Dear Andy: Getting Team Buy-In To Do OKRs
My team has recently decided to implement OKRs. Several people are excited to have a concrete, simple to use method. At the same time they are afraid of the additional burden OKR meetings and reporting might create.
Do you have any hints on how to integrate or introduce OKRs so people do not feel that it will be a lot of additional work?
Thanks for writing in! That is a great question and one we receive often. We at the What Matters team completely understand the hesitance some folks have about starting OKRS—trying new things is hard! Fear not, though, as I have a couple of ideas here that should help assuage your team’s concerns.
First things first, let them know that OKRs, when done properly, are designed to make their lives easier. Ever heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder?” A team that uses OKRs effectively is high functioning and focused. We often spend too much time on the things that matter less at the expense of the things that matter more. The goal of OKRs is not to give your team extra things to do; it is simply a method of bringing what you need to get done into clearer focus. In other words, OKRs aren’t additional work, they’re the work.
How did you introduce your team to OKRs? Do you feel you set the right tone? You want to garner your team’s trust. It’s important they know OKRs aren’t just one more task thrust upon them by the folks at the top to make the company more money. They are a set of tools that will empower everyone to make the best choices to achieve the big-picture goals. From top to bottom, OKRs help your organization work as a team. Power to the people!
I’d also ask if you feel your team has the proper support to execute OKRs to the best of their abilities? Does everyone fully understand OKRs and why your company has decided to utilize them? A little education can go a long way. If you’ll pardon the shameless plug, our team has put together a fantastic (and free) series called ‘OKRs 101’ that beautifully teaches the building blocks. It’s an absolute must. Additionally, our website and Twitter are frequently updated with helpful stories, FAQs, and features (just like this one). We’re here to help!
It does get easier with time. The first time your team writes OKRs, they may have a strong desire to pull their hair out. But, with a little bit of practice and the proper guidance, they will become lean mean OKR machines in no time. Speaking of guidance, do you have an OKR Shepard set in place? An OKR Shepard guides a team through the entire process from start to finish and should be able to answer any questions that might arise. That person could be you or any member of the team that wants to do it.
Well, Eva, I hope this has been helpful for you. Thanks so much for writing in and please let us know if there’s any other way we can further help you and your team on your OKR journey. Best of luck!
-Billy from the What Matters Team
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