Managing Change and Business as Usual at the same time

Posted by Bo Pedersen
on May 14, 2019

Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs, is rapidly gaining popularity as a way of aligning teams around what matters most to achieve more.

Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, gained mainstream popularity as part of the adoption of the Balanced Scorecard in the 1980s and 1990s.


Business as Usual and Change

Why should you care about OKRs and KPIs in 2019?

In short, OKRs will help you manage change, while KPIs will help you manage business as usual.

In addition to the differences between OKRs, there are also similarities. In particular, Key Results often resemble Key Performance Indicators, indeed sometimes they’re the same.

For example, we may define an OKR as follows:

In this case, we are measuring our progress against the Accelerate Growth objectives via two Key Results; Increase Revenue and Win More Logos.

“Revenue” is almost certainly a KPI of every successful business. “Logo” is really a proxy for “Customer”, also a very common KPI.

So, although OKRs and KPIs are different, KPIs can serve a dual purpose as to track business as usual, and as inputs for OKRs which drive change.

Managing OKRs and KPIs together

Gtmhub offers an integrated solution for setting and managing OKRs, while tracking, visualising and collaborating on KPIs.

Whatever your reasons for using OKRs and KPIs, there is no doubt that they go well together.

Managing OKRs – We want a way to easily define OKRs, and enable teams and people to align themselves with company or team priorities. A typical alignment view such as the one below outlines how OKRs help to align people to achieve more together.

The ‘Nested’ view is a popular way to organise OKRs to enable alignment

Managing KPIs – We want to track company and departmental KPIs in real-time, with an easy way to communicate and collaborate on KPIs on an ongoing basis.

KPIs can be followed, and users can have conversations about live KPIs

Linking KPIs and OKRs- As we discussed above, KPIs may often serve as inputs to OKRs, and common business KPIs such as Revenue make for excellent Key Results for company level and commercial OKRs.

Every KPI tracked in Gtmhub is available for use as a Key Result

It’s AND, not OR

The key question is not whether to use OKRs or KPIs. Rather the opportunity is to use both OKRs and KPIs to drive positive change, while managing the business as usual in the best way possible.