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 Quantive Results.
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:
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.
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.
When an objective is shared, ensure all stakeholders are aware of which KRs they are responsible for and how often these will need to be updated. Where dependencies occur, note these in the description, tasks or KR updates.
Both individuals and teams 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.