Introduction

Holaspirit User Club session on OKR has been launched at the instigation of several customers willing to share and connect with other self-managed organization.

While getting the latest info about Holaspirit, the session represented the opportunity to network with, learn from, and share ideas with other users.

The first edition of user club dealt with the OKR framework.

People from 10 different countries attended the event and shared their experience with OKRs. Anne Nynke (Speaker, Trainer & Consultant for Happy and Productive, previously worked at Springest, NL) and Urs Baumgartner (Agile Coach & Creator of OKR Circle) started with an introduction to OKR and Philippe Pinault ( CEO of Holaspirit) presented the main evolution of OKR module on Holaspirit.

The meeting ended with with a very rich round table on the sharing of experiences among Holaspirit users. Many discussions focused on how to benefit from such method, how to use OKR framework with Holacracy, and how to deploy it into operations.

This article will present the main learnings from these discussions.

What are OKRs

OKRs are meant to set strategy and goals over a specified amount of time for an organization and teams. OKR has two components, the Objective and the Key Results where:

  • Objectives are memorable qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve.
    It should be short, inspirational to motivate and challenge the team.
  • Key Results are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the Objective. All Key Results have to be quantitative and measurable.
    The typical structure of a Value-based Key Result is:
    Increase/Reduce ABC-metric from X to Y.
    Where X is the baseline (where we begin) and Y is the target (what we want to achieve).

When to use OKRs

At the end of a work period, your OKRs provide a reference to evaluate how well you did in executing your objectives. OKRs follows these cadences:

  • Strategic cadence with high level company wide OKRs: Annual strategic OKRs for the company (and perhaps also for large BU)
  • Tactical cadence with shorter term OKRs for the team: Per Quarter/Trimester OKRs for the teams with a mid-quarter review
  • A follow-through cadence with regular check-ins for tracking results along the way: (bi)-weekly check-ins to tracks results.

In Holaspirit, you can review OKRs during Tactical Meeting during the Metrics round. That's how many of our customers are currently reviewing their OKRs. However, we plan to add a specific round directly to the agenda and will soon release the possibility to add meeting templates. Reviewing OKRs is up to members of the organization and update progress regularly in Holaspirit.

Deployment

Usually, OKRs are set through these following steps:

  • Lead Link of General Circle defines sets the company wide OKRs while collecting feedback from members of the organization.
  • Lead Link of subcircle develop OKRs for their team.
  • Lead Links should ensure alignment with other teams and initiatives.
  • Have weekly (bi-weekly) check-ins to track results and initiatives and access against baseline.
  • Review the OKRs halfway down the quarter during a mid-term OKR review.
  • At the end of the cycle, share experience and lessons learned and start over.

A few tips to start with OKRs

  • Keep up the cadence! Defining OKRs and evaluate OKRs takes time. Start early and anticipate next quarter objectives. You should take the time to plan OKRs and adequately assess them after each time period.
  • Use OKRs as a communication tool to set direction such that every member of the organization understands how they can contribute to the mission. Effective OKRs are widely shared and meant to be understood by teams and individuals. To that end, Holaspirit enables you to easily share and communicate about OKR to all members of the organization.
  • Grade the OKR’s biweekly. It’s important to keep track of goals.
  • Stay flexible. It’s ok to change OKRs along the path.
  • Know your baseline! Find the relevant data and find the baseline measurement to move away from or towards.
  • Don’t be too ambitious! When starting with OKRs, you want them to be achievable. It’s preferable to have only one OKR per circle at the beginning to set clear focus and prioritize.
  • Train newbies.
  • Evaluate and Learn.

Next evolutions on Holaspirit

We are dedicated to developing the best product for your organization’s practice.

Here are the evolutions we've plan:

  • OKR cascading tree: OKRs can be aligned to one another in Holaspirit. Cascading OKRs from the top-down help align the various circle across the organization toward the same overall goals. In the future, you will have the possibility to visualize OKRs alignment on a graph to better understand what OKRs and project contribute to the achievement.
  • Meeting Template: Holaspirit is developing custom meeting template allowing organization to design their own meeting types including the possibility to introduce rounds and meeting outcomes. You will be able to add OKRs round to check your progress directly during meetings!

If you want to live through the session again, you can watch the record here!


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