What are the challenges of implementing OKRs at an organizational level?

Challenge 1

Objectives are not Challenging Enough

If we talk about the common goal-setting approach, OKRs need a drastic shift. Typically, we set goals with the prenotion that employees should achieve 100% of their goals. If they fail to do so, they aren’t working effectively.

The Solution

In the OKR framework, we have stretch goals or moonshots that push employees to extend their boundaries, innovate, and start to tackle their ambitious goals. As you set challenging goals for your employees, they may hit 70-80% out of 100, implying they have accomplished more than they would have otherwise. Remember, stretch goals may be challenging, but achieving them should not be impossible.

Challenge 2

Linking OKRs With Employee Compensation

You must understand that OKRs help your employees to push boundaries and accomplish their aspirational goals. This implies that if employee compensation is linked to goal completion, employees may make less effort to push their creative boundaries.

The Solution

Here, the best bet is to delink employee compensation from their goals.

Challenge 3

The Set and Forget Mindset

You can’t set OKRs, say for a quarter, and then forget them for that period. The days of setting a goal and forgetting it till the quarter ends are gone.

The Solution

OKRs should be planned, discussed, rolled out, reviewed, and measured week-by-week. Objectives and key results (KRs) bring the agile goal-setting method to your organization.

Challenge 4

Too Many Objectives or Key Results

Another challenge behind implementing OKRs at an organizational level is to have too many objectives or key results.

The Solution

Typically, you should create 3-5 objectives per quarter, each objective having 3-5 key results. You thus enable contributors and teams to stay focused and manage their workload.

Challenge 5

KRs are not Quantifiable

If your key results are not quantifiable, you follow the wrong practice. Avoid doing that at all costs.

The Solution

As objectives become big-picture goals, ensure you can measure if or not the set goal was accomplished. The metrics of key results may be percentage, currency, yes or no, and numbers. You may choose a metric to choose your progress on the KR.

See Unlock:OKR Live in Action