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Rationale for OKRs: understand what it is and how to execute

Renan Araújo

people analytics

As we know, OKRs are systems of collective and individual goals that converge in pursuit of the organization’s overall goals. The concept originated from the book High Output Management by Andy Grove and was popularized in the 2000s by John Doerr, a Google board member and venture capitalist. Among its differentials that contribute to its great acceptance, adaptability to different realities can be highlighted as one of the main ones.

The OKR cycle has 3 stages: Planning, Monitoring, and Debriefing. As for the planning stage, it is essential to perform the substantiation of objectives and projects, a strategy that contributes to the success of the methodology. 

With this in mind, we have prepared this material for you to understand a little more about the subject and how to base OKR.

Read on and find out more!

How to implement OKRs in the company?

First, let’s understand a little more about the process of implementing OKRs in the company. To do this, a few steps must be followed:

  • Adapt to the needs of the company – as we’ve explained, OKRs have adaptability to different realities. In this sense, it should not be implemented in the same way in different companies, since it is necessary to understand the particularities of your business;
  • Implement it in stages – ideally you should choose one area as a pilot and start there;
  • define short cycles – it is recommended to define shorter cycles for implementation, with periods ranging from 1 to 6 months;
  • have leaders and ambassadors – choose a leadership to implement OKR in the company. Ideally, you should be a manager in some area;
  • Follow up on goals on a regular basis – make a periodic follow-up of the results achieved and the progress of the action plan.

In OKR planning, what is the rationale for goals and projects?

Now that you know some tips for implementing OKR in your company, let’s delve into the planning stage of OKRs. In this step, we indicate to carry out the rationale of objectives and projects. This is a kind of template that the team will fill in when creating their OKRs, contributing to their planning.

Among the differentials this brings to the company, we highlight:

  • provoke people’s reflection and critical thinking;
  • foster the development of a good project or goal;
  • help the leadership to have a better understanding of what the goals and projects are;
  • bring more input into the decision making process.

How does the rationale for OKRs work in practice?

  • Vision of success – At the end of the pre-established cycle, what would be the vision of success for this project? In this field, the person must fill in “what he sees around him” in a scenario in which the outlined plan was executed and the results achieved.
  • Pre-mortem – The opposite of the previous topic. If the plan was not executed and the goal is not achieved, what were the reasons that “led” to this? In this sense, one must define what could go wrong.
  • Alignment – As we mentioned, OKRs are collective and individual goals that converge with the company’s overall goals. In other words, which elements of the company’s long-term vision, perennial assumptions, threats, strengths and weaknesses, and which OKR does this goal align with? And how does it align?
  • Co-dependency – What other teams or areas are related to this project?

A practical example

The following is a practical example of the rationale behind the OKRs.

OKR: Increasing the volume of accesses to the site and become a reference in its segment.

  • Vision for success – The volume of access to the site has grown considerably. We invest in producing new content, bringing qualified leads to our blog. In addition, we created rich materials that generated conversions. We are in the top positions in Google for the most strategic words in our field, becoming a reference among customers and potential customers.
  • Pre-mortem – No new content was produced for the site as planned (due to lack of members in the team). We have projected a new hire, but have encountered difficulties in finding the ideal person for the position. The volume of access has stagnated, while competing companies have advanced considerably in their channels.
  • Alignment – This OKR goes hand in hand with the one-year vision of generating “x” amount of new customers, precisely by bringing qualified people into our channels.
  • Co-dependencies – In relation to attracting potential customers, aligns with the sales area to close new customers.

In this content, you could understand a little more about what the OKRs rationale is, what the main topics that should be contained in this template are, and also check out a practical example to adopt in your company.

Should you have any doubts about the best way to apply it in your company, don’t hesitate to contact us, talk to our professionals and find out how Qulture.Rocks can help you in this process!