There are some things that we learned along the way, and one of them is that in order to do things fast, it is better to just focus on as few activities as possible. The problem is, with so many things to work on, we often find ourselves focusing on activities with very low value.
Lately we came to the conclusion that we needed to stop and decide which activities we were going to focus on for the next few months. We were battling too many fronts at once, and little work was actually done.
We realized that one of the reasons for our continuous Work in Progress was that there were no goals, hence we did not know if what we were doing had an impact on the overall strategy. Without goals, everything seemed important and urgent.
OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. Google started using them in 2007 and still does. Basically what you need to know about them is:
- Objectives are ambitious, and should feel somewhat uncomfortable.
- Key Results are measurable; they should be easy to grade with a number (1 to 10, 0% to 100%, etc).
- OKRs are public; everyone in the company should be able to see what everyone else is working on (and how they did in the past).
If you want to learn more, here’s the original video from Google.
So what does this mean?
- Each quarter we set up OKRs at the company level
- Then each team decides their OKRs to contribute to the company’s OKRs
- Every effort contributes to an OKR, something important
- After each quarter the KRs measures the completion of the Objective
We’re not going to say it was easy but it has been a great success. OKRs have helped us prioritize. When you take stand-alone tasks, everything seems important and urgent, but when you compare tasks with each other and the goals are clear, it is easier to prioritize tasks since we know which one might have a greater impact on the goals.
The Streema Team