Today determines what will happen tomorrow. Executing the current plan, we will be able to achieve all our goals step by step. You can use different methods to achieve results. The advantage of OKR method is that it'is simple to use. It allows you to develop a system of actions and to make a structured plan of tasks for a long time period. It is not for nothing that such popular companies as Google, LinkedIn, Intel, Twitter and others use it.
"Highlight" of the OKR method
Using this modern method of managing time and resources, you can achieve the impossible. When you will learn how to use the OKR method (setting goals and key results), even the most ambitious dreams will become feasible.
Objectives & Key Results is a popular method of setting goals and developing a plan how to achieve them, which will help you to view the things from different perspective and teach you to assess correctly tasks setting.
Objectives-OKR goals are what you need to achieve in a quarter, six months, or a year. They can't be the routine operation that you perform every day. They should be unattainable, but you should execute them at least for 70%. If you get 80-100% - the goals are too easy, or you are attaboy, because you worked more than usual and were able to achieve the impossible.
OKR goals need to be formulated clearly and unambiguously. It is best to set yourself from 3 to 5 goals per quarter not to be scattered on many different tasks. Achieving the goal should lead to personal growth or the development of the company. The goal statement should have a completed action. They could be general, but one goal should be relate to a specific topic. For example, "Improving the quality of life" is an overly generalized goal that affects all areas of a person's life.
Examples of OKR goals in development:
- Increase your product sales for 10%;
- Increase the company's revenue per month for 5%;
- Ensure high-quality implementation of project tasks.
"What actions do I need to perform to achieve my goals? How do I know that a goal has been achieved if it's a bit abstract?"- you ask. The second part of the abbreviation - Key Results - will help here. Key results are also goals to some extent, but more specific. They will help you objectively assess how close you are to your main goal. If you have reached Key Results, then the goal is completed. Strict rules must be followed in the formulation:
The key result is limited in time (for example, "Submit a report before 5th of may");
It must be measured (finish three projects);
The goal is either met or not (for example, to pass the specific workshop);
The result should lead directly to the achievement of the key goal;
To assess each goal as best as possible, you need to set 3-5 key results to it.
Stages of work by OKR
The system of formulating objectives will become simple if you will master the action sequence:
- Imagine what you want to achieve in one year.
- Formulate goals that will lead you to the way of life what you dream about.
- Write 3-5 goals for the first quarter.
- For each goal, make a list of 3-5 key results – something that will help you to measure the achievement of the goal.
- For each item, create an action plan/list of tasks to complete to get the key results.
- Divide these tasks into three months.
- Spread monthly tasks for the weeks when you need to perform them.
- Split the weekly plan for every day.
As you can see, every day affects the development of your personality: if you work according to the plan, you will get the needed results in the end of period.
Example of personal OKR goals
I think all people like to travel. To communicate, you need to know foreign languages. Let's look at the Objectives for the "Increase knowledges of foreign languages for one level".
To determine whether the goal has been achieved, we formulate the following Key Results:
- Read 5 books in that language;
- Learn 300 new words on different topics;
- To watch 8 fims in that language.
What tasks do we need to perform to achieve results?
- Attend English classes 2 times a week;
- Read a book every day;
- Learn 25 new words during the week;
- Repeat these words every day and do grammar exercises and so on.
Obviously, these actions will lead us to the desired results and our knowledge of new language will improve significantly.
What does OKR planning bring for a company
Setting OKR goals is a very versatile method, but it suites best for management in the company. Here, both the personal growth of each employee and the achievement of the company's goals take place simultaneously.
First of all, the OKR method is useful for people who are launching a new startup. No customers, no profits. It's necessary to develop actively and to attract affiliates to advertise your product. This is the ideal method for formulating goals and key results. Each employee feels their importance in creating a brand, while at the same time developing professional qualities.
Medium and large companies always need some fresh ideas to promote their company. In this case, the organization of goals and key results develop the team cohesion.
Features and benefits of implementing OKR in the company:
The company's development is at the first place. Goals are formulated in a way that will bring profit and popularity to the company;
The contribution of each employee should bring the team closer to achieving the overall goals;
Personal goals are formulated in accordance with the common goals of the company;
The result of each person affects the achievement of the key results of the team's goals;
Transparency – every employee knows what their colleague is working on and can always come to help;
Focus on a particular strategy, team consistency.
Tools for monitoring OKR execution
The OKR method assumes the trust between employees and no explicit control is provided here. Everyone has their own plan for the quarter and decides how to solve their tasks. However, to work properly, it's advisable to set some control points when employees can make a report about performed work per month.
Knowing how much time was spent on each task to achieve key results means improving your performance in the future. When we know how much time we spend on different tasks, we can adjust our schedule and workload in the future. For a more detailed report, we recommend using a simple time tracker Checkiant or other similar service. Track your employment and rest hours to improve your productivity metrics in the future.
So do you specifically need OKR?
For effective development of the company, it is better not just to do something and hope for results, but to take concrete actions. The best solution for a good manager is to implement OKR goals for the company's development and professional growth of its employees.