OKR Adoption Challenges & Suggestions
OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a strategy-execution framework that helps companies set, communicate and track their goals. This technique maintains alignment and engagement across all organizational levels. The objectives are an organization’s long-term goals, while the key results are the measurable outcomes of those goals. OKRs are very scalable and help a company maintain focus. Many companies use the OKR framework because it works at individual, team, department, and organizational levels to ensure everyone is on board.
To successfully drive OKR adoption in your organization, start by setting the vision and mission for all teammates to understand the organization’s primary objectives. Keeping your team motivated and engaged will ensure they all align their OKRs in the same direction the company is moving. In addition, ensure that your team members have accountability, focus, collaboration, transparency, responsibility, and other necessary traits. It is also good practice to check in regularly, give constructive feedback, and reward active members.
Challenges organizations face while adopting OKR
We have gathered some of the challenges organizations face when implementing an OKR-based culture and tips for companies looking to adopt the OKR framework. Here are some of the challenges faced when driving OKR adoption:
Measuring key results: We all know that key results should be measurable, but the main question is how? You should set a specific timeframe and other details when measuring key results. It would also help if you were also precise about when you would measure progress. For instance, instead of “increase sales 5%”, set key results as “increase total sales 5% this year versus last year”.
Setting too many objectives: Setting too many goals for a team does not necessarily mean more accomplishments. Setting too many objectives makes teammates confused about which objective to prioritize more. In addition, an objective is the primary area of focus that a team should solve within 90 days. Hence, when you have too many objectives, teammates will not be inspired to solve them. Instead, pick the 3-4 key objectives and key results per quarter. Setting fewer goals will significantly reduce the workload on everyone and make it less confusing.
Resource Allocation: Poor resource allocation is a significant pitfall an organization might fall into when setting up OKR. Without employees’ appropriate resources, demanding goals and responsibilities will lead to unproductivity. Due to the lack of resources, employees will be unable to complete their tasks, and they will not achieve the company’s objectives.
Tracking OKRs manually with spreadsheets: Although tracking OKRs manually with spreadsheets is an accessible way to start with OKRs, it might get overwhelming when dealing with larger teams. It would help if you switched to a dedicated OKR application once your team has successfully mastered the OKR methodology. Using OKR software will prevent some problems, like not updating progress frequently enough or not keeping OKRs transparent to all teammates. OKR software makes the company and team OKRs accessible to all team members and keeps everyone updated with the progress.
Tips for effectively initiating OKR Adoption
Appointing OKR champions: An OKR champion is a departmental head at the forefront of the OKR strategy and carries every other person along. Selecting self-driven individuals as OKR champions in your organization can increase the rate at which the entire team participates actively. The OKR champion can also serve as a mentor who guides other teammates to craft measurable OKRs.
Hiring OKR coaches: An OKR coach structures your goals and guides your team to be more aligned and productive. Hiring a certified OKR coach for your company can help you save time and increase the chances of a successful implementation. Furthermore, good OKR coaches can help prevent the main challenges a company is facing and keep team members motivated. Coaches also spot blind spots and areas you can improve when implementing OKRs.
Doing regular check-ins: OKRs should be reviewed frequently in an organization. Teammates across different levels should share their OKRs and how they work towards them. Transparency ensures accountability, trust, and consistency. Checking in on progress regularly will also show employees how their individual activities work towards company goals.
Using OKR software such as Huminos: Using OKR software helps achieve clear focus and objectives for teams and the organization. Additionally, OKR software ensures time-efficient communication and accountability between team members. For instance, the Huminos platform offers several templates to increase engagement and productivity among teammates in an organization. These templates can be installed and customized to suit your organization’s goals. In addition, you can manage all aspects of OKR tracking in one place with the Huminos platform – from 1:1 conversations and feedback to reflections and pulse surveys. Using the platform will help you stay on top of your goals and ensure that everyone in your team is on the same page.