OKR’s are not for everyone and can be a distraction for many companies if not used right.

Over the last few years OKRs have become popular. Thanks to companies like Google, and LinkedIn who have found great value and success, they have popularised the OKR system. A lot of business are now keen to adopt OKRs within their organisations.

But at the same time, many of these companies don’t get the real value from OKRs and the system ends up becoming a ceremonial one-more-thing to do in the company. Managers and employees lose faith and eventually move on.

Here are the 3 things check of OKRs are right for your company:

Stage of company (Start-up vs Mature)

Startups by definition are really fast paced. Sometimes a large part of the work in startups is validating the founders hypothesis and see if the thing works. In this stage of the company is largely focusing on execution of the original idea and seeing if the product works. – If you fall under this kind of a startup. OKRs are not for you.

If on the other hand, if your start up is taking a discovery and learning mindset and measuring things like Product Market Fit or NPS score, OKRs could be a great addition. As a reminder, Google was under a year old when they first adopted OKRs.

See Start-up OKR templates

Company culture (Top down vs Bottoms up)

Think about how projects in your company are driven. Are there long road maps and backlogs of things to be done? are these things decided by someone on the top and handed down to the execution teams?

In other words are your teams autonomous and empowered to make their own decisions on how to achieve the company goals or are there list of features or things they are already decided.

If you found yourself nodding to the above – OKRs are not for you.

While you can use them to track milestones and make sure you are delivering outputs. you are not really getting the true value of OKRs.

See how some companies use OKRs as Milestones

Leadership buy-in

This is probably the most important thing to consider if you want Org-wide adoption. If you are trying to experiment using OKRs just for one department or team to achieve certain Goals, even so, you must have the active support of the head of that department or team.

north is currently invite-only. Get in touch at sherpa@thenorth.io


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