Why is OKRs not working for us?

Establishing OKRs (Key Objectives and Results) is a powerful system that helps move businesses and people forward. It helps to focus on important goals and to save time. But if you do not use OKRs in the best way, you will not achieve the expected results. OKRs are a tool like any other that you have to know how to use. Why didn’t OKRs work for you? Here are a few reasons.

1.  Bad goals

Elaboration of fuzzy objectives on the scale of the company

All objectives must be aligned with a clear corporate objective. When the organization meets the criteria for a bad OKR, it will not get the right results. Business objectives must be clear at all levels to achieve good results. If you configure incomprehensible and inaccurate OKRs, it will be difficult for you to progress. You need to set clear goals that are capable of being understood without much effort. See OKRs examples for inspiration.

Uninspiring goals

If the objectives set do not inspire your employees, they will find it difficult to work for their achievement. When goals are also very easily achievable, employees will tend to make little effort and not worry about it. Goals should be goals that inspire and inspire employees to work.

The objective does not help achieve business objectives

Spending time and resources on objectives detached from the main objective does not achieve the desired results. Setting goals that don’t match your vision is a big mistake. Your goals should match your vision. You should also make sure that personal goals are aimed at achieving business goals.

The goal does not adhere to SMART

So that the goal is reached, it must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.

Specific: A SMART goal must be specific by providing a clear description of what needs to be achieved. It should be understandable for everyone contributing to it.

Measurable: To know when a goal is achieved it must be measurable. A metric should be included, with a target to reach that indicates success.

Achievable: A goal is achievable when it is within the realms of possibility, given the available resources and constraints within your control. This doesn’t imply that it should be easy.

Relevant: A goal is relevant when it’s consistent with, and leads to, an outcome that contributes toward other organizational goals.

Time-bound: A time-bound goal has a start and end date. The end date is important, since this is when the goal will be reviewed, to see whether or not it’s considered a success.

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2. Bad key results

The KR is another task

The key results should be results, not new tasks. They must not create other activities. There is a difference between the key results, the objectives, and the tasks. Seeing a key result as a stain is a mistake not to be made.

The KR is not large enough 

If the key result does not affect the achievement of the objective, spending time on it will only reduce productivity. The results you aim for must flow from the objective and contribute to its achievement. There is no point in having key results detached from the objective or that do not influence the achievement of the objective.

OKRs management

3. Mismanagement

Inability to monitor individual results

At the start of an OKR interval, the organization publishes the higher-level objectives. Then each team and each individual defines their key results, which achieves the higher-level objectives. When team members have established a personal key result that they have not been able to control fully, there is a hindrance in achieving the objectives. OKRs must be under the exclusive control of the person who owns the lens. The need for collaborative efforts must be reduced due to conflicting priorities.

Bad calendar

Getting to synchronize OKRs with the work schedule is a significant challenge. Some goals take more time than others to achieve. When the OKR cycle is poorly chosen, the company becomes less efficient in achieving its objectives.

Too much OKRs

When you attach more OKRs than necessary, it reduces productivity. Too much OKR implies too many goals to be achieved. So you focus on a whole bunch of goals instead of focusing on the most important.

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