In repeated diagnostics conducted in leading organizations over the last decade, we found that
of the projects have not delivered the expected outcomes.
These poor data are a logical consequence of our approach to projects and objectives with a causal focus. Traditional management methods make us think that tasks lead to results and, consequently, we believe that if only the tasks are performed with diligence, the set objectives will automatically be achieved.
Reality, however, shows that this approach is erroneous. In fact, this approach generates the project factories that organizations have become today.
For this reason, one of the first aspects to change, and to adopt the Agile culture to, is the system for defining, aligning and achieving objectives, the OKR.
Target deployment is history.
But what about the customer?
In Agile organizations, the objectives necessary to satisfy customers are not deployed. They are put at the center, with OKR.
OKR, a formula as simple as it is revolutionary.
John Doerr, who at the time of Grove was with Intel, too, brought it to Google in 1999. Since then, OKR has guided Google’s exponential growth, as founder Larry Page acknowledges:
OKRs have helped lead us to 10x growth, many times over. They’ve helped make our crazily bold mission of 'organizing the world’s information' perhaps even achievable. They've kept me and the rest of the company on time and on track when it mattered the most.
The focus is on impact and not on activity. Prioritization is done according to the results to be achieved, focusing on what really matters.
Activities or projects are means to achieve the result, the impact on customers, not the result as an end. If the impact is not achieved, the project or activity must be adapted.
End-to-end synchronization and collaboration between the different teams right from the definition of OKRs to their delivery.
Effective adaptation as a way to deliver results. Change is not an unpredictable event, but a generator of learning to deliver results.
Early and Small Releases practice that seeks to deliver value to customers in small steps to learn and receive fast feedback.
Self-organized teams, with a clear purpose and comprising the necessary roles to deliver results and have an impact on customers. People from Product, Sales, Design, Marketing, Development and Finance work together with high autonomy and self-responsibility.
Sustainable and shared rhythm throughout the organization that enables everyone to deliver results while maintaining balance and well-being.
Transparency of knowledge, progress, data, and information so that all teams can self-organize and collaborate in a synchronized way to achieve OKRs as effectively and efficiently as possible.
But, what does OKR mean?
In short, OKR are a system that drives people to become passionate about the outcomes that will impact customers rather than the projects in their silos.
The first step in the OKR implementation process is to define the organization’s objectives. That is, the purpose to be achieved in a given period. These objectives have a motivating and guiding function, namely to convey a clear message regarding the direction and destination to be pursued.
This graphic helps us understand it clearly:
"If you can dream it, you can do it."
OKR: Objectives and Key Results.
The quantitative, measurable part, which translates the objectives into transparent and unambiguous metrics.
- Increase the number of companies using [Product] each day from X to Y.
- Increase the number of data that companies process each week with [Product] from X to Y.
- Increase the NPS of [Product] from X to Y.
Needless to say, these indicators neither measure the number of tasks performed nor the functionalities. They are not a list of tasks to be performed. They are global metrics that define success in the objective and that focus on what really matters to the customer or end user.
OKR: Empowerment without silos and hierarchies
Continuing with this analogy, unlike traditional management models, OKR are not deployed by levels or hierarchies.
With OKR organizations evolve to form an organism of self-organizing teams that operate like startups within an ecosystem of startups that share a common purpose.
In this organism, it is the teams who make the decision on how to impact the OKR, taking their own responsibility and autonomy. To do this together with ActioGlobal, teams use the Gemba Wall® tool that allows them to translate objectives into agile and adaptive weekly execution.
OKR: Rhythm, Transparency, Accountability, and Achievement.
Gianpaolo Santorola, one of the leaders we worked with to transform Adevinta, the world’s largest digital classifieds company, puts it in a nutshell:
Ejecutive Vicepresident Adevinta
When OKRs are implemented holistically and not just as a textbook theory, this practice becomes a real accelerator of Agility and High Performance, and above all of a culture based on a fundamental principle:
MORE IMPACT. LESS ACTIVITY.
Learn more about some of the companies that have transformed their cultures by developing a holistic operating system with OKR: