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Implementing OKRs at Gazeta.pl

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Presentation describes the process of implementing OKRs in the Internet division of the Polish media company Agora in 2016
In 2017 the approach was used by 27 teams in the division

For better clarity, the slides were complemented by comments (fine print in the bottom).
If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me

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Implementing OKRs at Gazeta.pl

  1. 1. OKRs what are they about and how to implement them Presented in Polish at Management 3.0 Meetup in Warsaw, January 2017
  2. 2. This presentation describes the process of implementing OKRs in the Internet division of the Polish media company Agora in 2016 In 2017 the approach was used by 27 teams in the division For better clarity, the slides were complemented by comments (fine print in the bottom) If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me
  3. 3. We don't know what the priorities are What exactly is our strategy? Our goals are contradictory We keep changing the direction We do not know how we are doing Popular problems in organisations Before implementing OKRs, it is good to agree what problems we are trying to solve
  4. 4. A man came across three stonecutters and asked them what they were doing. The first replied, “I am making a living.” The second kept on hammering while he said, “I am doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire county.” The third looked up with a visionary gleam in his eye and said, “I am building a cathedral.” Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management People work better if they are a part of something bigger. It is easier to engage if we can see the future cathedral in the stone. The stonecutter who is fully engaged in stonecutting and does this with the mastery is the happiest of all three. http://charaktery.eu/psychowiesci/4207 (in Polish) Courbet Gustave, Stonecutters, 1849
  5. 5. OKRs - Objectives and Key Results Management by Objectives approach Developed by Intel Used at Google Easier to understand and better described than alternatives for eg. Salesforce’s V2Moms More than 7 startups provide SaaS applications for OKRs They produce lot of educational material while doing content marketing
  6. 6. Objective - what we want to achieve Qualitative and inspiring KRs - Key Results „As measured by…” They state if the objective was met
  7. 7. Successful launch of product X - 500.000 daily users of free version - 8% conversion rate to paid option - Net Promoter Score 75% - Less than 5 critical mistakes The example from a typical presentation: goal written in OKR approach Most materials focus on the formal side "how to write the OKRs" Meanwhile OKRs are also...
  8. 8. Process of: - Choosing what is important - Defining exciting goals and finding the right measures (form) - Communicating priorities Focus and Approach Approach affects culture of an organisation as an effect of two assumptions of OKRs: 1. Objectives are set on the team level (60% bottom-up). 2. Stretch Goals plus no compensation
  9. 9. a manager is responsible for the contributions that his component makes [..] This requires each manager to develop and set the objectives of his unit himself. Higher management must, of course, reserve the power to approve or disapprove theses objectives. But their development is a part of a manager’s responsibility Peter Drucker „Practice of management” 1954 60 % of OKRs are written by units Method focuses on communicating business goals
  10. 10. The Queen: Spain's wealth Columbus: New way to the East Example of goal cascade given by A.Grove’a, in one of the best books on management
  11. 11. Source:OBJECTIVES & KEY RESULTS, John Doerr 11/05/2014
  12. 12. The steps in the process „The board” defines priorities and high level goals Units decide how to support organization goals They consult their OKRs with bosses …past period is scored OKRs are published The process begins from a board meeting Afterwards goals are published Then units choose theirs The whole process should take no more than three weeks
  13. 13. Recommendations for execution period Do not change OKRs Print them, stick on the nearest wall Use in meetings and reports Make regular checkpoints Breathe You should go back to OKRs in the time of execution regularly at meetings and during conversations. It perpetuates priorities and helps to retain focus.
  14. 14. Source:OBJECTIVES & KEY RESULTS, John Doerr 11/05/2014
  15. 15. We measure to know the progress Scoring less important than setting Goals should be very ambitious Approach has to inspire to take risks
  16. 16. Stretch goals vs „performance and bonus” Stretch goals are one of the most important assumptions of OKRs Good score is 0,6-0,7 (60-70 proc.) Do not tie to the bonuses, do not punish for not achieving KPI - for processes, OKRs - strategy execution and new peaks There are problems with this, especially in organizations using KPIs This can be reconciled, but you have to find your own solution
  17. 17. Steps for implementing We admit that we have a problem Learning about the method Joint decision of board (full buy-in) - small chances for success without buy-in Pilot + Training Q1 Recurring: Conclusions + evaluation + training
  18. 18. Challenges and recommendations Need to adapt to organization Keep 60% bottom-up Issues and projects that last more than 1Q "Public" goals Tools: spreadsheet for start + Directly Responsible Executive (C-level) Q1 will not be perfect… Q2.. the same
  19. 19. Typical mistakes Too many Formally wrong - KRs don’t describe progress of an Objective Planning instead of measuring results Conflicting Goals of collaborating teams Lack of post-mortem
  20. 20. Lessons from Zalando Measuring team’s level of happiness… No central process for OKRs Central support to facilitate drafting sessions Zalando wide OKR alignment week OKR committee to ensure enough bottom-up OKRs All-Hands meetings where grades are shared Source: http://blog.perdoo.com/how-zalando-sets-goals/
  21. 21. Our recommendations and conclusions Focus: max 5 x 4 for the whole org For every central KR exec as a DRI Alignment week Monthly check Expert team for improving the process From time to time check the fundamentals Training and improving never stops
  22. 22. Our “takeaways” - what we have from OKRs? Our "operating system" helps to align Communication - everyone knows the goals of the organization Regular conversations about important issues Discipline: rhythm and focus Clarifying responsibilities and ownership Help in planning and coordination History of activities and progress Employees appreciate and praise!
  23. 23. Thanks Tomasz Bienias twitter @tutebe