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OKR management on monday.com

If you've been on the lookout for a solution to manage your business objectives, chances are you've run into the popular goal setting methodology OKR. Short for "Objectives and Key Results", OKR is a collaborative tool that allows you to set concrete goals in order to get measurable results, all while ensuring team transparency and alignment along the way.

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In this article, we'll introduce OKR and see how it can easily be implemented within your monday.com account. Let's get right into it! 🌟

 

What is OKR?

The OKR framework helps to strategize goal execution on the company, team, or personal level according to any chosen timeframe (typically per quarter). Within OKR, there are two main terms to be familiar with, objectives and key results, which together provide the ability for each person to prioritize, align, and measure the outcome of their work:

  • Objectives relate to specific, time-bound goals for the company, team, or employee.
  • Key results are targets, or milestones, that need to be completed in order to achieve the set objectives. For optimal outcomes, key results should be high-reaching, yet realistic, as well as time-bound and measurable.

Another aspect of this methodology is the collaborative team "grading" of each completed key result on a scale of 0-0.1 (or 0-100%). This typically occurs in recurring syncs which are done in a weekly or monthly cadence.

 

What are the benefits?

Now that you have more of an understanding on what OKR is, you may be asking yourself "how could my team and I benefit from using this framework?". In short, equipping your team with the OKR framework provides a sense of structure, alignment and direction towards larger goals, thereby enabling transparency, accountability and optimal impact within an organization.

Additionally, grading key results as a team provides the ability to reflect on and optimize the strategies in place in order to assess efforts and best prepare for the future ahead!

 

Setting up an OKR board

Using monday.com, planning out your OKR workflow has never been easier! As an example, we use the below board to lay out our company goals and strategies (OKR's) for the first quarter of the year.

 

 

While an OKR board can be fully customized to suit your own needs, we chose to structure our board as so: 

  • Board - to display our OKR's for the first quarter of the year.
  • Groups to outline each objective that we are working towards in Q1.
  • Items - to represent each of the key results which need to be completed for each objective
  • Columns - to display relevant data-points for each of our key results. We used column types such as the People, Status, Timeline, Formula Column (we'll touch on this in a bit!) and more, so we can track additional information and instantly see where each key result stands.
Tip: Check out this template which you can use to kickstart your OKR journey on monday.com!

 

Add granularity with Subitems

While outlining objectives and key results can be really useful in providing you with a bigger picture about the work that needs to be done, you may find the need to map out lower-level action items for you and your team. In the OKR world, these additional tasks within each key result are often referred to as "initiatives" or "tactics".

To add an extra layer of granularity and to help understand what needs to be completed for each key result, check out our Subitems!

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In our OKR board, we utilized Subitems to help provide tactical steps for our team to take in order to complete each key result. Furthermore, we added a few different column types here such as the Date, Tags, Numbers Column and more, to provide us with additional information.

 

Measuring key results

As mentioned previously, an important part of the OKR process is to have regular syncs to review and grade completed key results. For our workflow, we utilized the Formula Column to automatically calculate and display each grade at a glance based off of the "Grade Reasoning" Status Column.

Just watch how selecting a "Grade Reasoning" status instantly updates the "Grade" column according to the formula that we set!

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Formula:  IF({Grade reasoning}="Did not meet expectations",0,IF({Grade reasoning}="Met some expectations",50,IF({Grade reasoning}="Met most expectations",75,IF({Grade reasoning}="Exceeded expectations",100,0))))

 

Furthermore, at every sync we make sure to use the Updates Section of each key result to provide further insight on the grade it was given.

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Thanks to this set-up, we can keep our sync summaries and grades in context of the key results which they belong to. 🙌

Tip: You can add Conditional Coloring onto your board to highlight key result grades that are above or below a set value!

 

Visually display OKR data

Once your OKR board is up and running, you may prefer to visualize the information from your board in other ways in order to understand different angles of your data. For our workflow, we chose to set up the below stacked bar chart using the Chart View so we can easily see our objectives laid out as well as the ongoing progress for each one.

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With this Chart View in place, we can visually analyze the progression of each of our objectives for the quarter, making it a perfect tool to use with our team during our weekly syncs!

 

Creating OKR reports using dashboards

Finally, to aggregate OKR data from multiple boards into one visual overview, we put together the below Dashboard. This serves as a great tool for our management team, as well as individual employees, to easily understand different metrics about our OKR's at a glance! 

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Let's check out a few widgets that are useful for our OKR reports:

  • The Overview Widget to provide us with a quick understanding on where each of our quarterly OKRs stand.
  • The Numbers Widget to show us both the average grade of each completed OKR, as well as our average budget for each key result.
  • The Battery Widget to lay out the progress of all of our OKRs together in one place.
  • The Chart Widget to display a breakdown of the number of OKRs that each of our employees are in charge of.

 

Get creative!

These boards, views, dashboard widgets, and more are intended to be a starting point to help you get up and running with OKR management! You can use these exact suggestions if they're right for you, but don't be afraid to experiment and test out all of the amazing features on monday.com!

Make sure to check out other prepared templates and explore the Columns Center to see all of the ways you can use columns as building blocks to build your own unique board! You can also customize your own automations, enable loads of integrations, and pull in data from multiple boards into high-level dashboards to really connect the dots in your OKR processes.

 

If you have any questions, please reach out to our team by using our contact form. We're available 24/7 and happy to help!