How to Properly Conduct OKR Evaluation to Keep Your Team Aligned
OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a recent leadership base that helps organisations set, communicate, and measure their goals. The main goal of OKRs is for every member in the organisation understand the objectives of the company through a set of specific and measurable goals.
When the OKRs are set, it´s necessary to evaluate them at least two weeks before the quarter ends. You need to assess whether your team has been successful, whether your department has achieved goals or whether your team´s key results were effective. You also need to plan for your OKRs in the next quarter.
To have an effective way of evaluating the OKR of your team or department, there are two ways to do this: 1. Confidence Rating 2. Grading Approach. Let´s take a look at both.
OKR Evaluation – Confidence Rating
This is a simple method that is normally used by start-ups or smaller teams that are new to OKRs. When setting OKRs, confidence rating demonstrates the probability of the team achieving their objectives.
The rating scale is typically between 5-10. Every week, team members are asked whether their confidence level has changed. They show what they have done so far in achieving their key results, whether they are on track or not. They look at every kind of data from previous weeks and check whether the team is making progress or getting closer to their goal.
You as the manager or leader is in charge of adapting the confidence to a higher rating as your team becomes more confident when they get closer to the desired result.
The confidence level can always change from week too week, however, after two months of OKR implementation, the confidence level should appoint a more stable outcome.
There are two major advantages using confidence rating in OKR evaluation:
- Reminder for employees to keep track of their OKRs – Since your team is asked each week about their confidence level, they have a possibility to track their own progress and ensure they are focused on their key results. It´s an easy and effective way for a company to set the habit of success tracking.
- Creates a way to meaningful conversations – When the confidence level drops, you can talk about what can be done better, what has gone wrong and what could have been done differently. Your teams can brainstorm ideas to correct this and get back on track.
Team´s OKR can affect everyone else´s OKR and this can be a concern for the entire organisation. Therefore, you as the leader, should feel comfortable to open conversations and ask team members what can you do to help.
By the time you assess your department’s OKRs, you either mark your confidence level as 10 or 0. If they achieve two out of their three key results, it means the OKR has been successful.
This grading system helps a team double down on possible goals and get rid of efforts that are clearly out of range. This streamlines processes and eliminates unnecessary efforts.
The drawback is that some employees might misuse this system by setting one easy, one difficult, and one impossible objective. The manager´s role is to ensure this doesn´t happen.
OKR Evaluation – Grading Approach
At the end of each quarter, teams and individuals grade their results using the data they collected. They use grading scale between 0-1. A grade 0 means a failure, 1 means a total success, however, the ideal score is between 0.6-0.7. Having a score lower than 0.6 means that the team is not achieving what it needs to be achieved.
Many companies fail to define a set of scoring criteria, which is a crucial element of key results. The scoring criteria are necessary if you, for example, want to use a standardised scoring system for your company and it must be defined with the creation of the OKRs. So if you want to finalise Key Results, you have to first define your scoring system and guideline.
Before you assign a final score, it is advised to do a mid-quarter check-in for everyone to find out whether they´re on a good track to achieving the desired result. Some organisations do a midpoint check, some prefer doing a monthly check.
It is a great idea if you give your employees the freedom to accomplish the goals. It is advised to keep OKRs visible, it does not only promote transparency across teams, but it´s also an effective strategy to communicate scores and establish a sense of accountability. Everyone will be “forced” to update their ratings when the quarter is almost over.
Gathering your teams for feedback is always the best way. Collaboration is the key to success in implementing a change, new process, or a different management framework. It can get really challenging to keep things in order and implement OKRs smoothly, however, with a scoring method in place, it makes it easier to evaluate your OKRs.
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