Entrepreneurial, proactive groups are being formed in the organizations so that they can meet customers' expectations and deliver flawlessly on top priorities.

Dev teams are working directly with customers to not just release yet another MVP but to deliver value to the end user. This practice is no longer new but a ubiquitous one. Without a doubt, Agile at Scale is here to stay!

Cross-functional teams are at the core of Agile at Scale. By working with more than 300 customers, we've seen cases in which cross-functional collaboration is crucial for achieving success.

This guide is about how to set OKRs for cross-functional teams to inspire transparency, collaboration, and focus and ensure effective utilization of Gtmhub.

Approach #1: The CEO of the company sets a strategic priority for the organization:

Let's take a look at the example below: 

As shown, the CEO of the company has set an annual Objective for the company and has assigned 5 KRs to it who has 5 different owners - sales, customer success, sales enablement, growth, marketnig and communications, respectively: 

O: Skyrocket our revenues again /CEO/
KR #1:
 Achieve at least 10% month-over-month growth /sales/
KR #2: Re-activate 50% of the existing customers /Customer success/
KR #3: TCV of each new deal to stay above $50K /sales enablement/
KR #4: Net monthly churn to decrease to 7% /growth/
KR #5: Strategize for retention /Marketing and Communications/

So, here's what the CEO did in this particular case: 

  • ensured that this OKRs belongs to the most appropriate session*:

*In this case, the session is an annual one that signifies for more strategic intent than setting an OKR in a quarterly session, for instance.

  • set a highier-level Objective that belongs to the "Annual OKRs 2020" session:

*A higher-level Objective is an Objective that is marked as a priority one and/or is set in an annual (or 3-/5-year-long) session.

  • tagged the Objective with relevant tags for quck filtering options:
  • assigned specific Key Results to teams*:

*Pointing out specific owners signifies for accountability and clear progress tracking. 

  • assigned tasks to particular members being dedicated with a Key Results:

By doing all this, the CEO of the company ensures that everybody's effords are: 

  • focused on achieving a top-level priority;
  • aligned and transparent to everybody in this cross-functioning project;
  • progress is easily trackable.

Pro-tip:

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-/mid-term goals has the highest priority. As a result of this, priorities are determined, focuses is narrowed down, and resources are allocated in the most effective way. 

Pro-tip:

Another variation of this scenario is for the CEO to set his own OKRs and then having the involved stakeholders (both teams and team members) set their OKRs that will be directly aligned to his Objective.

Approach #2: Cross-team collaboration is needed to deliver on a specific project:

Let's take a look at the example below:


O: Develop a new EEG headset prototype /Lyubo Mir, the owner of the project/
KR #1:
 The speed of the first production batch to increase by at least 25% /Audrey White, head of the production team/
KR #2: New European manufacturers to be interested to co-produce the first batch /Dan Harris, /
KR #3: Generate interest from new industrial designer /Brandon Gibson, designer/

So, here's what the Lyubo Mir - as being the owner of the project - did in this particular case: 

  • Ensured that this OKRs belongs to the most appropriate. In this example, this is a short-term (quarterly) OKRs so Lyubo Mir ensured that it belonged to the most current quarterly session in his account (Q3).
  • tagged the Objective accordingly;
  • involved every individual from different teams to promote inclusion and cross-collaboration;

Additional Comments about Approach #1 and Approach #2:

  1. The approach #1 shows how teams collaborate when there's a strategic company priority set by the CEO. Please note that a slight variation is possible here in which the CEO points out what the direction is but the high-level Objective might be also owned by a team (say, the Company, for instance).

    2. The approach #2 shows how individuals from different teams collaborate towards achieving a commong goal.

    3. In both cases, the CEO and the project owner applied quite а similar approach: they both made sure that the OKRs they set belonged to the right session; they taggeed the OKRs so that it can be easily found and filtered out; they inclided specific stakeholders on a team and individual level.

Takeaways:

  1. There's no right or wrong approach when setting OKRs. It's important to remember that OKRs follow your organization's goal-setting processes and needs.
  2. Co-owning an Objective and/or Key Result has been a debate that we have had with a lot of customers. In general, shared ownership is NOT recommended since responsibility cannot be shared either. Having said that, it must be crystal clear who owns an Objective and who - a designated Key Result.
  3. Both team and various team members can own specific Key Results that are assigned to Objectives or they can also set OKRs that are aligned with a higher-level Objective. Alignment is a must-have since it's the basis of progress tracking and attainment aggregation.
  4. In this guide, 2 particular examples have been illustrated. However, there are many more scenarios that can be taken into consideration. The most important thing to remember is that Gtmhub is made with an "Agile at Scale" in mind so that you can set your OKRs suitably and become even more successful.

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