How to Use OKRs for Team Success, the Google Playbook, Part 4, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

Google has mastered the aspirational OKR, the “moonshot”. Search, Android, and Chrome are all excellent examples. The 2008 OKR, “build the next generation browser” took three years for Sundar Pichai to achieve. The result, one-hundred million Google Chrome users. In 2011 Pichai launched a Chrome marketing campaign, expanded distribution, and improved the technology. Year three featured cross-functional coordination and collaboration enabled by the OKR (Objective and Key Result) methodology.

In his recent book “Measure What Matters”, Doerr gives us a peek at the Google OKR playbook. Want to gain further insights as to how you can use OKRs like Google for superior results at your company? Read on.

Cross-Functional Teamwork

In the Chrome example Google needed participation from several different disciplines to achieve their goal:

  • Marketing
  • Product Development
  • Network Deployment

OKRs for each group were aligned to the “moonshot” and shared openly with the other teams. Performance and contributions were visible across departments. OKRs with their cascading of goals and visibility were ideally suited to enable this collaboration and employee engagement.

Most organizations require cross-teams to meet their corporate objectives; sales, marketing, product development, customer service. Once leadership sets the objectives and communicates them company-wide it is up to team leaders to ensure their OKRs support the organization’s priorities. With 360° visibility, it is easy to see if teams are duplicating efforts or are at cross-purposes. Silos become obsolete, replaced by connectivity and collaboration.

One of the essential features of OKRs is alignment. This alignment extends to teams and individual participants. And, this alignment, which is key to ensuring every employee is setting OKRs in support of the company’s overarching goals, is also responsible for ensuring cross-functional teamwork.

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!


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