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A step-by-step guide to implementing OKRs

Table of Contents

Here’s the quick guide to implementing OKRs in your business for the first time.

  1. Agree on OKR Owners and Train Them:
    The first step is to determine who in the organization will own OKRs. This can vary from company to company, but it is important to have coverage from different areas of the organization. The OKR owners must understand what OKRs are, why they are important, how the process works, and how to create growth-based OKRs.
  2. Build or Buy an OKR Document/Tracking Tool:
    The next step is to create a document or tool where OKRs will be kept up to date. A Google spreadsheet is the cheapest option for smaller organizations but it can be challenging for employees to visualise how individual and departmental OKRs build up to the companywide objectives. There are plenty of dedicated OKR software solutions that are suitable for larger organizations.
  3. Create Senior Management OKRs First:
    Start by creating OKRs for the senior management team. These should be based on the company’s primary objectives and financial goals. The OKRs should be agreed upon by the CEO and the rest of the leadership team. Each department head should then create their own OKRs that align with the senior management team’s goals.
  4. Share the Draft OKRs:
    After the top-level OKRs have been drafted, they should be shared with the rest of the organization. Each member of the organization should then create their own OKRs that align with their senior line manager’s goals.
  5. Align OKRs on a Horizontal Level:
    Each OKR owner should ensure that their OKRs are aligned with other stakeholders who share project results. This helps prevent disagreement over prioritization.
  6. Sign Off OKRs Vertically:
    Each line manager and report should review each other’s OKRs to ensure that they are aligned and that there is agreement over prioritization. This creates vertical alignment throughout the organization.
  7. Score and Set New OKRs: At the end of each quarter, the OKRs are scored, and a new set of OKRs are created. This process is continuous, with new OKRs being set at the end of each quarter. OKRs should be focused, with 1-3 objectives and 1-3 key results per objective. This helps ensure that the OKRs are focused and not too broad.

Looking for more information about OKRs, an overview of OKR software, or ready to try out Zintly?