Setting effective OKRs can propel your teams to achieve the expected outcomes. When you write and align OKRs for the team, you get a direction and key focus on what matters the most at an organizational level. OKR success is guaranteed when the team collaboratively works towards the set goals.
At Google, the team leaders refer to the organizational objectives and ask the following questions before aligning OKRs at the team level.
- Is there any connection between the team and organizational Key results?
- Will the team be able to achieve the organizational OKRs?
- Is there any gap that needs to be fixed before aligning the goals to the team?
- Are there more than three key results?
- Are the OKRs inspiring for the team to achieve?
The key to OKR success is to communicate, refine, and reevaluate goals consistently at the team level. Here is a 8 step process to define OKRs at the team level that will help you set better OKRs.
How to ensure OKR success with the team?
OKRs provide a sense of direction and accomplishment to every team. It is important to strategize with your team while writing the OKRs.OKR is a steel thread that connects what leadership believes will move the needle to the team’s daily outputs. But, when your entire team is on board, how do you write clear and effective OKRs?
1 Follow these 8 steps to define OKRs at the team level
STEP 1: Begin with the goal of your organization. This should stem from and be in line with the company’s long-term goals
STEP 2 – Choose the type of goal you wish to establish.
- Committed: A target that will be met. To ensure that they are completed, resources and timetables should be changed.
- Aspirational: A lofty objective without a clear path to achieve it. They may be reassigned to different teams or rolled over from quarter to quarter or year to year.
STEP 3 –Develop time-bound, short-term, adaptive, and transparent to the team objectives.
STEP 4 – Make a list of the most important outcomes. Choose 3-5 team objectives and create 2-5 key results for each of them. It is not a Key Result if it does not have a number.
STEP 5 – Define the actions and delegate them to the team.
After we’ve implemented steps 1 through 5 with a pilot team, we’ll move on to steps 6, 7, and 8, which will reflect on the OKRs from the previous cycle.
STEP 6 – A set of key results should be questioned and analyzed.
STEP 7 – Refine Key Results. Finalize Team-Level OKRs
STEP 8 – Coordinate and align team OKR to clearly defined organizational OKR
How to inspire the teams using Effective OKRs
To inspire the teams using effective OKRs, it is important to
- build regular cadence/ goal cycles.
- Set moonshot targets.
- Celebrate achieved targets
- Quantify key Results and challenge the team.
2 Incorporate tools to make tracking simpler.
The fundamental point of OKRs is to keep things as simple as possible. Enlist the help of a simple OKR tool to make the whole thing easy—so everyone knows what’s expected of them and how they’re doing against those expectations.
Employees internalize the organization’s basic beliefs and standard practices just by working there. Core values are also communicated in more direct ways, such as through OKRs. As a result, in whatever they do, employees in an organization can subconsciously mirror the qualities that have been shared with them.
- Track not only metrics but also the sentiment of the team.
- Encourage honesty
- Ensure Transparency
- Learn from past lessons/ lessons learned and ideas to implement next time
- Alignment with the larger vision of the corporation
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Managing the team
The hazy line between what people want to do and what they can do generally divides team goals. With time, if your team is mishandled, the line will become more visible. Aside from micromanaging and communicating efficiently, it’s critical to develop goals that drive your entire team to work tirelessly toward the same goal.
OKRs (Objective and Key Results) can help product managers improve their team’s alignment, productivity, and transparency in this way.
- Don’t micromanage
- Understand that individual OKrs are not indicative of overall progress
- Adopt both top-down and bottom-up strategy
- Make the distinction between outcomes and output clear to the team
- Delink performance rewards/bonuses/ incentives from OKR.
- Assign percentage benchmarks
- Remind about goals to maintain momentum and focus.
Follow-up and effective tracking
Tracking OKRs is essential for keeping track of which teams are meeting their objectives and which are falling short, as well as for pushing your team to achieve their goals.
The practice of tracking OKRs as a group can also help employees stay more invested and engaged in the company’s high-level goals, allowing them to focus their daily efforts on the most important tasks.
- Instruct employees to report on progress/ setbacks.
- Weekly/ biweekly/ daily review.
- Reflect/ Retrospect to build confidence in employees
- Provide help/ Suggest solutions to problems.
- Based on the progress, stretch the goals towards the company’s mission.
In a nutshell, OKRs success is dependent on the goal-setting approach for the teams. A common aim and measurable metrics can enable teams to coordinate operations, align with stakeholders, and act with more than just their own immediate goals in mind.
The influence of the team as a whole on the users of the products and services they’re producing is measured in this framework, not by what anyone does. As a result, rather than attempting to define OKRs at the individual level, it’s significantly more productive to use a team-level approach to lead to OKRs success.