What are OKRs? You may have heard the terms but what are they really? OKRs essentially translate your business strategy into an easy-to-understand way that enables each individual team member to understand that they’re working on the right project. Even better, OKRs are almost always dead simple.
However, in practice, there are some common pitfalls and best practices you should watch out for when you plan to use OKRs as part of your startup strategy. As a first step, create a bullet-point list of your core objectives and focus on your objective’s specific needs. You should also include your time frame and the level of risk that you’re willing to take. OKRs can make your startup a lot easier to communicate and work on because you’ll be able to break it down into smaller goals.
But how do you measure your OKR? A common pitfall of OKR is assigning too much importance to your contributing goals. The mistake of assigning too many contributing goals can make you spend more time on non-core objectives and create a worse definition of your OKR. Don’t be too proud to admit that you failed to achieve your primary goal. The key here is to identify your OKRs and the specific steps that you need to take to ensure they are effectively in place.
For example, if you failed to achieve your goal of having your first employee engaged, you should first identify the resources that will be required to create the first employee engaged. Then you’ll need to determine whether your company needs capital to hire this person, and if so, what you can expect from that capital. Your OKRs might include the acquisition of software, a corporate facility and training and development staff, or any other such investment.
Once you have identified your OKRs, you can determine how to measure your progress towards them. In order to ensure that the OKRs you’ve identified are effective in your definition of what are OKRs, you’ll need to have an objective that is both measurable and self-checking. Your OKR is not a vague description of what you want your employee performance to be; it is a specific goal that you will be continually assessing to ensure that your objectives are being achieved. If your objectives are not being met, your OKR will be adjusted accordingly. Achieving your goals becomes an ongoing process.
It is important that your employees understand what are OKRs, and they must know how and when to use them. This will allow your company to become more aligned with your goals and future success. It will also encourage employees to engage with the key results that you give them, as well as with the company goals.
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