Now that you know why you should always start your strategic planning before the beginning of the cycle, it is time to talk about how to use OKRs (objectives and key results) in practice in your company.

The first step in using OKRs is to look back and identify what has been achieved in this quarter. Thus, we will have an internal benchmark of strategic planning in your company.

Based on this and already knowing how to implement OKRs in practice in your company, it is time to start the process of moving from using more traditional methodologies of strategic planning (or not even using a methodology) to use OKRs.

After performing the benchmark, we recommend training all members of the organization. This step is especially important due to the fact that this change to OKRs is a cultural change in the company, so everyone should understand why we are using this methodology and the benefits it will bring to the company.

After that, you should start to define the objectives that will guide your company for the next quarter. There is no point in studying and training members if your company does not start using the methodology. It is worth remembering that the OKR methodology follows the principle of continuous improvement, so your first OKR cycle is likely to be the hardest.

OKRs in Practice

When setting goals, it is time to have aspirational thoughts, as this is where we decide where we want to go in the next quarter. The objectives must be ambitious, but they must also be attainable. There is no point in setting a goal such as “taking over the world” for the next quarter if it is still a company with little relevance. On the other hand, we do not want to create goals that are easy to achieve, as we will be underestimating the capacity of our teams and reducing both productivity and employee motivation.

After defining the goals (which are where we want to go), we must define how we will measure our progress against those goals. For this, you should always remember to create the SMART key results, and for that, they must be:

  • Specific;
  • Measurable;
  • Attainable;
  • Relevant and;
  • Temporal.

This means that our key results must only measure ONE aspect that is relevant to achieving the objective and must have a deadline.

With the OKRs defined, even before the cycle begins, we must mark in an agenda all the events to be held in the period. These events are check-up meetings, creation of action plans, date of the end of the cycle, and presentation of the results to the company. That way everyone will know exactly when to collect the data and what and when the next steps will be.

Then you should follow the cycle of OKRs in practice, which we defined in a Paper of ours called “Everything you need to know about OKRs”. It is important to remember that during this cycle, communication must be extensive and well done so that everyone knows what is happening and how the company is progressing towards its goals.

Cycle Closing

Finally, a meeting should be held to discuss what went right in it, what should be kept for the next, and what went wrong, so that these errors are not repeated in future cycles, thus realizing the continuous improvement of your strategic planning.

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