7 requirements for a successful OKR implementation

7 requirements for a successful OKR implementation

Recommended reading: How to write great OKRs?

Get buy-in from the rest of the organization

While getting senior leadership buy-in is critical, your people are the ones driving execution. Some people will embrace OKR with open arms, and you may face resistance from others. They either don’t see the benefit of using such a framework or see it as just one more thing to do, and that’s a fair concern. But at this point, it’s important to highlight what’s in it for them and the organization as a whole. 

If you’re working with the Perdoo software, your people have full access to the organization’s strategy and the goals (OKRs and KPIs) that’ll deliver it. They’ll now have complete transparency on the priorities of each area of the business and have clarity on what’s expected of them and how they can have the biggest impact. 

Here are few additional steps to strengthen that buy-in:

  • Schedule an All-Hands meeting to kick off the OKR implementation and outline the benefits of the framework
  • Share success stories of other organizations

Define your rollout approach

How you decide to roll out OKR across your organization depends a lot on your organization’s characteristics, culture, and prior experience with OKR. But before you start it’s good to have a rough understanding of how you’ll approach it. In our experience, there are two approaches that we see have the most success:

An organization-wide rollout, from the very beginning: This works best if your organization is already familiar with the OKR framework. This could also work if you have a culture open to change. Younger companies, regardless of their size, qualify more easily for such an approach than more mature companies, due to the likelihood of more flexible structures and processes.

Do note that, if you’re using a dedicated software, like Perdoo, we’re still not suggesting that everyone should have access to the software immediately. It’s best to first set up the accounts and OKRs of senior leadership, then roll it out to all the departmental heads and team leaders, and from there to the rest of your organization. It does mean that all of this is done in a very short time span (eg <30 days), ensuring not to lose momentum.

A step-by-step rollout: With this approach, you typically begin with a “pilot group” — for example, the senior leadership, a specific team, or department. That way this group has the opportunity to fully get the hang of OKR, and collect necessary learnings to establish the best approach for the rest of the organization.

Once this group is up and running (e.g. after one quarter’s OKRs) it’ll be clear what the next steps are for the rest of the organization. You could then either roll it out to the rest of the organization or roll it out to a few groups gradually. If you feel uncertain or are expecting resistance, the latter is likely the best option — other groups and individuals lead by example increasing the likelihood of others buying in. 

Always remember: there’s no right or wrong way of rolling out OKR. It depends on what fits your organization best. 

Appoint an Ambassador

We can’t say this enough: by implementing OKR, you’re driving positive change within your organization. And, whether you’re new to OKR or are seasoned users, we recommend nominating an Ambassador to spearhead that change. The Ambassador takes on the role of an internal OKR expert, with responsibilities that revolve around mentorship and management.  

OKR isn’t a “set and forget” type of framework, instead, it needs to stay front and center at all times to be able to yield success for your organization. Plus, in the beginning, it will take time to get right, so having a dedicated person overlooking that process can make a world of difference.

Here’s what an Ambassador does:

  • Leads the OKR implementation
  • Trains and mentors people on the OKR framework
  • Creates processes and ensures they’re being followed
  • Sets up and administrates your OKR tool
  • Assists teams in creating and closing OKRs

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