Had a great time, it still feels unreal to have Christmas in Summer even after 6 years.
OKR was essentially what were were doing in Deloitte. There was a compensation under the form of a team event if we met all team and company wide objectives for a specified quarter with review every week.
I liked the team event compensation because it was set at the outset so that we were definitely motivated to earn a good time together and learn about each other in this context. It provided a why which I think is the glue that keeps everyone going when things get tough.
What this guide doesn’t address is the resources part of the deal. There’s always a trade off especially when you set up goals with a team mainly made of people with employee mindsets. What I mean by this is, if you have ambitious goals all along, the resources part may call for overtime or for a need to have an additional budget which may impact the stability of cash flow on the short term.
If overtime is happening over long stretches of time, retention of good people will take a hit and this is something that also needs to be taken into account. If you are looking at increased budget, where is the cash flowing from and how do you make sure this investment was good and efficient.
I love OKRs but after 3 years of doing those I found that to be an effective piece of the deal, resource planning is necessary and generally not done. The managers need to understand the trade offs and be accountable to their team for that too.
What OKR need to power them to the moon is the B at the end for Budget.
I was the first to hate this word (and I’m an accountant) because for me preparing a budget based on last year’s income and expenses is completely unrelated to OKRs that are currently required for the business to keep their edge. Believe me, if you knew how unimpressed we were by how the budget was set up, it would probably have made it to the joke of the year.
And, I tried thinking of it differently and realised that this was a thing, it’s called Zero Based Budgeting. And you start from ground Zero, same as the OKR, just that 0 is the level of resources given to a a goal, a business line ect and the whole team needs to justify the level of budget and resources given to a specific OKR (that probably means that you need a strong W for Why) and review along the way if this is still good company practice to keep the OKRW based on Budget review.
This gives agility at every level and engagement but it also proves that the whole company understand and is behind the goals set up by each team, because it gives them the resources they need at the outset. The resources may not only mean just advertising or copywriting, but it may also mean getting a thought leader on the subject to have a chat and give the level of understanding needed to make the moonshot achievable.
Heinz, Danone and other big groups are implementing it with great results from a cost saving point of view. My belief is the sooner you start in this culture, the easier it gets when you grow.
Thanks for the guide, I think it gave me the link I needed to make it work easily and efficiently and get buy in (even for non number geeks)
Looking forward to meeting you nerdy map mapping during the year by the way.
P.S. as an aside, Zero Based Budgeting makes wonders for your personal finances. You wouldn’t believe the turn around I got in how we now reach consensus and engagement on money matters as a family unit.