OKRs – Google-story

Google Ventures Startup Lab | GV partner Rick Klau covers the value of setting objectives and key results (OKRs) and how this has been done at Google since 1999. Understand the key attributes of effective OKRs and how to apply them in your own organization.

Why CXOs Choose OKRs?

The OKRs methodology is appealing to many CEOs because it is one of the few that encapsulates the organization both top-down and bottom-up. Unlike traditional goal setting methodologies, the company vision and long-term strategies are being converted into quarterly objectives with clear key results. The key results are then assigned to your management team and eventually to each team member.

OKRs and CFR (Conversations, Feedback and Recognition) together provide a clear path to setting and achieving the most inspired to the most trivial goals businesses and teams pursue.

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 “Our mission is to galvanize leaders to set and achieve audacious goals—through inspiration, education, and application

John Doerr

John Doerr

Co-Founder & Publisher, © What Matters

Ref. Measure What Matters, World’s 1st & #1 Book on OKRs

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OKRs:

  • Publicly available to the entire company.
  • Not directly related to performance evaluation.
  • Set, reviewed, and revised quarterly (and annually).
  • Need to be supported by leadership, (simple) tools, and (lightweight) process.
  • Speaker recommends simple, open-source tools such as Wikis, Google Docs, etc.

Objectives:

  • May or may not be measurable but must be strategic (ex: accelerate revenue growth).
  • Must link to (i) the OKRs at the next level up (ii) what the individual wants to work on .
  • Top 5 objectives
  • Mostly (60%) set by the individual .
  • Objective score is the straight, equal weighted average of the key results grades (avoid weighting).

Key results:

  • Must be measurable (ex: launch a new product or feature; achieve win rate of x%).
  • Should be a little uncomfortable so that you are always striving. 
  • Self-graded quarterly (they should average 0.6 or 0.7 so there is room for improvement; 0.4 or below is bad, but a learning management system will help to improve).
  • Limited to 4 key results per objective.

Scale Agile. Integrate Jira Software with OKR and CFR tools (with easy 3 steps tools demo video).

Why Jira Integration with OKR Software and Performance Management System (PMS)? Align distributed teams and individuals to the organization’s top priorities and accelerate growth with Data Integration. Enable outcome-based self-management objectively, accurately, and continuously with Productivity Data. Measure what matters through real-time metrics to reduce the Cost of poor quality, Meet SLAs, and Increase Revenue.

How does it help?

Dynamic Key Results: Track progress in real-time by automatically updating KRs and KPIs from your Jira account(s). Course Correction: Link Jira JQLs to Track & Course correct what matters the most at any layers of OKRs hierarchy or SMART goals. Agile at Scale: Fit your KPI framework using Jira data of Scrum, Kanban, Mixed methodologies to scale software Agile delivery.

How does it work?

Accessing Your Key Data: Our REST API data integration links directly to your Jira and by JQLs gathers key data points relevant to your needs. Epic, Story, Task & Bug: Integrate Jira to automatically track Progress, Count of Tickets, Time Spent, and Estimate (Original & Remaining) KPIs. Progress Monitoring: The KPIs that matter for Key Results are linked, which means the integration auto-update in real-time that need attention.

How to Integrate Jira & Link with PMS (Performance Management System)?

Zero Installation, No coding, and only Configuration. Login to OKR Stars™ or Skills2Talent™ and add your Jira account(s). Add Jira Cloud Server URL, email ID & API Token of Jira account(s). Link your OKRs / SMART Goals with Epics, Stories, Tasks, and Bugs. Select Jira as a data source per connection. Add JQL queries from Jira account(s) to fetch the filtered data automatically to update OKRs / SMART Goals.

What are the ready-to-use KPIs?

Progress: Progress of issues as KPI value (Starting metric Vs Target metric) and Completed % Count of Tickets: # of Tickets as KPI value (Starting metric Vs Target metric) and Completed % Time Spent: Logged time as KPI value (Starting metric Vs Target metric) and as % Original Estimate (in Hours): Time estimated as KPI value (Starting metric Vs Target metric) and as % Remaining Estimate (in Hours): Remaining time as KPI value (Original metric Vs Actual metric) and as %

Why should my company integrate our enterprise Jira tool with your PMS (Performance Management System)?

