Every business needs to have a strategy if it’s truly going to be successful. That’s one thing that the COVID-19 crisis has illustrated in stark terms: without a plan for how to make your business sustainable, things can get ugly really quickly. As Warren Buffett famously puts it, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”
One of the best ways to stay on track as a business owner is to have a clear system for setting and maintaining your goals. This is where a philosophy such as OKRs, or objectives and key results, can come in. OKRs are a powerful tool that can help your business get ahead and stay ahead—even as you reflect on what’s working and what could be done better.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about using OKRs to set and achieve goals as a business owner.
OKRs clearly articulate your company’s biggest priorities
Getting your entire organization on the same page is possibly one of the biggest challenges of leading a business of any size. However, when you use goal-setting to help your team members understand your company’s goals, truly great things can happen.
It all starts with naming each objective in your business and providing a bit of context surrounding why that objective is so crucial to your strategic plan. You’ll then identify what success looks like when that goal is achieved, thus determining the key result. Key results are able to be objectively measured, such as an increase in business or a decrease in customer complaints. This type of framework allows you to always see the path ahead and is particularly helpful on a quarterly basis.
OKRs align workers in your company and can even be drilled down to a personal level
OKRs are so powerful that they’ve been adopted by major tech companies like Google in order to ensure that gigantic teams are able to stay productive across departments and even in different parts of the world. Another benefit of OKRs is that they can be distilled from larger corporate goals to the steps that each department can take to achieve those goals. From there, you can further dial your goals down to a personal level so that each employee understands how their role helps to move the ball forward.
Take, for example, the task of launching a website for your business. While the overall objective is to launch a website, the key results needed for that to happen might be broken down into researching and buying domain names, designing your website, and promoting your new website to potential customers. While your marketing team may be responsible for researching and buying a domain and promoting the website, a different team member could handle each of those tasks, each with its own objectives and key results. Similarly, your IT team would want to work on building out and testing the website before you launch. Breaking goals down in this way lets you take a large task and accomplish it one bite at a time—with each team member’s mouth helping spread out the biting!
OKR software gives you real-time analytics
If you’re wondering how to manage each of these goals, OKR tracking software is here to solve all of your problems. With real-time integrations with all of your objectives, results, and other KPIs, you’ll always know where your company and its staff are in regard to each of your company’s priorities. This makes it easier than ever to ensure best practices across all departments, and even conduct a performance review more effectively.