A frequent mistake in the Agile community is beleiving that the only solution is to focus on Mindset change ONLY, but it happens that the mindset change is not actionable, first we need to double check if our company culture fits with the framework purpose  & also change the structure system like that we can focus on practicale actions that can change the way the organization behave.

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is an agile goal-setting methodology & thinking framework that helps companies to align goals & ensure everyone is going in the same direction.

in xHub, we introduced the OKRs as our goal setting system since 2018, and since then, we're all commited for a successful implementation.

For more details about the methodology itself, check my blog: "The magical effect of OKR: an agile goal setting system"

1- How to write good OKRs?

Defining OKRs is the goal i want to reach, which is an idea not numbers, and i'm going to set metrics with numbers to track them :"Key results". The most important things is to make sure the KRs have clear tracking numbers.

The key results must be results, they can't be activities, actions or tasks, it must contains number or a level to reach which is a great acheivments & steps forward in the ultimate goal.

2- OKR's formula:

John Doerr, one of the earlier Google investor who has introduced the methodology, has recommended a magical formula to use to define the Objective & Key results:

3- Steps to take to define & follow successfully our OKR

This is the process we follow to define, align & track our OKR’s in xHub

1-    BM (Board Members) define long-term business priorities

2-    BM define annual company OKRs based on business priorities, vision & purpose & discuss it with all the xTaolents annually

3-    Circle leads define quarterly OKR’s with their team, & discuss it with the BM to check the alignment with global ones

4-    Team define their OKRs based on circle one

5-    Team set their activities, actions & projects to achieve the KRS

6-    Every circle checks frequently the progress at a minimum once a month

7-    It’s recommended to use visual management for Circle OKRs to follow up & track it closely

8-    In the end of the quarter: discuss the progress done and not done, adjust & iterate for the next quarter

4- Anti-patterns, what’s OKR are not?

These are the foundations of the framework and the guidelines it should not adopt in implementations.

  • Capturing all works as OKRs
  • Setting activities & tasks instead of outcomes "Key Results"
  • Linked to financial bonuses.
  • Punitive or reward mechanism
  • Not encouraging trial & error.
  • Confidential, not transparent & not to the entire organization.

4- xHub recommended Tips to set OKR successful

Here is a summary we use in the Engagement circle to remind us the primary tips to set OKR successfully

5- OKR prioritization

After team brainstorming, a common mistakes is to create a lot of OKRs , if you're having this case, tr to prioritize your OKRs depending on quarter (idealy 4-5 Objectives). This is to avoid the mistake of "Set & Forget" which is one of the main benefits of the framework