Agile OKRs

Building Agility through OKRs

Agile enterprises are increasingly adopting a radical new approach to strategy execution with the unassuming name of Objectives and Key Results. OKRs are the day-to-day engine for strategic agility. OKRs originated in Silicon Valley firms including Intel, Google, LinkedIn and have spread to retail and service industries including Walmart, Target, The Guardian, Dun and Bradstreet and ING Bank. Unlike traditional top-down methods of planning, OKRs provide a simple, fast-cadence, bottom-up process that engages each team’s perspective and creativity while honoring a variety of leadership styles and priorities. Using a rapid quarterly cycle with fast feedback reduces the risk of investing in new services or products that don’t provide value for your customers.

Strategic Planning Re-Imagined

OKRs are radically different from traditional planning methods. OKRs are set, evaluated and reset frequently – typically quarterly. At least 60% of the goals are set bottom-up, rather than being cascaded from a more global objective. This provides a much more engaging environment for goal-setting teams.

Strategic Planning Re-Imagined

OKRs are radically different from traditional planning methods. OKRs are set, evaluated and reset frequently – typically quarterly. At least 60% of the goals are set bottom-up, rather than being cascaded from a more global objective. This provides a much more engaging environment for goal-setting teams.

Objectives & Key Results (OKRs)

Objectives

Objectives are qualitative in nature, and should be aspirational, inspirational and actionable. Teams determine their own objectives, which are then aligned with higher level strategic goals and harmonized with those of other teams. They are typically actionable by the team independently or by mutual consent with another team. An example might be “Improve Customer Experience.” This sounds great, especially if we believe that improving this would lead to better sales. But how would we know in a more precise way that we are creating a better Customer Experience?

Key Results

Key Results are quantitative metrics you will use to determine if your actions are achieving the desired outcome. A good metric for that objective might be Net Promoter Score. Do our customers feel so good about dealing with us that they would recommend us to others?

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