OKRs: the short and simple term for a not so short and simple goal.
Think of it like all those huge goals you made in December for this years’ resolutions. Often you get to week three of January and are bored, unstimulated or have forgotten about them. This is all too common because you don’t set goals in small, achievable steps. Think of it like driving from the Netherlands to Hungary. It’s good to have a destination to aim for, but you first need to think “how do I plan on getting there? Where am I going to stop for fuel?”. You need to plan out frequent intervals where you can stop the car, otherwise you’ll be stuck on the autobahn in the middle of nowhere in Germany.
Objectives and Key Results are essential for achieving larger goals with measurable results. You have likely read the previous blog post explaining WHAT OKRs are and WHY we should use them. We know that OKRs provide clear focus, encourage flexibility and improve internal cooperation and understanding.
That is all well and good to know, but HOW we implement them is perhaps more important.
As the wise Albert Einstein once said:
“nothing changes if nothing changes”.
There is no point in having OKRs if they are not feasible. Felipe Castro made the excellent statement that “to succeed in an ever more digital world, we have to reinvent how we plan and align”.
The implementation of OKRs can mean a big cultural change in the organisation, as it is not a small concept to get your head around.
So, how to get started?
Interaction is one of our core values. Thus, we don’t want to work in silos, otherwise teams won’t align with each other, everyone will be confused, and poor results will occur consequently. Instead, we aim to create alignment around shared OKRs.
Without any form of follow-up, OKRs can very quickly turn into a list of neglected and unachieved goals. Don’t just think about the outcome you hope for but keep track and make small steps along the way. Don’t just set it and forget it.
It is also important to be aware that we should only implement OKRs that relate to our company objectives, and ultimately our mission of providing our guests with the perfect stay with more value for money, hassle free. Whilst it is good to look at other companies and their OKRs for inspiration, it is important to remember that they don’t have the same mission/vision as us. One size doesn’t fit all, so when we choose OKRs we need to stay true to our values.
OKR Teams @ BookerZzz
Every OKR has its own team and owner. The team consists of members of different departments who can/are expected to contribute to this OKR. The setup of these – so called – OKR Execution Teams can change per quarter and will be appointed by the OKR owner. The OKR owner will be assigned by management depending on the topic.
Typical OKR Cycle
The implementation process can vary but follows the same fundamental structure:
4-6 weeks before the end of the quarter our management will think about the priorities for the next quarter and start to formulate objectives for the company.
2-3 weeks before the end of the quarter the company objectives are finalised and communicated to everyone. Here the OKR teams’ step in and set their objectives for the company objectives.
1 week before the end of the quarter all OKR teams come together and align their goals. There is no such thing as overcommunication, it is important for everyone to be in sync!
During the OKR process here at BookerZzz we like to have bi-weekly updates with each OKR team. So, every two weeks each OKR owner will report on the progress of the OKR to all (department) team leads in an OKR meeting.
Most importantly, to implement OKRs it is necessary to get everyone involved, intertwining our core values of interaction, specialist and full of action. We do this best by having OKR updates in our monthly Townhall’s. When the whole company is together it is the perfect opportunity to get everyone on the same page and keep them in the loop, as well as a great moment to track progress.
As expected, the OKRs change or develop every quarter. This is vital for the company to grow and move forwards. A retrospection takes place to assess what should end and what should continue. During the retrospective of the OKR, the following is discussed:
- What did we learn from working on this OKR during this quarter?
- Which key results should we continue to work on in next quarter; and why?
- Which key results should we not continue to work on in next quarter; and why?
It takes time to come up with the best OKR cycle that works. For us at BookerZzz it is something we can only learn and improve by doing and through the means of interaction and being full of action.