In order to achieve success in any field, it's important to have a plan and set measurable goals. The Objectives & Key Results (OKR) framework is a popular tool used by businesses to create and track progress towards their objectives.
In this blog post, we'll discuss what initiatives are and how you can use them to achieve your business goals!
What is a good OKR initiative?
OKR initiatives should be:
While Key Results should be stretch goals, initiatives should be realistic tasks that you can finish within a reasonable time (usually during the coming week).
You're not trying to stretch what you can finish during that time. You're making sure you get it done and that it leads you closer to achieving the Key Result.
This relates to the quote:
"People overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year"
So be realistic and believe in the process that continuous inputs lead to exponential outputs.
Why are initiatives important in OKR?
Initiatives are super important because they make sure that everyone involved is working towards the same goal; achieving the objective.
Whenever you start planning your OKR cycle, make sure that you immediately start brainstorming on initiatives as well.
This often gives people a great idea about whether we're stretching too far or if we're being ambitious, but also realistic.
Examples of OKR initiatives
Finish draft on new "OKR initiatives" blog post
Present research findings on interesting OKR themes to write about
Finish bug fixing on the new software feature
Pick the final 3 candidates for the new HR role
OKR initiatives are very individual and are hard to generalize across organizations and even teams.
Instead, you should focus on making sure that team members commit and follow through on what they set themselves up to do during a week.
If you'd like to see examples of key results and objectives as well, head over to the examples directory.
Tips for ensuring that you complete your OKR initiatives on time
One of the key things I've found valuable when I've participated in OKR implementations is that people get properly onboarded to the OKR framework.
Everyone on the team may come from their own to-do lists where tasks are formulated in completely different ways. A great idea is to keep an OKR checklist to hand out to new team members joining the framework process.
The key thing about initiatives is that you ensure the initiative contains an output. The worst thing you can do is to add initiatives like:
Research X about Product A and B
Think about if we should hire employee X
Arrange a meeting about X
These things aren't focused on outputs. They're merely inputs without certainty of outputs. Instead, think about how you can change your way of thinking to formulate initiatives like:
Figure out if Product A and Product B have similar sales trends
Decide if we're hiring employee X or not
Arrange meeting about X and send invitation
This way, at the end of the week, it's very easy to objectively assess whether you've achieved what you set out for or not.
This also makes it easier for the team to change who's controlling the meeting, as there won't be any discussions about outputs.
We hope this post helped you get an idea of what OKR initiatives are and how they can help you achieve success with Objectives & Key Results.
The OKR framework is tricky, we know. That's why we wrote even more pieces on the different important aspects of getting started with OKRs.