Author:
Billy Casey

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Dear Andy,

I’m from a small town in Michigan and am part of a humble but wonderful group of LGBTQ+ folks who want to throw our town’s first Pride! We’ve got the support (and funding) from the community we need…we just need to now figure out how to take these first crucial steps. Do you think OKRs are a good fit to help us organize this event?

Sincerely, Sasha

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Hi Sasha!

Thanks for writing in and Happy Pride! As a member of the community, myself, I know how important these events are, especially the first one. You made a wise choice in looking to OKRs to help you organize it—let’s see what we can do!

First things first, you need to write your Objective(s). This is your statement of purpose/priority and the rallying cry that will unify your team. Why are you bringing Pride to your town? What is it that you hope to accomplish? Are you looking to educate your town on LGBTQ issues? Maybe you want to foster fellowship among members of your community? Perhaps you just really want to throw the party of the year and have an amazing time. Whatever you choose for your Objective(s), make sure to use language that really speaks to you and your team. Don’t worry about being too formal! Personally, I’d go with something like ‘Gag the town with our eleganza extravaganza,’ but hey, it’s your event :)

Next up, time to write your Key Results or KRs. These are the numerically measurable benchmarks of change that will tell you whether or not your Objective is working. Say one of your Objectives was ‘Educate our town on LGBTQ issues’ — what does an educated town look like to you? How will you know once you’ve succeeded in your mission? Perhaps it could look something like this:

o
Educate our town on LGBTQ issues
kr1
X% drop in queer-specific hate crimes
kr2
Hand out X number of educational pamphlets
kr3
X% of participating groups are from the BIPOC and/or Trans community
kr4
X% increase in PFLAG or GSA attendance

Switching gears a bit, I know throwing a large-scale event like this requires a ton of organization and consideration. The transparent nature of OKRs makes them the perfect tool to help you keep what I assume will be a large number of team members and volunteers on track. Maybe consider an OKR along these lines:

o
Pride Goes Off Smoothly and Safely
kr1
Zero communication errors between volunteer shift changes
kr2
Events deter no more than 5 minutes off itinerary
kr3
Ratio of X security for every 500 attendees
kr4
Security firm is fully briefed on LGBTQ specific issues

As you’re going into this, remember that OKRs work best when the full team is consulted and everyone gets an opportunity to make their voice heard—communication is key. We also recommended regular check-ins to help your team stay motivated and disciplined. If you feel things are getting off track or your team is losing steam, look back to your original statement of purpose and make sure you’re in alignment with your initial goal. Here are a few more resources that can help you along your way: Get Started With OKRS, Common OKR Mistakes When Writing Them

Thanks so much for writing in, Sasha. Knowing how deeply personal Pride is to our community, I think you made a great choice in looking to OKRs as a means to help you express it. On behalf of What Matters, I hope this year’s Pride is everything you could ever wish for. Here’s to many more.

Sincerely, Billy from the What Matters Team

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