OKR Implementation

Typically, our OKR coaching programme supports an organisation through two OKR cycles. This is usually long enough for OKRs to become embedded into an organisation's business processes and for any wrinkles to be ironed out of the process. Our recommended implementation steps for each cycle are:

Set OKRs for the cycle. OKRs for the first cycle are typically set during the preceding training workshops and validated by senior management. ORKs for subsequent cycles are set at end-of-cycle retrospectives.

Load your OKRs into an OKR tracking system.  You don't have to use a specialised OKR tracking system.  Initially you may want to record and track them in a spreadsheet.  However, specialised OKR software contains many features that will make recording, tracking, scoring, and reporting on OKRs easier and more efficient.  We have relationships with several vendors of excellent OKR tracking software and can help you find a system that meets your needs and configure it to reflect the OKR parameters chosen by your organisation.  And whatever system you use should be accessible to everyone involved in setting, achieving, and monitoring OKRs. 

Monitor progress and check in regularly.  OKRs are a process, not an event.  Once OKRs have been set and individuals and teams assigned responsibility for the objective, it’s critical that progress towards the objective (as measured by the KRs) is regularly monitored and recorded. This is best done by regular – weekly or fortnightly- check ins. The process doesn’t need to be arduous or time consuming, but it does need to be regular. Checking in on any given objective should be the responsibility of one individual, although other team members can contribute to the process.  You can find further details on this process here.

Undertake a mid-cycle review.  Depending on the length of your cycle, there may be benefits from undertaking a mid-cycle review.  These potential benefits include: 

  • Early course correction by identifying if you're on track or need to adjust your approach.

  • Clarifying priorities through refocusing attention on the most important tasks and eliminating distractions.

  • Improving transparency and communication by ensuring everyone is on the same page about goals, progress, and challenges.

  • Keeping teams engaged and motivated as they receive feedback and recognition for their efforts.

  • Promoting accountability by holding individuals and teams responsible for achieving their OKRs.

Undertake an end-of-cycle retrospective.  Our coaching programme includes facilitating team retrospectives at the end of each cycle. End of cycle retrospectives provide an opportunity for teams to reflect on the3 past cycle and reset for the next cycle. Retrospectives serve four main purposes:

  1. Agree on final scores for key results

  2. Capture learning from the OKR cycle

  3. Apply the learnings to improve your processes for the next cycle

  4. Update the OKRs for the next cycle, which could involve retaining existing OKRs, removing redundant OKRs, adding new OKRs