For CXOs: Enables leaders to monitor progress towards company priorities, accountability, and alignment.

For CIO: Integrate your OKR / Performance Management System (PMS) to maximize Jira’s ROI ($, Knowledge & data).

For CHRO: Digitize KPI tracking, drive people engagement & recognitions and promote continuous performance.

For Agile Team: Fit your KPI framework using Jira data of Scrum, Kanban, Mixed methodologies to scale Agile delivery.

For Engineers: Track progress in real-time by automatically updating KPIs by Jira account(s) and timely course correct.

Recognize for Moonshot OKRs, Aspirational OKRs, and OKR Champions (HR) Achievements

Implement CFR in your Organization

OKR empower you to implement CFRs (Conversations, Feedback, & Recognition) and drive employee engagement. OKRs and CFRs are often referred as sibling to each other. Together with OKRs and CFRs combine to become Continuous Performance Management solution in one software integrating the human side of OKRs.

  • Regular Performance Conversations, Private 1:1 Feedback & Coaching
  • Goal alignment dialogues towards contributing impacts on business
  • Frequent goal check-ins, status updates with comments for visibility
  • Social recognition by peers, management for remote engagement
  • Manager’s recognition transparently to team members (Public/Private)
  • Realtime KPI escalation, mitigation, course corrections before it is too late

Enable your managers with right orientation about CFRs during OKR cycle to include goal-setting, reflection, and ongoing progress updates during 1:1s with reports. Encourage highly constructive feedback. Establish clear criteria to recognize people for actions and results. Institute peer-to-peer feedback as a culture.

Engagement, Experience and Collaboration

Continuous Performance Management to enrich employee engagement, elevate your employee experience and make team collaboration as a priority. With tools like OKR Stars™ you can easily schedule 1on1s and solicit and receive feedback. Thus alignment, transparency, collaboration and recognition become reality for your team..

OKR guide managers and employees to have regular lightweight performance conversations with feedback and continuous employee development. The platform make everyone to give and receive feedback transparently for a job well done. Remember better employee experience drive better business results through their continuous performance.

CFR on OKRs by Team collaboration tools

OKR Stars™ is integrated (Data, SSO) with Microsoft Teams and Slack which are leading, powerful and advanced tools used globally for Team Collaboration. So, enable CFR on-the-go using mobile/tablet also on your desktop/laptop, 24/7/365 days and perform instant Conversations, Feedback and Recognition (CFR) about OKRs remotely using public/private channels.

Post Covid-19 crisis, companies/HR/managers/employees and IT Dept. realizing that a “simple HRMS mobile app” is not sufficient compared with these market leading tools for comprehensive, 360° communication types with video/voice meetings, chat, digital badges, file attachments, storage and document management tools with powerful OKR content search options.

So, bring your team together with various day to day OKR communications across organization/department/ teams/manager – employee and enable CFR for OKR management. Check out our Integration pages (Microsoft Teams & Slack) on this website for more details.

Let’s see a short video to see how the OKRs are connected in a start-up context along with problems, investors recommendation towards Measure What Matters book and CFR practices, team’s OKRs commitment and till its successful execution results.

My OKR experience at Intel

In Photo: Vaidyanathan Ramalingam, Founder & CEO, OKR Stars™ and Skills2Talent™ SaaS companies, Bengaluru, India.

This blog is about my personal experience as an individual (Vaidya). Having worked for global programs at Intel I was under a matrix structure with multiple functional divisions that were distributed across USA (Chandler – Arizona), India (Bengaluru), Malaysia (Penang, Kulim and Cyberjaya), China (Chengdu and Pudong), Costa Rica (San Jose).

Happy to share my hands on experience on OKRs & CFR in global programs while working at Intel R&D Center, Bengaluru, India (Dec 2004- Mar 2007).

Let’s start with History of OKR

In 1975, John Doerr, at Intel, attended a course by Andy Grove where he was introduced to the theory of OKRs, then called “iMBOs” for “Intel Management by Objectives”. In 1999, Doerr, introduced the idea of OKRs to a start-up Kleiner Perkins had invested in . Doerr published Measure What Matters in 2017. Larry Page, the CEO of Alphabet and co-founder of , credited OKRs within the foreword to Doerr’s book: “OKRs have helped lead us to 10× growth. Since becoming popular at , OKRs have found favor with several other similar tech start-up organizations including , LinkedIn, Twitter, Uber and Microsoft.

