Aligning quarterly and annual OKRs
Last week we have released one of the most highly requested features for Gtmhub: ability to align quarterly OKRs with annual OKRs.
A quick recap of OKRs alignment
Organizations commonly adopt OKRs, because they want to boost the alignment between different efforts.
For example, a sales team may have an objective to increase conversion from trials to paid accounts. The IT team may decide to help the sales team by improving the UX of the payment info page. In that case, we would say that IT team has aligned its objective with the objective of the sales team.
So far, Gtmhub has provided its users with the ability to align objectives within a planning session, which is typically a quarter, such as Q1 2018.
In practice, however, many of our customers wanted to align quarterly objectives of teams and individuals with the annual objectives of the company. With today’s release, we now allow this as well.
Why align quarterly and annual objectives?
Gtmhub allows you to create any number of planning sessions, which are a time-bound container for OKRs. These sessions can be sequential or run in parallel. A typical setup for an organization will look like this:
- Q1 2018 (from January 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2018)
- Q2 2018 (from April 1st, 2018 to June 30th, 2018)
- Q3 2018 (from July 1st, 2018 to September 30th, 2018)
- Q4 2018 (from October 1st, 2018 to December 31st, 2018)
- 2018 (from January 1st, 2018 to December 31st, 2018)
In this setup, the organization will have 4 sequential planning sessions – one for each quarter – and 1 planning session running in parallel during the whole year.
The common approach is for teams and individuals to plan their OKRs in quarters, where the company (and sometimes departments) will plan their OKRs on an annual basis. To fully understand and drive the alignment between smaller tactical objectives and larger strategic objectives, we have devised a way for you to align quarterly objectives with annual objectives.
How to align quarterly and annual objectives?
Before we start, make sure you have an active annual and quarterly planning sessions (e.g. 2018 and Q1 2018) and that there is at least one objective in each of them.
- Go to your quarterly planning session and locate an OKR
- Click on the OKR you want to align so that the details view opens
- Scroll down to find the Supports section
- Click on the + Link objective button
- From the dialog that appears, select your annual planning session (e.g 2018)
- Select the annual OKR that you wish to support with your tactical, quarterly OKR
You can repeat this process any number of times.
Which quarterly OKRs are supporting my annual OKR?
A common use case is to see all the connections between different OKRs. This can be seen by opening any given OKR, where you will find two sections: Supports and Supported By.
The Supports section lists all of the OKRs that are supported by this particular OKR. In the example above, we can see that the OKR supports two different objectives: the first one is a higher level objective in the same planning session (Q2 2018) and the second one is the annual strategic objective.
The Supported by section of each OKR provides you the list of all OKRs that have aligned themselves to this OKR. They are separated chronologically in planning sessions, and you can also see their respective attainments.
In this way, Gtmhub provides you with a quick way to navigate between various aligned objectives of your organization.
Analyzing the attribution of supporting objectives
An interesting analysis is to see the impact of the aligned objectives on the annual objective. For this purpose, we have created a new view, which you can access by clicking on the See attribution link in the Supported by section.
The attribution screen shows the attainment through the time of the annual OKR. In the Gannt chart underneath we can see the list of all supporting objectives, divided by their respective planning sessions or quarters.
One of the big ideas of Objectives & Key Results is to bring about alignment. It is usually alignment where hand-made solutions, such as Google Sheets or post-it notes break the OKRs process.
In addition to aligning quarterly objectives, Gtmhub now supports a scalable and manageable way to align annual OKRs with quarterly OKRs.