Presentation - OKRs and KPIs
This workshop sought to introduce the Extended Digital Team to two different ways of tracking a team’s progress towards its goals: OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). These are two complementary but different ways to measure a team’s work.
KPIs measure the performance of a critical area within a business and help monitor the health of ongoing operations, while OKRs strive to create change or bring in an innovation or improvement, or get things that have gone off-course back on track.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
This management methodology aims to set specific goals, identify outcomes and ensure people’s work aligns with these objectives.
OKRs seek to focus on outcomes rather than outputs, because delivering something doesn't necessarily mean there will be the real-world impact desired. They have three key components:
- An objective that sets the direction and is an inspiring, ambitious statement without numbers.
- Key results – quantifiable, objectively measurable outcomes that track progress towards the objective,
- Initiatives – actions taken to achieve these results.
Defining objectives frequently, having a limited number, aligning them with organisational goals, and updating progress regularly is key to the methodology. The cycle of employing OKRs entailed defining, aligning, announcing, checking and reflecting on the OKRs; a process similar to Agile methodology.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Even while the Extended Digital Team is focusing on OKRs, they will have individual work and be part of other groups doing different tasks, hence there will be KPIs still functioning alongside OKRs.
KPIs measure the health metrics of existing business operations, marking whether it's on track or off. A good analogy for this is a car journey: the strategy is the travel guide; the GPS system corresponds to the OKRs, creating a specific route to the goal; and the car's dashboard corresponds to KPIs, monitoring the health of the journey and flagging up any problems.
Team KPIs and OKRs exercise
In advance of the workshop, team members had completed a survey to detail the kinds of metrics they already worked to. Within the session they worked through how these metrics might be framed if they were KPIs or OKRs and the differences between them.
Implementing OKRs for the Extended Digital Team
The team will start working on OKRs in September 2023. A few recommendations were made for how to do this:
- The duration for an OKR should be two-month, with a break in between each OKR process.
- Each team member should publicly commit a certain percentage of their time to the OKR work. Team members need to be honest about their other commitments and task allocation, deciding on their level of commitment based on the objectives set and the other tasks they have that may not fit under those objectives.
- The team should hold short weekly meetings to track progress on key results and to have a session at the end of the week where the team could celebrate achievements.
- The OKR process should be transparent: the team should communicate with other teams about their key results and why they were chosen.
- The team should focus on outcomes rather than outputs, acknowledging that tasks might change as progress is made on the key results.
Strategy Map and Team KPIs
Following the session, the different metrics provided by the team in their pre-workshop survey and during the workshop itself were into a comprehensive strategy map.