Ref:  Wikipedia ©

What are OKR and CFR and their relationship in Goal management

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) drive ambitious goals of companies to achieve. While Conversations, Feedback and Recognition (CFR) enable continuous performance and people engagement.

Guidelines for “Managers Basics” and it’s importance of Intel Core Values alignment

As part of mandatory training programs, I got the training on Intel Core Values at Bengaluru, India and also attended several training programs at Intel University at Malaysia, US locations. Be it business decisions, day to day email communications, display at meeting rooms, workspace, ID Card (core values printed on rear side), or during performance appraisal conversations everywhere Intel Core Values is often used, mentioned and encouraged to demonstrate.

Transform Strategy

Our OKRs (iMBO) approach helped us to translate the strategies in to actions across programs. Otherwise it would not have been possible considering the complexities of the R&D, manufacturing and global workforce.

True Alignment

So much of travel for F2F meetings across worldwide facilities to meet internal customers, cross functional stakeholders to build personal yet official rapport to ensure alignment at Objective, Key Results, Projects and at Tasks levels.

CFR Practices

Conversations, Feedback and Recognition was very visible considering the # meetings held, culture of 1:1s (matrix / direct reporting), awesome recognition practices with heavy budgets perhaps!.

Differences between OKRs Vs the earlier popular goal management practices.

Many of us have the question, why Intel’s so called iMBO (Intel Management by Objectives was the origination of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and how is this different than the earlier goal management. You can quickly watch the below quick video to know the differences between SMART Goals Vs OKRs and practical examples from OKRstars SaaS.

Transform strategy into action – Best known methods

Organization OKRs: Any strategies always had their vision, mission and values alignment. CEO -1, -2, -3 … etc i.e., Divisions/Groups aligned their vision and mission statements which eventually became OKRs with their scope with quarterly priorities and followed Intel Product Life cycle processes etc.

Department OKRs: Since I was working in R&D, my role was systems engineer and My JD was to align with internal customer’s OKRs (charters/roadmap/project plan) and do check-ins every 2 weeks. So many meetings 24/7 used to be there but, depending on time zone we join to clarify check-ins.

Individual OKRs: At an individual level the OKRs were typically at project and task levels and not as strategic OKRs. They had traceability to which OKRs they were aligned. Also the individuals had liberty to own stretch goals to support others’ (skip level) OKRs after mutual discussions.

True alignment & initiatives – Best known methods

Alignment as a culture: Actually the alignment is there everywhere, whether it is the organization OKRs alignment or Core Values alignment while mentioning the achievements in recognition/awards, map day (alignment meeting) sessions to discuss Strategic OKRs to Projects to Tasks alignment etc.

Risk and Dependencies: Every OKR planner and tracker known as charter plan, program tracker, project plan, integration plan etc. always include the Risk, Dependencies and their mitigation plans. So that the confidence level grading during check-ins will be clear and transparent to all members involved in that SoW.

Initiatives showcase: Intel recognize and celebrates the engineering excellence from initiatives/innovations/stretch goals at USA every year known as IMEC. I was fortunate to be selected for my program’s abstract/paper to showcase at Hyatt, San Diego, California on June 25-28 sponsored by Intel TMG.

CFR practices – Best known methods

CFR: “C”onversations:

I would re-call that everyone knows everyone and could possibly recognize by Face as well. So many meetings, clarity on decisions, 1:1s, townhall meetings, weekly team updates and the global travels/con-calls etc. As OKRs are always transparent the progress, the grades, and check-ins status were available across the team.

CFR: “F”eedback

Feedback in public, private or in a joint meetings were very normal. When it comes to quarterly OKR priorities, annual OKR plans (road-map) or tactical project or tasks, the feedback culture was there. I would also say, more number of 1:1s I had was at Intel for programs, platforms, projects, and personal i.e., Focal (PMS at Intel)

CFR: “R”ecognition

Any recognition always had aligned to Core Values. The recognizing culture and budget to managers were in place. CFR is the human part of OKR (or) known as twin sisters by John Doerr. Be it an instant award ($10 USD), group / division or at corporate award it was like you are encouraged to stretch and deliver with aspirational OKRs.

You may refer our detailed information with examples on our repository.

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