Next stop: Objective and Key Results (OKR for short)

[Translate to EN:]

It is already more than 40 years ago that Intel defined and introduced a process model called "Objectives and Key Results", in short OKR, and since then it has taken a triumphal march around the globe. Interestingly, OKR have finally arrived in Europe a few years ago and have gained a lot of visibility in the Agile community with their integration into the 5.0 version of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®). One more reason to take a closer look at what stands behind these 3 letters!

But what are OKR? In short, OKR is an agile process model for the organization-wide, collaborative definition of common goals and the short-iterative, cross-functional work on these goals. Essential characteristics result from "organization-wide" and "collaborative", i.e. no longer only in my own silo (e.g. area, department, team) but across all areas and the joint creation of goals, i.e. no longer top-down in the hierarchical pyramid of the organizational structure. Likewise, the other characteristics about "short-iterative" and "cross-functional" can then be recognized. We no longer work with OKR on long-running annual goals (or even longer durations) but focus, for example, only on one quarter. The cross-silo collaboration in x-functional teams thereby maps the value chains within Orga and leads to another essential characteristic of OKR: the extreme focus on generating added value for the customer!

This OKR characteristic is certainly one of the success factors of the process model. We, as an organization, focus on our customer and want to create added value for him through the implementation of our goals. This in turn places the "Reason Why" of our work in a central position and ultimately leads to a common "will" within meaningful activities throughout the organization. Business agility on another level!

This sounds tempting, desirable and also what many companies strive for: meaningful work, motivated colleagues and ultimately an (even) greater common success. And indeed, this is achievable with OKR... if one commits to the fundamental, necessary changes within an organization. 
These changes are particularly relevant and are first and foremost located in the changed behavior of the managers, followed by the ability of the entire organization to work in a more self-organized setup across departmental boundaries. In order to be able to operate successfully with OKR, a change is necessary from the "classic" directive top-down leadership style to a behavior that motivates through vision and a sense of purpose, which gives the organization sufficient leeway to define its own common goals and to work on achieving them. It is also essential to cultivate the understanding that with the use of OKR, the cross-departmental OKR teams are now largely autonomous and responsible for the success or failure of their goals. 

Both of these describe an exciting and rewarding journey that companies embark on with their OKR implementation, and depending on the size of the organization, then occupy several months to 2-3 years. A fact that is not immediately obvious when first looking at OKR and its basically very lightweight structure. A good start for a successful OKR introduction is recommended here in the 2-day OKR training. This training teaches the history of OKR, the basic procedure for working with OKR as well as the actual formulation of good objectives and quickly measurable key results to anyone from the simply curious to the experienced Agile coach. In addition, practical examples and assistance are given for the introduction of OKR and these are conveyed in the context of agile change management. The goal of the training is always to impart applicable knowledge, to take away uncertainties in the application and to make even more desire for "Objectives and Key Results"!

If you want a Training in Language English, please contact us.

Interview with Stefan (Language German - english version is comming soon):