Scaling agile within your organization depends on cross-functional team collaboration. This article guides you how to set OKRs for cross-functional teams to inspire transparency, collaboration, and focus and ensure effective utilization of Gtmhub.

You should aim for the following:

  • Form entrepreneurial, proactive groups in your organizations, so that they can meet customers' expectations and deliver flawlessly on top priorities.

  • Urge development teams to work directly with customers to not just release yet another MVP, but to deliver value to the end-user.

Cross-functional teams are at the core of Agile at Scale. When setting goals for cross-functional teams, there are the following approaches:

  • Top down
    The CEO of the company sets a strategic priority for the organization.
    This approach requires teams collaborate when there is a strategic company priority set by the CEO.

  • Bottom up
    To deliver on a specific project, cross-team collaboration is involved in setting the objective.
    This approach requires individuals from different teams to collaborate towards achieving a common goal.

Example of Top-down approach

The CEO of the company has set an annual objective for the company and has assigned five key results to it, which have five different owners - Sales, Customer success, Sales enablement, Growth, and Marketing and Communications. The CEO also create five tasks, assigned to particular team members.

Objective: Skyrocket our revenues again

Assigned to: Andrea Hill, CEO

Session: Annual OKRs 2020

Tags: highest-priority, ceo, company-level-okr

Key results: The objective has the following key results, assigned to teams:

  • Achieve at least 10% month-over-month growth
    Assigned to: Sales

  • Reactivate 50% of the existing customers
    Assigned to: Customer success

  • Keep TCV of each new deal above $50K
    Assigned to: Sales enablement

  • Decrease net monthly churn to 7%
    Assigned to: Growth

  • Strategize for retention
    Assigned to: Marketing and Communications

Tasks: The objective has the following tasks, assigned to team members:

  • Come up with a retention plan for success
    Assigned to: Rebeca Wilson, Sales

  • Make a list of 50 companies to test the strategy
    Assigned to: Will Carson, Sales enablement

  • Analyze the gathered data
    Assigned to: Jill Manson, Marketing and Communications

Goals: In this example, the CEO goals are the following:

  • Set a higher-level objective
    A higher-level objective is an objective that is marked as a priority and is set in an annual session.

  • Ensure this OKRs belongs to the appropriate session
    In this case, the session is annual that indicates more strategic intent, rather than setting an OKR in a quarterly session.

  • Tag the objective with relevant tags for quick filtering options.

  • Assign specific key results to teams
    Assigning specific owners improves for accountability and clear progress tracking.

  • Assigned tasks to particular team members that are part of the teams, owning the key results.

Results: By doing all this, the CEO of the company ensured that everybody's efforts are:

  • Focused on achieving the top-level priority

  • Aligned and transparent to everybody in this cross-functioning project

  • Progress is easy to track

BEST PRACTICE: The best practice when it comes to setting OKRs, is to do this in a collaborative manner. This means that instead of cascading down OKRs, all the stakeholders should decide which of the near or midterm goals has the highest priority. As a result, priorities are determined, focus is narrowed, and resources are allocated in the most effective way.

NOTE: Another variation of this example is for the CEO to set her own OKRs and then involve the stakeholders - both teams and team members, to set their OKRs that will be directly aligned to her objective.

Example of Bottom-up approach

Because cross-team collaboration is needed to deliver on a specific project, the objective is assigned to the project owner. Together with the stakeholders, they created three key results, assigned to particular team members.

Objective: Develop a new EEG headset prototype

Assigned to: Helena Bell, Head of Product development

Session: Q3 2020

Tags: cross-team, product, prototyping, Q3-priority

Key results: The objective has the following key results, assigned to team managers and team members:

  • Increase the speed of the first production batch by at least 25%
    Assigned to: Audrey White, Head of Production

  • Find new European manufacturers to be interested to co-produce the first batch
    Assigned to: Dan Harris, Head of Growth

  • Generate interest from new industrial designer
    Assigned to: Brandon Gibson, Designer

Goals: In this example, the Head of Product development goals are:

  • Ensure that this OKRs belongs to the most appropriate person.
    In this example, the OKR is a short-term, quarterly OKRs, therefore, Helena Bell created it in the most current quarterly session in her account - Q3 2020.

  • Tag the objective accordingly

  • To promote inclusion and cross-collaboration, involved individuals from different teams.

Best practices

  • In general, shared ownership is not recommended, because the responsibility cannot be shared. It must be clear who owns an objective and who owns the key result.

  • Both team and team members can own specific key results that are assigned to objectives. They can also set OKRs that are aligned with a higher-level objective. Alignment is a must-have, because it is the basis of progress tracking and attainment aggregation.

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