Now that you know what business strategy is, what OKRs are, and why companies are using this methodology to manage goals, are we going to learn about the chronology of an OKR cycle?

Why follow a chronology?

The OKR methodology was created to combine simplicity with efficiency, so that everyone can use it at will, in addition to being adaptable to the needs and scenarios of each company.

But even with this adaptability, it is necessary to follow the cycle chronology correctly, so that the maximum of the methodology can be extracted. After all, there is a reason why it has this structure and is used in this way in several companies around the world. Be technology giants to family businesses and projects in the most diverse areas.

As it is a strategic management methodology that focuses on continuous improvement, it is normal for the steps and rituals of the methodology to follow the pattern of the PDCA Cycle (we made a complete Paper on this cycle, just click here to read), so while we go showing the chronology of an OKR cycle, we relate each step to the PDCA cycle as well.

Relationship with the PDCA cycle

As in the PDCA Cycle, we started a cycle of OKRs with planning. This is done in the form of Objectives Planning and Objectives Grooming.

Planning

Objectives Planning is an event that aims to align the objectives that are on the minds of the company’s executive leaders and operational teams, always thinking: “What do we want to achieve in these coming months?”.

In KRs Grooming, on the other hand, it is necessary to define the Key Results for each Objective that has been outlined, asking: “How will I measure our progress in relation to our objectives and how will I know when we have achieved or not achieved those objectives?”.

Do

Moving from the Planning stage, we enter the Doing stage (in English: Do) of the PDCA cycle, and it is at this stage that we enter the OKR Presentation. Here the objective is to present the objectives and their Key Results for the entire company. So that everyone clearly understands the direction that the company and each area must take during this cycle. It is also here that teams work to achieve the defined goals.

Check

After that, we enter the Check part of the PDCA Cycle. It is the moment when we must understand what is working and what is going wrong, trying to adapt to achieve continuous improvement. So, this is where the OKR Check-Up event comes in. In this event (we recommend that it be carried out monthly for a quarterly OKR cycle), we collect data regarding the progress of each KR to know if the company is on track and with the correct speed or if they are out of step with what was planned.

Here, action plans are created for KRs that are lower than planned, always seeking to take adaptive measures to improve results.

End of Cycle

At the end of the PDCA Cycle, we have the Acting step. Thus, this is where the cycle of OKRs ends. Performing 3 separate events: Closing of OKRs, Income Statement, and Creation of Action Plans.

When closing OKRs, data for all Key Results are collected. With these results, we were able to evaluate the reasons why some KRs were successful and others for not reaching the defined goal. We want to replicate the actions that led to the successful KRs and improve the actions that led to the KRs that did not achieve the same success.

After that, we must demonstrate to all employees that the results of that cycle were in an Income Statement meeting. It is time to increase transparency in the company, answering any question related to the defined OKRs. In addition, about results and more, so that the culture of continuous improvement in the company can be consolidated.

Finally, we must create Action Plans. Here we are going to organize what went right and what went wrong during this cycle of OKRs. This helps us to replicate what worked and fix what didn’t, making the next cycle better than the previous one. Thus, ending the cycle of continuous improvement that we want.

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