What is North?
North is a company-wide goal setting system designed for organisations to improve focus and be number driven in achieving goals. North is based on a proven and established OKR framework used by companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Airbnb. If you’re just getting started with OKRs – read our guide to adopting OKRs first or check out hand-picked OKR Resources from across the internet.
What problem does North solve?
North fills the gap between powerpoint (or google slides) and Jira (or asana). Today, in most organisations goal and strategy is discussed in a powerpoint presentation, once a quarter or annually. And then, forgotten, until the next powerpoint presentation. North makes goals and strategy top of mind always – so even when teams start executing on the strategy, they still have the focus, the goals and direction, front and center all the time.
Three key things in North
1. Goals 🎯
Goals in North are simple statements that tell people what the organisation or team aspires to achieve. It is the ultimate outcome of the work the team is going to undertake. There are two level’s at which goals can be set. one is at the organisation level and another at a team or group level. more on that later…
2. Key Results or Milestones 🏳
Key results talk about how you will measure your progress toward achieving the goals you set out. This is the most important ingredient that makes goal setting a lot more number driven, and if you’re like us, a lot of fun too!
3. Initiatives or Tasks ✔️
Initiatives are the actual work you and your team will undertake to achieve your goals and move your key results. An important note: Initiatives in North are not your every day tasks – they do not replace your project management or task management tools like Trello or Asana or Jira. Initiatives are more like projects you list down and prioritise, they are more like Epics in Agile terms or Projects in more traditional terms
How things are organised in North
If your company culture already includes goal setting, this will not be much different (if you are new to OKRs – learn about how to get started with OKRs).
Example for Goals, Key results and Initiatives
🎯 Goal (Product management (Q1 2020)
– Launch an MVP for KeepFit, a fitness tracking app to help people stay fit
🏳 Key Results
– Have 100 users signed-up by end of feb
– Have 60% users open the app and track their steps every day
– Have 40% users share their activity with friends
– Have an NPS score of 40
– Ship MVP by mid Jan
– Set up tracking dashboards to measure key metrics
– Make it easy for users to Sharing their activity with friends
– Launch good-ads campaign to acquire first 100 users
– Identify a tool to run NPS campaigns with selected users.
– Gather and Fix top customer feedback to improve NPS
Here is another good example from every day life on understanding OKRs.
Step 1. Create your teams and Invite people
Before you begin, read our guide to getting started with OKR at your company before you start using North.
Now start by first inviting your key members who will help you with North. Invite your team members either from your Org page > + Add or the Profile menu > Invite people
Create the various teams or workgroups in North who track their goals in North. If you’re using OKRs for the first time, start by only inviting a few teams to pilot You always add more teams later.
Step 2. Create company goals
If you are starting a top down adoption in your company, the first thing to do is to decide what your company goals are. these are the things people in your company will aspire to achieve. Company goals are usually set annually and are reviewed every 2-6 months depending on the nature of your business.
Step 3. Create team goals
Some teams who have a clear direction and key numbers they own can directly start by setting team goals and don’t have to depending on the company goals. But if you do have company goals, your team goal would ideally contribute and align to your company goals.
Team goals usually have a short timeline, most teams set goals for a quarter. These team goals also have a very defined check-in cadence. healthy teams meet once every week to review progress towards their team goals, we’ll discuss more about how to run check-in review meetings later.
Step 4. Create a culture of North check-ins
One of the key ingredients for making OKRs a success in your company, is to have regular check-in meetings with your team. The check-in meetings are usually 45-60 mins meeting where you discuss progress in key result numbers and if anything needs to change.
During the check-in meeting key-results are updated with the latest number, The status of the key result is updated to
Check-in’s can also happen without having an in person meeting unless some KR is at risk
Next, see how North works
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north is currently invite-only. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org