The second step of a Modern Strategic Planning is to establish Enterprise Goals. We will do this through Objectives and Key Results. The input of a Portfolio Vision, Development Value Streams, and a Portfolio Business Model Canvas, will lead us to establish Objectives that are challenging and that will make us always go the extra mile. Objectives have to be accompanied by Key Results. In other words, measurements that will indicate us weather we are achieving the goal or not. Next we list a set of initiatives, called Epics and Enablers, that will allow us to reach key results and accomplish objectives. This processes are evaluated every quarter to assure that OKR's and initiatives are still relevant.
Andy Grove Tips to Define OKR's
Less is more
Limit the number of Objectives between three and five per cycle, so that you focus and choose those OKR's that are most important. Select objectives with a keen eye sends a clear message about what we do want to do and what we don't. Every objective should be accompanied by no more that five Key Results.
Establish objectives bottom up
Enterprise Teams and Individuals should create more or less have of their own objectives with the guidance of their supervisors. The other have should come from Enterprise wide OKR's. This is best to maintain motivation.
Do not dictate
OKR's are a cooperative social contract to establish priorities and define how to quantify progress. Even after OKR's have been defines, their key results may be negotiated. They are not written in stone. A collective agreement is essential to maximize objective achievement.
If conditions change and a certain objective is no longer practical or relevant, Key Results may be modified or discarded in the middle of a cycle.
Dare yourself to fail
Performance is usually improved when all Teams make a strong effort to achieve a level of success that is beyond their initial capabilities. Establishing Objectives is extremely important when we want to achieve high performance in our work. Even though there are some operational Objectives that should be achieved 100%, some ambitious OKR's should be uncomfortable and unreachable. Aspirational Objectives propel enterprises to new levels of perfection.
A tool, not a weapon
OKR's are designed to help people find their rhythm. Is like putting the chronometer in their hands so that they may calibrate their own productivity. It is not a legal document on which to base evaluations. The best way to assume risks and avoid freeze is to make OKR's independent from bonuses.
Be patient and resolute
Any process needs a testing phase. Intel had many obstacles after adopting the OKR system. They didn't understand the main purpose. Now, they do much better. It may take up to five cycles to really own the system and strengthen the Objective and Key Result work.
Growth versus Balance
There are two types of Objectives. Those that aim for the Enterprise to grow exponentially, and those that balance growth aiming at limits to growth. You should have an adequate mix so that growth is not limited but enabled
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