OKR (Objectives & Key Results) as a strategy execution framework is gaining traction and numerous organizations world-wide are moving into ‘high performance mode’ using this simple but powerful concept. OKR is proving to be a better management framework for strategy/ goal execution compared to other frameworks like MBO and KPI’s. We had written another article on this topic and the link is given below.
This article focusses on the use of domain specific OKR templates to accelerate and improve implementation outcomes.
Some of the prerequisites for a successful OKR program (among many) are
· Adoption and sponsorship from the leadership team
· A structured program to take it across the organization in stages
· Commitment to the concept, and transparent data driven decisions
· An effective implementation and roll out program.
Typically, the program starts at the top and travels through layers, each team learning the concept, trying it out, experiment with usage, and then firm up OKR’s typically quarter on quarter. As time goes by, the quality of OKR’s set become more advanced and powerful showing major improvements sometimes even to 10x levels.
As a coach, consultant and OKR software implementer, we have seen that the most difficult part of the process is the time is taken to help the various teams set up the right OKR’s. First, they need to determine the objectives that matter. Next, they need to articulate it correctly as specific objectives and key results assigned to people or teams. Then they need to define the measures accurately so that progress can be checked in. Once done, things are much smoother.
The availability of OKR templates for various functions and operational areas accelerates the implementation process considerably. Templates can either be function specific or domain/ operations specific. A good example of a function specific OKR template is given below
Marketing Objective: Increase the number of appointments set up via inbound marketing initiatives
KR1: Number of campaigns conducted during the quarter by the team is at least 5
KR2: Leads generated via social media campaign and webinars is over 250
KR3: Conversion ratio of incoming inquiries to appointments executed is over 50%
KR4: Cost per appointment across all marketing campaigns is less than USD 50
An example of an operational OKR template which is specific to a particular domain is given below
Project Delivery Objective: Projects are delivered on time, and within budget and billed on time
KR1: The 11 project related milestones during the quarter are completed on time
KR2: Spend for ongoing projects is not more than 10% above budget
KR3: All projects are staffed well resource gap stays unfulfilled for more than 4 weeks
KR4: Billing is completed within 1 week of the milestone being reported as completed
Templates convey details of the objective and the measure but are not contextual. One can easily apply these templates to specific contexts to make specific OKR’s for specific timelines.
In case there are standard KPI’s to articulate the key result, it will be better (e.g., Valid appointments set per quarter per marketing executive). Use of KPI’s which are either industry standard or benchmarkable, are good because one can link the key results to such KPI’s. Additionally, it becomes a good standard to use within the organization across teams and levels of operations. Connecting to such KPI’s are purely optional and left to the relevance to the situation at hand.
OKR’s setting may seem difficult during early discussions. A lot of time is spent on determining priority, relevance, and accuracy of the OKR. This delay and confusion without good guidance is often a key reason for the failure of the OKR program. By having a library of such OKR’s the OKR setting process can move much faster. Both decision makers as well as those responsible can quickly identify ones relevant for them and adjust them to the situation at a hand and start using them.
If one has a comprehensive, and quality set of OKR templates that are ready for the functions as well as the vertical area you are in, its worth its weight in gold. At Stragiliti OKR, we continuously build up such templates, and during implementation we share them with our subscribed clients at the appropriate time. At present we have many OKR’s available in our library. We are continuously building them.
If you are a CEO or COO of a company with over 50 employees, do get in touch with us and we will be giving away a set of OKR templates. Do click on the link below to request for the standard template list.
In short, if you are implementing OKR, do try to get hold of a template relevant to your vertical industry, or ensure you have a coach who can get access to them. It will make a good difference to the success of the program.