May 12, 2021 introduces more flexibility to OKR management

Manasa Manogaran
Manasa Manogaran
Product Marketing Manager at
Flexible OKRs

Use flexible OKRs to manage goals the way you want

Organizations now have more flexibility and customization options for their OKRs in The new capability gives you control over every aspect of alignment and contribution. This makes it easy to focus on the outcomes that impact objectives. With the new feature, organizations can now decide if they want to cascade key results as objectives or adopt a more classic style of OKRs. The best part is the ability of this OKR structure to evolve along with the organization.

Today, most businesses find it hard to find an OKR tool that works the way they do and usually end up putting the tool in front of their process and expect it to work. All businesses have goals and rhythms that might change as they continually review and create OKRs. In the classic OKR style, key results are defined as outcomes and metrics strictly used to measure the objective’s progress. But this might work differently for each organization. This creates a lack of clarity on what is rolling up to an objective’s progress and what’s not working.

“We’re thrilled to introduce a system that’ll help our customers get more focus and clarity on the business outcomes that matter.” CEO Vetri Vellore

Adding more flexibility and customization to how OKRs can be structured makes it easier to prioritize key results and metrics that impact the overall progress of the objective. This flexibility also enables organizations to choose and configure an OKR method that works best for their needs, at any given time. For example, you can decide if you want to create a key result or have a child objective under a parent objective.

“The customization capabilities enable customers to pick or create an OKR method that works the way they want it to. is the only tool that supports OKR flexibility with this level of customization, and we plan to introduce this configurability to the team level over time,” said Vellore.

The new OKR flexibility makes it easy to have objectives that are aspirational and key results that are measurable. The ability to see that in a single view gives a clear grip on what outcomes should be prioritized. admins can start exploring the configuration options today. Head over to the admin panel and navigate to the ‘OKR model configuration’ section to get started.

What is the classic OKR method? 

With the classic OKR method, company-level OKRs are shared, and teams and individuals are given the flexibility to define OKRs that will best align and accomplish the goals of the company. For example, a company key result could be, “Maintain an NPS score greater than 8” and a customer success objective below it could be “>4.5 CSAT score on implementations.” Even though the department objective is different from the corresponding company key result, the objective still aligns with the company-level goal.

What is the duality OKR method?

Have you noticed how an objective can be a key result or an objective depending on what level of OKRs you’re looking at? This is called OKR duality and it works like an inheritance model. 

To use a metaphor, if you create a top level objective with nothing above it, it’s always an objective and never a key result. We’ll call this one Grandma. If you then add a key result to Grandma, then Grandma becomes a parent and the key result becomes her child. Let’s call this first key result “Mom”, because she too will have children.

If you add another key result to the Mom key result, then the Mom key result becomes a parent too. Now Mom is a parent as well as a child – in other words – Mom is both an objective and a key result. She’s a key result to Grandma and an objective to her child. Mom is both things and will have a different identity depending on your viewpoint. From the child’s perspective: she’s an objective. From Grandma’s perspective, she’s a key result. 

What does this mean for your OKRs? Well, now that the objectives are aligned, changes will roll up through the chain of alignment (or inheritance) to affect progress accordingly. This is incredibly handy for alerting the team to potential pinch points and risk areas downstream because they will be reflected in top level objectives. 

Whichever OKR method you use, an OKR program will help your team and company gain greater transparency, focus and alignment to achieve your most ambitious goals.

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