Humans: The weak link of OKRs

Objectives and Key Metrics, or short OKRs , are a popular method for laying out a vision, defining strategy and tracking the progress of a business. Originally, this technique was invented at Intel. Some of the prominent companies using OKRs are Google , Twitter, LinkedIn and Zynga… 

The fundamentals of OKRs

The idea behind OKRs is that each person or team should define a set of objectives that they will pursue in a given time period.

Objective is of a qualitative nature . So for example, in you are a SaaS business, you could set an objective to Make on-boarding easier .

Objective should be stated in such a way that it communicates well to your colleagues what are you trying to achieve.

For each objective, a set of key metrics should be defined, that will inform us of the progress we are making towards achieving our objective.

Key metrics are of a quantitative nature . So, to continue our example, if we have an objective to Make on-boarding easier , we can define several (recommended is three) metrics that will provide insight into how well are we doing:

  • More than 60% of the new users do X
  • On average, it takes user less than 90 seconds to do Y
  • On average, user invites 2 colleagues to the application

Finally, the last two components of the OKRs are timeframe and person responsible .

Where it all breaks

The screaming problem of OKRs are so called check-ins.

If we continue our example, once a week, someone – a person – will have to get the metrics for an objective and update them. Someone will have to calculate the number of users that did X and then input that value in some form. Someone else, will have to calculate the number of new users. Yet someone else will have to figure out the ratio between new sales opportunities and cost of a Facebook campaign.

In general, there are two types of processes which can be implemented within a group of people:

  • Automated processes
  • Those that get abandoned

The problem with humans is that… well, they are humans. We forget things, we get busy with other things, we catch a flu, we get bored… and most of all, we love to report good results – and hate to report bad results.

So, the obvious step in evolution of OKRs is to automate checkins. The data already exists. If someone can look it up, then it exists.

The Gtmhub way

At Gtmhub, we are all with software engineering background. In software engineering, there is an axiom:

If you repeat it three times, it’s time to automate it.

Gtmhub is built to flawlessly manage OKRs across organization ( more info ), but where it really shines is in the ability to automatically pull and calculate key metrics.

If you’d like to know more, request a demo .