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Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs

ISBN: 978-1-119-25239-9
224 pages
September 2016
Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs (1119252393) cover image

Description

Everything you need to implement Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) effectively

Objectives and Key Results is the first full-fledged reference guide on Objectives and Key Results, a critical thinking framework designed to help organizations create value through focus, alignment, and better communication. Written by two leading OKRs consultants and researchers, this book provides a one-stop resource for organizations looking to quantify qualitative goals and ensure each team focuses their efforts to make measureable progress on their most important goals. You’ll learn how OKRs came to be and how leading companies use them every day to help teams and employees stretch their thinking about what’s possible, build their goal-setting muscles and achieve results that reflect their full potential. From the basic framework to a detailed dissection of best practices, this informative guide walks you through real-world implementations to help you get the most out of OKRs.

OKRs help employees work together, focus effort, and drive the organization forward. Key results are used to define what it means to achieve broad, qualitative goals, and imperatives like “do it better” are transformed into clear, measureable markers. From the framework’s inception in the 1980s to its popularity in today’s hyper-competitive environment, OKRs make work more engaging and feature frequent feedback cycles that enable workers to see the progress they make at work each and every day. This book shows you everything you need to know to implement OKRs effectively.

  • Understand the basics of OKRs and their day-to-day use
  • Learn how to gain the executive support critical to a successful implementation
  • Maintain an effective program with key assessment tips
  • Tailor the OKRs framework to your organization’s needs

Objectives and Key Results is your key resource for designing, planning, implementing, and maintaining your OKRs program for sustainable company-wide success.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Chapter 1: Introduction to OKRs 1

The History of OKRs 1

What Are Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)? 6

Objectives 8

Key Results 8

Organizational Challenges, and Why You Need OKRs 13

Benefits of OKRs 20

Notes 26

Chapter 2: Preparing for Your OKRs Journey 29

Why Are You Implementing OKRs? 29

Executive Sponsorship: A Critical Component of Your OKRs Implementation 31

Where to Develop Your OKRs 33

Special Cases 36

An OKRs Development Plan 37

Key Lessons for Successful Transformation 41

The Building Blocks of OKRs: Mission, Vision, and Strategy 42

Roadmap Strategy 53

Notes 59

Chapter 3: Creating Effective OKRs 61

Omaha 61

Creating Powerful Objectives 62

Tips for Creating Objectives 64

Objective Descriptions 68

Characteristics of Effective Key Results 69

Tips for Creating Key Results 73

Types of Key Results 76

Scoring OKRs 80

How Often Do We Set OKRs? 85

How Many OKRs Do We Have? 86

Do OKRs Stay the Same from Quarter to Quarter? 88

Can OKRs Change during the Quarter? 89

The Process to Set OKRs 90

Notes 95

Chapter 4: Connecting OKRs to Drive Alignment 97

A Critical Link 99

Connecting OKRs 99

How to Connect OKRs 100

Creating Alignment 108

Confirming the Alignment of Connected OKRs 113

Closing Thoughts on Connecting 114

Notes 115

Chapter 5: Managing with OKRs 117

The Cycle: Monday Meetings, Mid-Quarter Check-Ins, and Quarterly Reviews 118

Updating OKRs at the End of the Quarter 128

Software and OKRs 129

Let’s Play 20 Questions! 137

Notes 138

Chapter 6: Making OKRs Sustainable 141

Don’t Think of OKRs as a Project 141

Who Owns the OKRs Process? 142

OKRs and Performance Reviews 144

OKRs and Incentive Compensation 147

Top 10 OKRs Issues 151

How Not to Implement OKRs . . . and Where Consultants Can Help 156

Concluding Thoughts 159

Notes 160

Chapter 7: Case Studies in OKRs Use 161

Flipkart 162

Career Builder 167

Zalando 171

Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC) 175

Go Noodle 185

Tax Slayer 190

Note 194

About the Authors 195

Index 197

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Author Information

PAUL R. NIVEN is a partner at OKRsTraining.com. He is the author of five previous books on strategy and execution, which have been translated in over 15 languages.

BEN LAMORTE is a partner at OKRsTraining.com. He is an internationally recognized OKRs coach who has consulted with organizations around the world.

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