR planning is the process of setting
. Specifically, OKR planning allows time-bound and measurable goals to be set on both the team and company levels. The frequency and depth of OKR planning generally depend on the desired output, KR metrics, alignment timeframe, and the culture of accountability.
Getting into the OKR mindset.
When setting OKRs, the methodology calls for selecting a few high-performing initiatives and reprioritizing everything else. In
, John Doerr suggests asking the following question to frame your goal-setting discussions:
What is most important for the next three (or six, or twelve) months? What are our main priorities for the coming period? Where should people concentrate their efforts?
And while there are many ways to decide which initiatives matter most to your team, your planning process is the time for disciplined thinking. Even though it’s usually done in a short time frame, the OKR process isn’t a thing to rush, as noted by this Codan:
You can’t think you’ll get everything drafted, aligned, set, and resolved in one meeting, especially if you want to include the full set of POVs from your team. Some people need/want time to digest and to provide feedback offline or outside the chaos of a rushed meeting; others wish to whiteboard and shout their opinions. And then everything in between.
OKR planning templates and best practices
At Coda, OKR planning takes place in conversations across the company, and we lean on a few best practices to help us focus on respecting energy and time. Here are our most-used OKR templates:
OKR planning FAQ
How can leadership teams use OKRs effectively?
The best way to use OKRs is to align top priorities across the entire company, which also means aligning communication between all project stakeholders. This connects the top-down vision to the bottom-up team objectives that will make the vision a reality. You can find a great example in
How often should OKR planning meetings happen?
Many companies plan quarterly OKRs to ensure that projects and KPIs (key performance indicators) are being tracked in the near term. However, defining annual company objectives with an OKR framework creates a yearly high-level roadmap that serves as a north star for all team members.
How often should you review OKRs once they are set?
OKR review is often dictated by the frequency of the process itself—and your company culture. If you plan quarterly objectives, then you should review company OKRs at least every three months. Annual planning may have a different review cycle. At Coda, we believe in keeping OKRs top of mind throughout the quarter, including more frequent check-ins for team OKRs