February 24, 2021

Q&A: Why OKR champions from Tucows love the goal-setting framework

Ally Technologies, Inc.

We recently chatted with two OKR champions, Karaka Leslie and Ariane Pinto, from pioneer internet and telecommunications company Tucows on what they love about using OKRs. Here’s what they had to say.

What is your OKR Superpower?

Ariane: Definitely Focus! It’s unbelievably easy to get swept up in your day-to-day work caving into the non-value-added work and losing sight of the work that matters. That’s why I am such a huge fan of the Focus superpower – it helps set the “why.” It challenges you to hone in on the work you and your leader have deemed important and acts as a great reminder as to why what you are working on is important when other items inevitably compete for your attention throughout the quarter.

What impact have OKRs had on your business?

Karaka: OKRs have been strategically important to our business for many years but we’ve deepened our focus within our People team practice with our recent transition to OKRs have helped us center our team conversations on key objectives, better prioritize and track our work and strengthen our alignment within the department.

Ariane: I’m a fan of OKRs as they help share the company’s strategic goals to all levels of the company. As a tool that supports the OKR methodology, in particular has made it easier to visualize the alignment of work to a leader’s vision, and has made it easy to capture cross-collaboration work in an organized manner. Very grateful that my colleague Gaurav Basnyat took this project on and helped the company transition to As an IC, I am aware of  the positive impact that comes with knowing what I am working on is of value to my leader and is tied to their vision; I personally appreciate how OKRs have encouraged more conversations about goal setting across the business.

What is one small change you’ve made to your OKR operations that has helped tremendously?

Karaka: When I started with the team in Q2 2020, I had suggested we do a SWOT analysis on our team to help us hone in on some of the areas we might want to deepen our OKR focus in for the next quarter. It was enlightening as someone new to the team but I think it’s also a great exercise to do at any time–and especially going into a new year.

Ariane: Making time for the end of quarter retrospective meetings. There is so much value in taking the time to pause and reflect on what worked, what didn’t, why, and what to do moving forward to improve. Retrospectives help remind me every quarter that OKRs are an iterative process and the goal isn’t perfection, it’s continuous improvement.

Favorite professional development resource:

Karaka: Dare to Lead podcast by Brene Brown

Ariane: Deep Work by Cal Newport

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