At Ultimate we use OKRs for planning and monitoring execution. This involves setting Objectives (qualitative descriptions of what we are trying to achieve) along with defining the Key Results (quantitative definition of how we will define and measure success for each objective).
To define them another way…
An Objective helps answer the question, “Where do I want to go?”
A Key Result helps answer the question, “How will I know I have reached the goal?”
At Ultimate we set OKRs on a team level or share OKRs between multiple teams.
Team OKRs or shared OKRs are strongly tied to the overall company goals and require a lot of alignment to get them right. For that, we do half-yearly planning (July and November) and define our direction for the next 2 quarters.
🧐 How does the OKR setting happen?
OKRs are set by looking at overarching company goals and identifying how team goals and shared goals between teams can ladder up to achieve these.
OKRs are set together with the team, the process might look different in each team.
Ideally at the end of the quarter the teams:
Reflect on the current OKRs: celebrate the success of the completed OKRs or take the learnings from the uncompleted OKRs.
Align on the Objectives and brainstorm on the Key Results together.
Make an initial plan for the next quarter on how to tackle the OKRs and finalise the OKRs together.
Communicate OKRs to other stakeholders or teams to be aligned.
Aspirational goals motivating for the team to achieve success.
Ambitious - even 70% of completion of an ambitious OKR is a success.
Key Results should be:
Measurable and quantifiable (if possible not binary)
Difficult, but not impossible.
Kicking off OKRs happens at the start of every quarter.
At the start of each new quarter, the COO will collect the OKRs from each business area and their response to the following question: “What will achieving these OKRs mean for the company? You can provide 2-3 sentences per OKR, or summarise them all in a short paragraph.”
We share the OKRs in writing on Slack (#all-hands-events), it’s easy for everyone to read and digest at their convenience. The strategy behind each OKR is also concisely thought through and written down, so everyone can understand the global strategy behind our goals.
🛎 OKR Check-In
OKRs have a light ‘check-in’ during Town Hall meetings every month (for big changes) with a full list of OKRs and where we stand on them shared via Slack after, so we can see how we’re progressing.
🧭 OKR Review
At the end of the quarter main progress and highlights on OKRs can be presented in the Town-Hall meeting. The final status of all the OKRs are shared after the Town-Hall meeting in the #all-hands-events channel.