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OKR Implementation: Here's How You Can Achieve It

Carolin Puls 10/18/2022

How and with which software you can implement your OKRs

Table of contents
  1. The benefits of an OKR implementation
  2. These are the most important tips for an OKR implementation
  3. These OKR software tools support you with an OKR implementation
  4. From hierarchy to agility

Digitization, sustainable economy, Industry 4.0 - each of these mega-trends brings about transformation processes in companies. Markets are becoming more dynamic and product life cycles are shortening, making it necessary to optimize structural and process organizations in businesses to remain competitive.

More and more companies are relying on organizational structures in which self-organized teams are central. Why is this? The increasing complexity of the working world and the rising pressure for innovation overwhelm traditional hierarchies. Through active collaboration, teams create solutions for complex problems and significantly contribute to the success of their company.

To make this collaboration effective, many companies rely on the OKR method, which replaces hierarchically structured processes with flexible, agile structures. The Objectives and Key Results Framework uses the principle of self-organization and combines corporate strategic objectives with individual team goals. This approach helps employees develop a better understanding of their own business strategy and recognize the contribution they make to the company's overall success.

However, the OKR method is not a quick win: The framework must be successfully implemented in the company and sustainably integrated into daily work in order to make the company strategy tangible and understandable for all employees. You can find out how to achieve this in this article.

The benefits of an OKR implementation

To fully convince you and your company management of the OKR method, it is first important to know all the benefits of an OKR implementation. The framework is easy to learn and uncomplicated to implement. You don't need any complex technical infrastructure - just commitment, patience, and time. By using OKRs, you can concretize your goals and adapt them flexibly to market factors. Due to the limited number of a maximum of four objectives per team (as a recommendation), you can focus better, and self-organization makes resource planning easier for you. This makes it easier for you to set priorities and create transparency within your team. Since you regularly update each other in weekly or monthly meetings, all team members always know the status of your OKR achievement.

The guiding OKR objectives of your company and also the individual team goals can be viewed by all employees at any time, making you feel more like part of the big picture and minimizing silo thinking. Every department depends on working with other departments to be able to contribute to the success of the company. Therefore, it is necessary for you to talk to other departments before setting your OKRs so that everyone knows the other departments' goals and you pull together. We will show you how to formulate these goals successfully using some OKR examples.

OKRs not only help you define your goals, but also help you achieve them. How does this work? In weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings, you track your progress and give each other feedback. This leads to a healthier error culture throughout the company and a more open interaction with your colleagues. Through regular exchange in the team, you quickly identify when you are making less progress or even missing your goals. This allows you a dynamic response to internal or external events that are slowing down your goal achievement.

Another advantage of an OKR implementation is that you involve your employees in goal setting. Even the company goals can be defined in close exchange across all hierarchical levels. The final design of the department-specific objectives is then taken over by the colleagues of the respective teams. The joint definition and focus increases the intrinsic motivation of your colleagues, which is also reflected in work performance and goal achievement, as they take on responsibility for this.

These are the most important tips for an OKR implementation

No matter if it's a large corporation, medium-sized enterprise or start-up - every company can aim for an OKR introduction. Before you start, we have compiled some tips for a successful implementation:

1. Start with an OKR set

Choose some teams for the pilot project and start the first run with them. This is all about the company OKRs. If this round was successful, it is the task of your managers to work out concrete team goals from the company goals with their team. But also start here with a single OKR set from an Objective and a Key Result to get used to the new way of working.

2. Ensure transparency

To work together successfully, it is important that you make the OKR sets of your colleagues and teams visible to all employees at any time. This promotes both internal and cross-departmental exchange and ensures that you are working together on fulfilling the company strategy.

3. Appoint an OKR responsible person

So that your colleagues have a fixed contact person who supports them with implementation questions, you should nominate an OKR Champion. This person is available to advise you and promotes the communication between the different teams.

4. Use a defined OKR introduction process

By using a proven introduction process, you ensure that you carry out all important steps in the correct order.

  • Clarify your Motivation for introducing OKR. What do you expect from it? Document these insights in writing.
  • Document the Current state. Based on this, you can later set concrete goals.
  • Identify what is currently going well and where you see Need for improvement. Be sure to involve your colleagues in this process. Otherwise, they may only reluctantly accept the goals and measures because they feel patronized and not appreciated.
  • Define a Company strategy. First clarify the important general conditions in which you want to move and then go into more detail. By involving your colleagues, their motivation and identification with the new shared vision increase.
  • Next, it is important to define OKRs for individual teams, and decide which roles you want to use in your OKR process.
  • Offer Training and information events for all employees to successfully implement the OKR introduction.
  • Then you set milestones and plan fixed times for their review.

These OKR software tools support you with an OKR implementation

Once OKR has become lived practice in your company, defining and achieving your goals will be much easier for you. Various software tools can support you with the OKR introduction. You can find an overview in the OKR software category on OMR Reviews. One of them is Haufe Talent, which we will introduce to you in more detail now.

Haufe OKR

Haufe Talent offers you Haufe OKR a software that supports your OKR implementation and permanent implementation. It represents the OKR process of your company in a centralized and simplified way. The tool supports the transfer of strategic company goals into the daily business of the respective teams. Besides the OKRs, the software also shows relationships and dependencies between the Objectives and Key Results of the company areas that influence your goal definitions and goal achievements. With integrated feedback functions, you promote collaboration in the company with Haufe OKR. The team OKRs are just as transparently presented with Haufe OKR as the company goals. The reduced design, the clear presentation of the navigation and the easy handling of the software allow you an easy scaling within your company. In addition to the software solution, Haufe Talent offers additional consulting services to support you in the implementation of OKR or the optimization of the OKR process.

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Haufe OKR is the cross-company pivot point for your goals, communication, and collaboration.

With the solutions from Haufe Talent, you can organize your recruiting and onboarding efficiently and up-to-date as well as design personnel planning and development sustainably. Haufe Talent also offers a wide range of tools for team success and team development as well as implementation methods that aim to guide entire organizations through change processes quickly and sustainably.

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The Haufe Talent portfolio supports you comprehensively to make your talents and teams successful.

From hierarchy to agility

No matter what the starting situation is in your company, if you strive for an OKR implementation, it will bring many advantages for you. The improved motivation of your colleagues, an increased understanding of the company goals and dependencies, and the transparency preserved at all times will be true game changers for your company. Through the clear focus and periodization through OKR, you concentrate on the really important things and thus gain a significant competitive advantage.

Carolin Puls
Author
Carolin Puls

Carolin ist freie Redakteurin bei OMR und mit ganzem Herzen Autorin. Als Brand Managerin war sie bereits bei verschiedenen Unternehmen aus der FMCG-Branche für das Marketing zuständig. Währenddessen hat Carolin berufsbegleitend Ihr Studium zur Marketing-Betriebswirtin abgeschlossen.

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