OKR Implementation success

Can you drive a car that has no wheels? Even with all the innovation happening worldwide, no right? Well, similarly, how can you imagine running a startup without setting direction i.e, goals and objectives? No, we are not comparing apples to oranges. Let’s take a look at this,

You have your set goals for sales, market share, innovation, productivity, social responsibility, and management and employee performance which keeps your startup running smoothly for now. However, you risk idling your startup if these goals are not set right and updated with the changing requirements and environment around it.

Now, don’t sit with a notebook and start brainstorming objectives and goals just because you got FOMO. The best thing about living in the 21st Century is that you get to use it to make your life and your startup’s life easier. And one such tool is OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). They are proven goal-setting methods that ensure your startup’s success. Research shows that leaders who set OKRs in their startups experience better and more sustainable success.

But before we further delve into setting up OKRs, it is crucial to understand why they fail in the first place.

Why Does OKR Framework Fail?

Do OKRs fail? Yes, but not for the reason you think. The main reason behind OKRs failing and not working as per expectation is that they were not set right to begin with.

There are certain prerequisites that a startup must have before it set an OKR framework. This helps in deriving the most relevant and effective objectives for the respective teams across the startup.

For example, having a concrete mission and vision should be the first prerequisite of a startup before setting up OKRs. This way, individual employees and teams can align their targets and goals as per the startup's.

Besides that, transparency also acts as a great prerequisite for setting efficient team and individual OKRs. Leaders can educate their team members in understanding how certain daily tasks can translate into great results and set the OKRs accordingly. Depending on the startup’s size and goals, OKRs can be set on an individual or team levels.

So, now that you know OKRs are the backbone of focusing on growth, let’s discuss how you can set the same.

How To Set Up OKRs Within The startup?

OKR Adoption & Implementation

Determine the Growth Areas

First, you have to determine where your team or an employee needs improvement. This way, you can set OKRs that would focus on specific areas of growth. For example, if only 80% of the sales representatives in your team met their target last quarter. If you want to increase that number to 95% by the next quarter, you can set objectives around it.

Similarly, the key results would be:

⦁ Sales representatives would spend more time finding qualified prospects every day.
⦁ Sales representatives would book more meetings every week compared to before.
⦁ Sales representatives close more deals every month than before.

Align Business Goals With OKRs

All OKRs should be aligned with the goals of the startup. Whether the organization aims to reduce customer churn or increase net profits, every objective should align with the goals of the startup.

Revenue goals across the startup. You can easily align them as per the revenue goals of the sales team to reach the final objective. However, the objectives of the employees change if your startup wants to tackle data security risks. In that case, you would have to identify the vulnerabilities within the startup and set specific OKRs that would mitigate the possibility of information mishandling.

In the end, for every Objective, the Key result should be measurable and concrete.

Establish Quantifiable OKRs

Startups cannot run on vague goals like selling more products/services or increasing revenue. They need to have specific objectives and goals that are quantifiable. Therefore, while setting OKRs, you must assign a percentage or any other numeric value that you would want your startup to achieve through the set objectives and key results. An OKR without a quantifiable measurement is either unattainable or lofty.

Get Your Team’s Input

Whether it is a startup or an enterprise, an organization is run by different teams. And, when OKRs are set, they are usually set on a team level. Therefore, it is crucial to collect inputs from everyone within the respective teams and set the OKRs respectively instead of the management deciding it on its own.

Moreover, when everyone in the team gets to have their say, they not only feel engaged but also tend to have a better understanding of the objectives. Besides that, integrating their inputs directly to the OKR goals further helps in aligning the team to the objectives.

Ensure Every Employee Knows Their Responsibilities

OKRs have been termed as effective frameworks as they are specifically designed for individuals or teams. Hence, OKR goals should provide the individual employees with a clear directive and set of responsibilities that they should carry out every month or week for the whole team to achieve the key results.

That means if your startup aims to increase and boost revenue by 30%, the sales team members have to spend more time every week closing at least two more deals every week.

Provide Encouragement and Remove Roadblocks

Teams across the startup can get easily discouraged, especially when they do not receive adequate support or run into roadblocks frequently. As startups heavily depend on the seamless functioning and performance of respective teams, it is crucial for them to ensure that the teams do not face any trouble with the process of work. All identified roadblocks should be removed for the teams to work efficiently and reach their objectives.

Document Progress Regularly

There are an array of goals that a startup has. Therefore, it is important to keep a track of these goals and also the progress that your team is making towards these goals every week or month. That way you can keep the members at the top of OKRs and ensures everyone is held accountable for their individual goals.

Wrapping Up
Lastly, remember to always celebrate your win whether they are big or small. Whether your team came close to achieving key results or actually achieved it, that shows the effort that they are putting in.

At the same time, look out for growth opportunities. Besides that, gathering feedback across the startup also helps in finding out challenges and strengths. This way going forward you can set the most effective goal-setting OKRs and enjoy its amazing key results.

Wrky.ai help startups to develop the team, execute the strategy & grow the business. Reach out for OKR implementation in your startup https://tally.so/r/nPdlld

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