The Process of Implementing OKRs

Implementing OKRs might seem a bit daunting, but it is not overly labor intensive, nor does it require teams of consultants. It does requires some planning and company introspection. The first key requirement is determining a company’s vision, purpose, or “why”.   Once an organization has figured out the “why”, the second requirement requires company leadership and management teams to be invested in the process. Thirdly, it requires a means or platform for recording, tracking, and visualizing progress. For, the third requirement we recommend considering beepHR for rolling out an OKR framework (If you are not familiar with OKRs, please read “What are OKRs?” first for a quick overview).

The roll-out does not need to be an organization wide roll-out, it could begin as a gradual roll-out for various teams or departments.  There are some benefits to rolling out a gradual implementation, it allows for practice and refinement, and it can help build the skills needed to develop organization-wide OKRs.  It creates a team that can lead the eventual organization-wide roll-out of the OKR framework.  Regardless of whether or not you choose to roll-out an OKR framework gradually or not, here are some of the steps the roll-out will include. 

Focusing and Committing to Priorities

It is important discover what are the most important items to accomplish in a set time frame (three, six, twelve months).  The focus needs to be on these priorities, but it requires determining which items are most urgent.  Secondly, it requires leadership to be committed to accomplishing these objectives.  These priorities should be communicated to teams and departments.  And then determine what people should be focusing their efforts.  Leadership needs to be committed to setting effective objectives and also by setting parameters of the roll-out.  For organization-wide OKRs to be effective senior leadership needs to be focused and committed to them. 

Communicate Priorities Publicly to Align Goals

It is important to clearly communicate and identify priorities publicly.  This provides employees with clear direction and what to focus on and provides meaning to their work.  It will help teams to develop their own OKRs to meet the company-wide goals as well as how their goals relate.  This helps organizations to achieve alignment and foster teamwork.  It puts each team and individual on the same page.  Communication is key for employees to fully understand the company’s overall mission, and how they can help achieve those shared goals.  In order to foster teamwork further and get the most out of OKRs, create OKR circles to plan and implement OKRs. 

Foster Accountability by Tracking Progress

To foster accountability, it is important to track and measure OKR progress.  beepHR helps with tracking OKR progress making everyone’s goals visible through an attractive dashboard.  It allows managers, and direct reports, and companies to have access to everyone’s OKRs.  This fosters engagement and motivation in addition to promoting internal networking.  beepHR also saves time and money by providing employees a centralized and shared place to document OKRs, notes, and other communication about their objectives, key results, and tasks.

OKR Circles

The final suggestion for implementation is to create and use OKR circles to promote and create OKR advocates within your organizations. Through use of OKR circles, it helps promote and provide feed back on how any implementation is going.  It helps win over the more skeptical employees.  OKR circles will help companies and employees embrace the framework, while developing a “special” team to help promote, refine, and improve OKRs in the future.  It creates an internal resource for other teams to turn to for help with rolling out or committing to OKRs.  For help with implementing OKRs please contact us for consulting or more information about beepHR.