Is OKR really useful?

In 2017, Huawei conducted a performance management satisfaction survey and found that:

The satisfaction of the OKR team in all dimensions of performance management is overall higher than that of the team using traditional performance management methods.

Among them, the promotion of teamwork, work freedom, personal expertise, and organizational openness is the most obvious.

Moreover, none of the teams carrying out OKR are willing to return to traditional performance management methods.

Where are the values ​​and benefits of OKR?

Value point 1: Break the constraints of bureaucracy and realize more flexible work styles

OKR formulation: There must be a certain deterministic OKR in each team, which is the OKR that the team must complete after the company undertakes the decomposition of the company’s strategy.

Therefore, this part of OKR will be directly input to the OKR market after communicating with the team.

As for uncertain targets, the employees report to the supervisor, and the supervisor comprehensively grasps the company’s strategic direction.

Generally speaking, as long as there is not much deviation from the organization’s strategy, it is recommended to encourage employees to actively make some useful explorations, and perhaps a big innovation will emerge.

OKR arbitration: If an OKR is claimed by more than one person, he needs to assign the OKR to the employees with a high degree of preparation based on the employee’s readiness.

OKR clearance: If an OKR is always unclaimed, he needs to assign OKRs to specific employees according to the principle of free and busy, so as to ensure that all OKRs are executed, and ultimately achieve the organizational goals.

The traditional work development mode and the work development mode under OKR are shown in Figure 4-12.

The traditional work development mode and the work development mode under OKR are shown in Figure 4-12

This transition can bring many benefits:

From asking me to do what I want to do: both supervisors and employees are working around the OKR bazaar.

Employees no longer need to wait for the direct supervisor to assign their work, but can choose the appropriate OKR to implement based on their abilities and interests.

In other words, OKRs are claimed by themselves, not assigned by force.

Flat organizational hierarchy: For employees, they only need to pay attention to the OKR bazaar.

Therefore, for employees, the company seems to have only two layers: direct supervisors and employees.

If a higher-level supervisor needs to derive a task, he only needs to add an OKR to the OKR market. In essence, he and the direct supervisor have the same role.

Therefore, after a period of development, the team found that the supervisor was finally freed from the complicated task coordination and could free up more time to do more meaningful and valuable work.

Supervisors have also become more of a service role from simply “management” and “management”.

Value point 2: Employees are more daring to challenge themselves

Value point 2: Employees are more daring to challenge themselves

The effect of OKR development is not obvious in the first cycle-

About 10% of employees take the initiative to set challenging goals, and many employees still take a wait-and-see attitude towards this organizational change based on inertia.

Since then, with the extension of OKR development time, employees’ doubts have gradually been resolved, and the proportion of employees willing to set challenge targets will continue to rise.

After about 3 cycles, on average, the proportion of employees in the team who dare to set challenging goals will increase to about 30%, and this value has stabilized thereafter.

The team atmosphere is more oriented towards cooperation, gradually breaking the lone wolf culture and forming a community collaboration culture.

Value point 3: Promotion of employee performance

One of the great advantages of OKR is that it is open to all employees by default, and employees can check the OKR of anyone else in the company, including those of colleagues and supervisors.

I found a rule that under the traditional performance model, employees usually only pay attention to the goals of their supervisors. This habit was also particularly obvious in the initial stage of the OKR pilot.

Although the OKRs of all other people are made public, employees do not take the initiative to check the OKRs of other related colleagues. This may be caused by mutual mistrust between employees under the traditional performance management model.

With the extension of OKR development time, after about two cycles, employees gradually changed their original practices.

They began to pay attention to the OKRs of colleagues related to their work. On average, an employee would check the OKRs of 15-20 colleagues.

By consulting the OKR of others, on the one hand, it enhances the understanding of the work of other colleagues, and at the same time enhances mutual thinking and inspiration, and improves employee performance.

Value point 4: More fair performance evaluation

Under the traditional performance management model, the supervisor assigns important tasks to the capable employees in his mind based on his own judgment.

And those employees who are relatively inadequate may always only be able to do trivial tasks.

When it comes to performance evaluation, important work usually contributes more, so excellent employees get better performance because they do more important work.

OKR broke this task distribution relationship.

Just like the OKR bazaar mentioned in value point 1, the tasks of the organization are stored in a public OKR bazaar, and everyone has an equal chance of claiming it.

All employees need to do is to continuously improve their own skills, match their abilities with the difficulty of the task, and have the ability to complete more important and complex tasks.

Those who can do more can earn more.

In the end, it is clear at a glance how many tasks you have claimed during performance evaluation.

Value point 5: Enhance the organizational atmosphere

Huawei compared and analyzed the differences in organizational atmosphere between OKR pilot teams and non-OKR pilot teams, and found that:

The OKR pilot team scored much higher in all dimensions than the non-OKR pilot team.

Especially in the four dimensions of peripheral collaboration, growth and development, openness and transparency of information, and work autonomy, the perception of OKR pilot teams differs most from those of non-pilot teams.

Value point 6: Changes to leadership

From a subjective perspective, there are three main differences between OKR and PBC: openness and transparency, bottom-up, and agility.

When the supervisor was asked: If you were to choose again in the future, would you choose the OKR method or the previous method?

As a result, no supervisor is willing to go back to the past mode. Here are some of their feedback:

“I will choose OKR without a doubt and will never go back to the past.

At present, some changes in the team atmosphere have been achieved. Now it is no longer a tree-like management method, but a lot of bottom-up methods have been added and a lot of initiative has been added. ”

“OKR simplifies and promotes everyone’s thinking. The team goals are constantly changing. After the goals are shifted, everyone can continue to match and adjust.

Even returning to the original performance management methods will bring these good practices back. ”

These feedbacks fully show that the supervisor has fully accepted the concepts of autonomy, openness, and agility advocated by OKR, and fully experienced the benefits it brings.

article links:Is OKR really useful?

Reprint indicated source:Spark Global Limited information


1 Response

  1. Meilani says:

    In this case, KPI is the most suitable performance tool, even if the personal goal OKR is not very meaningful.

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