Navigate uncertainty with OKR

Navigate uncertainty with OKR

Recommended reading: Top mistakes not to do with OKR implementation

Show notes

We live in times of immense uncertainty — which tends to lead to an unclear outlook on where your organization and teams are headed. Setting a sound strategy and subsequent goals to help you succeed becomes all the more difficult.

While the OKR framework may not be a solution for turbulent internal and external circumstances, it is a tool that can help provide an increased amount of certainty for organizations.

We spoke to Marco Alberti, founder and OKR coach at Murakamy about how organizations can navigate uncertainty with OKR and discussed the following:

  • Is OKR a tool that can help organizations navigate internal and external instability?
  • What are the benefits of using OKR during times of uncertainty?
  • Why do organizations tend to abandon OKR in times of crisis? And how can organizations avoid this from happening?
  • How can employees incorporate OKR into their work schedules, to stay focused but agile during times of uncertainty?


Henrik-Jan: Welcome to another episode of Goal Diggers. I’m Henrik, founder and CEO of Perdoo. Joining me today is Marco Alberti, an OKR coach and founder of Murakamy. Marco, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey with OKR so far?

Marco: Yes. So thank you for the invitation and the possibility to be here.

Yes. As you mentioned, I’m Marco, I’m the founder of Murakamy and Intuity OKR. Experience: since more than eight years now. So focusing on finding out what is the right way to manage or steer a company. So, I was in the role of Vice President in the company and the company ran out of cash.

So we have to find a solution eight years ago for a really serious problem. And I Googled a little bit and I talked to other founders and found out, okay, there is this thing called OKRs. And the only thing I could find was the Google video obviously. And, then we watched it as a team and we tried it out.

And after 10 months we had like a turnaround from let’s say 1.5 million losses to 7 million in profits and from a team with total stress to a team with yeah, totally new ideas, a different culture, the CEO was freed from all the discussions the all days long. And this was really interesting to see what happens in a company when you change a leadership principle and the leadership framework to OKRs.

And there were so many questions still unanswered. So we tried to answer them and I wrote a little bit about it on our blog — Murakamy blog. And then other companies texted us and say, Hey, you did it. Can you teach us how we can do it in our company? And this was the start of a journey.

And now we try to find out how to steer a company better. So this is still part of the journey today.

Henrik-Jan: Yeah. Eight years ago, you must have been one of the first OKR consultants out there, right?

Marco: At least in Germany, I would say. Yes.

Henrik-Jan: Yeah. The video that you refer to, I mean, I think you mean that Google ventures video, where they introduced the concept of OKR to their portfolio companies. Yeah.

Marco: Yeah.

Henrik-Jan: And you referred to OKR being a leadership framework. Could you explain why you think it is a leadership framework?

Marco: Yes. First of all, a short disclaimer, when I talk about OKRs, I talk about our version of it. Like it’s an interpretation, it’s a style like yoga, you have different styles.

And I think that’s the same in OKRs. So we define our framework — the Murakamy framework as a holistic framework. So it’s not for us like you have to steer the goals throughout the company. It’s not like I know what’s right. And then we have to focus on it and say, okay, we, we have to manage it through the company, make it transparent and make it happen.

For us, it’s more like a holistic framework to bring the right culture, the right structure, and the risk mitigation process in it to find out what are the right goals based on what is the vision and what is the mission. What are the strategies? And therefore we have a process developed that helps you to find out the right goals instead of managing your goals, which you already have.

So I think this is the best explanation, why we think it’s a holistic management and leadership framework and not only a tool to steer the company based on your given goals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does OKR software refer to?

OKR software refers to specialized software tools and platforms designed to facilitate the implementation, management, tracking, and analysis of the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) framework within organizations. OKR software provides a digital solution for setting and aligning goals, tracking progress, and fostering collaboration across teams and departments.

Which is considered the best OKR software?

The “best” OKR software can vary depending on your organization’s specific needs, goals, size, and preferences. There are several well-regarded OKR software options available, each with its own strengths and features. It’s important to evaluate these platforms based on your organization’s requirements. Here are a few popular OKR software tools that are often considered among the best: Asana, WorkBoard, Perdoo, 15Five, Weekdone, Koan, Gtmhub, Betterworks and Atiim.

How do I select suitable OKR software?

Selecting suitable OKR software requires careful consideration of your organization’s needs, goals, and operational processes. Choose the right OKR software based on the Organization’s Needs, Key Features, Budget, Available Options, Demos, Trials, User-Friendliness, Integration Capabilities, Scalability, Customization Options, Support, Training, Team Consultation, References, Trial Period, Long-Term Value, Data Security and Privacy.

Should OKRs be measurable?

Yes, one of the fundamental principles of the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) framework is that Key Results should be measurable. The concept of measurability is crucial for creating clear and actionable goals that can be tracked, evaluated, and adjusted as needed. Measurable Key Results provide a tangible way to determine progress and success.

Is it essential for everyone to have OKRs?

While the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework can provide numerous benefits to organizations, it’s not always necessary for every individual or team to have formal OKRs. The decision to implement OKRs should be based on the organization’s goals, structure, culture, and the specific challenges it aims to address.

What is the ideal duration for setting OKRs?

The ideal duration for setting OKRs depends on various factors, including your organization’s goals, industry, project timelines, and the pace of change within your industry. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are some common timeframes to consider:

  • Quarterly OKRs: Many organizations follow a quarterly OKR cycle, setting objectives and key results every three months. This shorter timeframe allows for more frequent adjustments and adaptations to changing circumstances. Quarterly cycles are especially useful in fast-paced industries and for teams working on projects with relatively short timelines. 
  • Annual OKRs: Some organizations prefer to set OKRs on an annual basis, aligning their objectives and key results with their fiscal year. This approach provides a longer planning horizon and can work well for industries with longer project timelines or less frequent changes. 
  • Biannual OKRs: For organizations that fall between the two extremes, a biannual OKR cycle (every six months) can strike a balance between flexibility and longer-term planning. 
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