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In life and in business, we all have ambitious goals that we’d like to achieve. The real challenge is in knuckling down, putting together a plan of attack and sticking to it. That’s where OKRs come in. OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are a quick and easy way to set, communicate and track measurable goals. The OKR system can help you reach your biggest, boldest and most bodacious goals, and in 2019, one of our OKRs at BirdBrain is to, well… start using OKRs!
How To Use OKRs?
OKRs are all about frequently setting and monitoring goals to provide clarity around priorities and ensure everyone is in alignment with the overall strategic direction. When broken down to its simplest form, an OKR is a basic statement: I will (insert objective) as measured by (these key results). You should be able to sum up your objective in one short and inspirational sentence. In a business context, your objective could be to improve your client experience, expand your business into new locations or develop a company culture that fosters open communication.
Once you have defined your objective, the next step is to determine your key results, or how you will measure your progress. You should aim to set between 2 and 5 quantifiable metrics for each objective. In the example of business expansion, it would be a matter of plotting out the required steps to achieve the desired growth and setting specific metrics and deadlines for each milestone.
At BirdBrain, another one of our OKRs is to further develop our insight-based culture. Essentially, we’re aiming to empower each of our team members to independently analyse data and draw meaningful conclusions. Our cultural transformation will require a specific number of training, research and development activities to be undertaken at a team level over a set period of time. And there you have it: an objective and a set of key results.
Where Did OKRs Come From?
OKRs have gradually become more and more popular among some of the most powerful companies in the world. While the concept technically originates with Peter Drucker in 1954, it’s Intel co-founder Andy Grove who generally gets more credit for the creation of the OKR model. After he introduced OKRs into his technology company, former employee turned present-day venture capitalist John Doerr took the concept and ran with it. Doerr has made a name for himself by helping to fund the likes of Google, Amazon and Twitter and is credited with successfully implementing the OKR system at Google. He’s even published a book about it all – Measure What Matters.
Benefits Of Using OKRs?
Regardless of whose brain is behind the OKR approach, it’s easy to see why so many global companies are opting to use this system. Rather than spending hours planning out your goals for an entire year, OKRs encourage you to tackle your goals in bite-sized chunks on a quarterly or monthly basis, making them much quicker and easier to set and review. While it can be difficult to adjust an annual plan according to changes in circumstances and other external factors, OKRs are far more agile and can be adapted as needed.
OKRs also encourage transparency, as to be effective the objectives and the key results have to be clearly communicated company-wide. When implemented correctly, OKRs can provide a team with a defined sense of purpose, where everyone is united in working towards that big, bold and bodacious goal.
BirdBrain’s Approach To OKRs
Although OKRs offer a simple and straightforward method for setting goals, actually implementing the practice into a business and embedding it into the team culture is a far more in-depth process. It’s a journey that we’ve committed to at BirdBrain, not only at an internal level, but also for each of our clients. By taking the OKR approach to our clients, we’ll be able to ensure that there is a clear, strategic direction in our relationship. We’ll each know exactly what we’re looking to achieve and why, with an actionable plan of exactly how we’re going to get there.
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