10 things you need to know to increase the chances of OKRs being a huge success

We asked our most successful customers and leading OKR coaches for their top tips for making OKRs a success. There was a lot of overlap and a clear top 10. Here’s a summary for you with links to a deeper dive on each topic.

Get Committed Execs

If the CEO is not committed to OKRs it’s not going to be as easy as it could be to get everyone onboard.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Benjamin Franklin was not wrong. When planning to get your OKRs right you need to plan to succeed and resist the desire to make it up as you go. Here’s a list of planning steps to consider.

Spreadsheets are OK for initial OKR planning

If you’re new to OKRs, there is nothing wrong with putting your first ideas down in a spreadsheet like this, they are flexible and easy to share. They just don’t scale and have best practice built in. The Sheet linked to above will help you plan OKRs and be ready for ZOKRI.

The first Quarters doesn't have to be so Hard

Hard goals are good, but whilst getting teams up and running creating a sense of achievement is not a bad idea, so perhaps dial back the OKR difficulty initially whilst the idea that less than 100% achievement on Hard Goals or Moonshots is not failure.

Communicate and live an OKR Culture

You can easily succeed with OKRs if you’ve got the right cultural values in place, they are communicated, understood and lived on a daily basis. Which is not as hard as you might think. The opposite is also true. If you’ve not got the right culture is going to be hard, really hard.

Measure what matters

The OKR book name is genius. So simple and so literal. So what measurements or metrics matters, are you measuring it or even set-up to measure it, who owns that number, and how do you make it available for OKRs?

Get expert help

You don’t get many chances to get the roll-out right. Reading OKR books is a good start but are only part of the answer, as is software. OKR coaches / consultants can be in the trenches with you, helping ensure your get through the first quarters and year without issues and false-starts. We know the best ones so ask us if you’re interested.

Give it time

There are not many companies that get OKRs right in the first Quarter. Typically it takes 2 - 3 quarters to really get everyone using them as part of your Business-as-Usual processes and at a quality level where you’re seeing real value.

Tool Up

Tooling for OKR success goes beyond the OKR software and how it’s used. It’s about how that software operates with your other software and how well that’s being used. For example, if you’re not using Hubspot well, the metrics you target in goals will also be sub-optimal.

OKR Leads help

Having someone in the business with a passion for OKRs that is going to act as the Lead in your company will really help, and it also tells everyone else that you’re serious about OKRs being a long-term part of how you do business.

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