The secret behind OKR and Why Giants love it!
A platform about focus, results, and meaning.
OKR (Objectives and Key Results), is among the most discussed topics in performance management around the globe. It was first introduced in the late 1970s by Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and known as the father of OKRs, as a way of achieving more through focusing on less. John Doerr, one of the most successful venture capitalists of all time and known for funding significant businesses like Amazon, Google, and Netscape, later explained this concept in a book called “Measure What Matters”, and through introducing it to Google in 1999, somehow popularized it. Today many companies like Twitter, Microsoft, Airbnb, Spotify, and Amazon use this simple yet effective technique of measuring what matters.
Performance management is one of the most fundamental challenges every company faces today. The more prominent and multifarious the company, the greater the challenge. How does a company of great magnitude, consisting of many different, and sometimes loosely connected departments and smaller businesses, ensure moving towards a universal grand goal? There are many models and platforms to help answer this question. Contrary to traditional planning methods, OKR answers this question by defining more meaningful and more straightforward objectives.
Objectives, the O in OKR, are the most fundamental elements in this technique. They are simple, short, inspirational, engaging, and qualitative, rooting in the vision of the company. On the other hand, Key results are defined as a set of measurable, specific, time-bound, aggressive, yet realistic targets that show how these objectives should be achieved. These are set for the whole organization and each team in a hierarchial matter and through constant communication. This makes OKR a collaborative goal-setting tool that helps to create alignment throughout the organization by utilizing each team’s creativity and abilities independently and efficiently to achieve universal results. Team members will also feel more involved and effective in attaining organizational goals.
We are always searching for new methods and platforms to help us evolve. So while benchmarking different companies to acquire the most effective performance management system, our team came up with the idea of implementing OKR. The implementation of this system was challenging due to diversity in our strategic business units and multiple departments. By designing a unique program, called “Neshan”, we successfully overcame these challenges one by one in our journey.
Today, through implementing the OKR platform and constant communications around it, we have grown more united, more determined, and more vibrant in our path of evolution and success.
This article was made possible with a technical contribution from Mehdi Zarei.