To recap, the main reason why an increasing number of multinational companies use the OKR approach is that it allows them to “repurpose thousands of working hours and millions of dollars from tasks that do not drive performance”. An OKR approach differs from the standard annual performance management (PM) process in several ways. For example, using OKRs helps team managers lead team performance in a much more agile way. This includes using quarterly objectives, linking strategic objectives with individual performance and focusing the evaluation on key results, as measured by the value created for the organisation and its customers. The performance cycle becomes embedded into day-to-day people management activities and is outcome rather than task oriented. It is also supported by regular real-time feedback, from managers, colleagues, direct reports and others, rather than in an annual planning meeting.
Key OKR Implementation Success Factors
Based on our practice experience, there are three crucial steps to successfully implementing the OKR approach:
Pitfalls to Avoid
OKRs are not new but their popularity and use has now grown beyond the early adopters in the technology industry. Key amongst the learnings from leading practitioners, these are pitfalls to avoid:
OKRs are a great methodology to drive growth within an organisation but their management can't be underestimated. Don’t let that stop you implementing them and growing. As Alice responded to the dormouse who told her, “You have no right to grow here”: “Don’t talk nonsense”.
Contact us if you’re looking for an understanding partner to help you navigate your organisation through these unpredictable waters.
Our previous article on this topic, “Creating Exceptional Performance through Key Objectives and Results” covered the components and benefits of OKRs
This article was originally featured in HR Today Magazine.