Sep
18

What are OKRs and How Can They Benefit Your IT Firm?

What are OKRs and How Can They Benefit Your IT Firm?

September 18
By

There are dozens of ways for your organization to grow and become more efficient. You can simplify your product and service offerings so employees can focus efforts on a smaller number of things. You can adopt the latest technologies (such as hyper-converged infrastructures) to save time managing systems. But outside of re-thinking how you provide solutions to your customers, setting solid objectives is another way to improve.

What Are OKRs?

Year 2018 to do list concept by notepad with list number and pen on calendar.

Objectives and key results, or OKR, is a system for creating goals, tracking your progress, and analyzing outcomes. Each quarter you’ll set 3-5 objectives for your company and what results you hope to see. Likewise, employees will work with their managers to set their own OKRs. Employee goals will usually relate to an individual’s contribution to the larger company goals, but will also incorporate personal career goals.

Benefits of OKRs

OKRs are great for organizations of any size, whether you’re running a solo operation or you have dozens of workers. In general, here are the main benefits to using OKRs.

More Productivity. When employees know company goals, they can determine how their goals will affect the organization. OKRs give employees clear objectives to meet and metrics they should track to determine how successful they are. This improves their efficiency, cuts out non-essential work, and keeps everyone moving in the same direction.

Better Decision Making. When companies track OKRs quarterly, they have clear metrics that help them see where bottlenecks are, where they can make improvements, and which areas of the business are falling behind. This lets them more allocate resources to areas that need them the most.

OKR Examples

While an objectives can be broad, key results should be specific and measureable. Most companies will have three to six OKRs for the company, and three to six for each employee. Here are a few example OKRs for an IT firm that wants to grow in size and improve customer service and an IT technician who works for the firm.

Company-Wide OKRs

  • Objective: Increase revenue by 25 percent
  • Key results:
    • Increase client base by 35 percent
    • Sell new add-on services to 25 percent of client base
  • Objective: Improve customer satisfaction
  • Key results:
    • Improve customer satisfaction rating from 3 stars to 4
    • Achieve net promoter score of 8.0
  • Objective: Achieve more aggressive service levels
  •  Key results:
    • Close support tickets 20 percent faster
    • Reduce support tickets by 20 percent

Personal OKRs for IT Technician

  • Objective: Reduce number of support tickets
  • Key result:
    • Build list of top 10 client issues
    • Create a self-help content for end-users that addresses each of the 10 issues
  • Objective: Close support tickets more efficiently
  • Key result:
    • Complete basic support issues within 4 hours
    • Complete advanced support issues within 24 hours

Resources

To get you started right away, here are some OKR essentials you can’t miss:

 Last Thoughts

Having an OKR can rejuvenate your organization. If you’re wondering how to grow, become more productive, or amp-up operations, OKRs are a fantastic way to make it happen. Don’t wait to start implementing objectives. Develop company-wide OKRs now and challenge your employees to create their own. Give them a deadline, then schedule an all-hands meetings to chat about initiatives and individual contributions. Don’t set your goals and move on. Let them drive every decision you make and follow up on them each quarter. In no time at all, you’ll see massive improvement you can measure.