OKR Determination Methods- 2
In my previous article, I mostly discussed a method that may be used by teams that are new to OKR or teams that are observing their position and attempting to develop goals in accordance with it. In this article, I'll show you a flow that you can utilize at the management level to assist you set both vision and OKR.
As with the previous method, I usually run this with Zoom and Mural.
The method inspired by this flow actually has two different versions: Futurespective or 5Ws. Both assist you in setting goals that are in keeping with your vision by seeing a future date. In this article, I'll discuss how and where I use them, in the hopes of assisting you with minor adaptations.
We had used this method for the first time last year. The starting point of the method was the time when evaluating OKRs at the end of a quarter after the question “Is it really serving the needs and priorities of the company?”. After this question sparked a lengthy debate, we had to re-evaluate the company's vision and objectives. Therefore, when determining OKRs, it is important to make sure that everyone is clear about the company/division/tribe/team vision and that your OKRs are set within this framework. Team vision, in particular, is one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of this process, but its importance in choosing the appropriate OKR cannot be overstated.
My recommendation at this point is to use Futurespective if your vision is clear, and 5Ws if not. 5Ws (What – Where – When- Why – Who), can also be adapted as the Turkish version of 4N1K, is actually an approach used;
But I, as always, only took what served my purpose and used it :) In 5Ws, we proceed with a template like the one below, that is, in a framed way, and we aim to set the vision first.
We ask the participants “You're celebrating something on X. What are you celebrating? Who's with you? Where are you? And most importantly WHY are you celebrating it?” and ask them to dream individually for a few minutes. The 'X date' part here must be a minimum of 1 year so that you can unearth a long-term dream and turn it into a vision. Then we divide the participants into small groups and ask them to share their dreams within these groups and combine/singularize them. While doing so, we want each group to fill out the above form for themselves and then share what they're celebrating with the rest of the group after working together for 10-15 minutes.
The 'Why?' part is particularly important here, therefore you may need to ask the question 'Why?' several times before you identify the root cause. You can waste as much time as you want in this part, as that root cause will be the thing that motivates people the most, gets them excited, and unites them around a purpose :)
After each group shared their dreams/reasons for celebration and each of them was noted in the common template, we ask, “If these are the root causes of what we will celebrate, be happy, feel successful, then what should our vision statement be?” We ask each small group to work among themselves and share their suggestions. Thereafter, by combining these sentences, we determine a larger and all-encompassing vision sentence and get everyone's approval. I recommend that you do this part not only when determining OKRs, but also during the kick-offs of newly established teams (Maybe I can share a kick-off stream when this series is over :) ).
Once you set the vision, things start to get a little easier. Asking the question "What do you think the next target sentences of the team with this vision should be?", we ask everyone to produce their target sentences with the 1-2-4-All technique (by the way, I usually use it as 1-2-All), as we did in Team-Up, and to determine 3-5 of the most priority, either by Dot Voting or by discussing, according to the number of sentences. You can set your target sentence with the following questions:
- Does it show what we want to achieve? (Why do we want to achieve this?)
- Is it inspiring?
- Is it understandable and clear to everyone involved?
and, after making your minor corrections, you can move on to determining your key result sentences.
After discussing each of our target sentences one by one, we ask the question "What are our milestones that will show whether we are moving towards this target?" and we write our key result sentences with 1-2-4-All. Again, proceeding with Dot Voting or discussion, we identify 3-5 key result sentences for each goal.
Testing each key result sentence with the following questions:
- Will achieving this be worthwhile?
- Is it measurable?
- Does it show whether we are moving towards the goal or not?
- Is it challenging enough?
we make any necessary adjustments and sign off on the final version of our key results.
In Futurespective, which is another method, we first remember the vision together and try to come to the same point about where we are in this vision. We then ask the participants to present ideas by imagining an important moment on a particular date. For example, we take participants to a motivational moment, such as presenting to the CEO at a critical meeting for the company, or presenting ideas to the entire C-Level at an Ideathon/Hackathon, and ask them: "Here you are presenting about what we did this quarter, what would you say?"We give 5-10 minutes and ask everyone to share their individual ideas. As a facilitator, it is very valuable to give everyone the right to speak and to take note of what is said, and if there are similar ideas, to combine them with the contribution of people and grow them. The length of the part up to this point varies depending on the number of participants and their ability to discuss, but it usually lasts 45-60 minutes. After we get everyone's participation and their opinions, we ask the question "What should our target sentences in this quarter be in order to achieve these?" just like in 5Ws, and we operate the rest just like in 5Ws.
Participants in both ways can periodically shift to action-oriented thinking while setting both goals and key results. At this point, I try not to kill these ideas and put them next to the table below, saying, "Let's not kill this idea, but since this is an action, let's reevaluate it in the part of the initiative if you want." After setting the OKRs, if we still have time, we try to match these ideas with the relevant OKRs together. This demonstrates that, while some of our ideas are excellent, they may not be the best fit for our goals :)
We aim in this method (if we have determined the initiatives), as in all other methods, to provide a prioritization that will feed the Product Backlog by evaluating it from the perspective of the value it will produce and the effort required.
After you've set your OKRs, keep them in mind and use them to feed your backlog. This will help you prioritize important tasks, move forward in accordance with your vision, and progress with everyone's cooperation. For example, we begin each of our planning by first reviewing OKRs, trying to understand where we stand, and checking whether the business we plan to take is serving our OKRs for that quarter. I highly recommend it to you too.
See you in the next method.