OKR Quarterly Rhythm

Overview

Monday CEO/Execs Output Areas Departments Frontl.teams
Q-9 Review Progress      
Q-8 Launch OKR process      
Q-7 Top 3 company KPIs      
Q-6   “how to get there” → Draft company OKRs    
Q-5 QBR: finalize comp.KPIs/OKRs      
Q-4 All-mgr meeting Finalize cross-functional KPIs and OKRs Finalize functional KPIs and OKRs  
Q-3 All-hands mtg     Finalize team KPIs and OKRs
Q-2   Confirm OKR teams Confirm OKR teams  
Q-1 Final “how to get there” presentations      
Q+1 Start tracking Start tracking Start tracking Start tracking

OKR Process Initiation

Q-9: 9 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

  1. The Executive Team reviews progress versus annual KPIs and OKRs.
  2. The Chief of Staff launches quarterly data gathering efforts such as employee surveys.

Q-8: 8 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

The Chief of Staff initiates the OKR Process:

  1. By creating a “blank sheet” for next quarter’s OKRs
  2. By asking CEO and CFO to confirm the company’s (3) most important numerical targets for next quarter.

Q-7: 7 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

CFO sends out:

Each company KPI should have at least one Output Area that can influence its outcome directly.

Each Output Area should have at least one company KPI that they can influence the outcome of directly.

If multiple Output Areas can influence the outcome of a KPI directly, then that is even better.

Q-6: 6 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

Output Area Meetings

Key Company Executives gather per Output Area, with their key direct reports. This meeting usually takes 1.5-2h.

Key question to ask: how to fill the gaps

Each Output Area answers the following questions, for each company KPI:

  1. Do we drive this KPI, significantly influence this KPI or only marginally influence this KPI?
  2. For KPIs we are driving or significantly influencing,
    1. What will be the “going concern” result if we do nothing special, just routine day-to-day work?
    2. What will be the result if we push for improvements within the day-to-day work? Which lower-level KPI in particular could we improve?
    3. If a gap remains with the target, what project(s) or initiative(s) could we propose that would more than close the gap?
  3. For KPIs we are not driving or significantly influencing, what project(s) or initiative(s) could we propose to other output areas to close any gap?

Expectations: company-wide, long list, not approved yet

Output area leaders make clear that:

  1. The group should propose projects/initiatives both for their own area and for other areas.
  2. The discussion is about idea gathering/drawing up a long list—not about deciding/settling on a short list.
  3. No work is yet to be started on new projects/initiatives identified.

As output of the meeting, Each Output Area team produces:

  1. For each KPI, their draft “plan how the company can reach” each KPI, based on going concern, operational improvements, and projects/initiatives
  2. For each project/initative, a draft company OKR: one objective and up to three key results

Company OKR Decision

Q-5: 5 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

The $EXECUTIVE_TEAM meets in a Quarterly Business Review

KPI and OKR Cascading

Q-4: 4 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

  1. The $CEO announces the draft company KPIs and OKRs in an all-manager meeting.
  2. Executives meet with their Output Area teams to identify cross-departmental and departmental OKRs (see below for criteria):
  3. Output areas confirm the functional KPIs and OKRs each middle manager accepts responsibility for, leading up to and in the new quarter. Each middle manager confirms their (max 4) accountabilities in order of priority.

Q-3: 3 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

  1. The $CEO announces the draft company KPIs and OKRs in an all-hands meeting.
  2. All managers meet with their teams to set one or more team OKRs (see below for criteria)
  3. Departments confirm the functional KPIs and OKRs each team manager or individual contributor accepts responsibility for, leading up to and in the new quarter. Each middle manager or individual contributor confirms their (max 3) accountabilities in order of priority.

Preparing for successful launch

Q-2: 2 Mondays before the start of the next quarter

  1. Company KPI owners update their “how to achieve it” presentations on the basis of updated company, output area, functional and team KPIs and OKRs

  2. OKR owners confirm OKR team participants where necessary

Q-1: 1 Monday before the start of the next quarter

  1. In individual meetings, company KPI owners present their “how to achieve it” presentations to $CEO and interested members of the $EXECUTIVE_TEAM

  2. $COS and $CFO make any last-minute adjustment to KPIs and OKRs

  3. OKR owners start organizing their OKR team meetings, project space, tasks etc.

The first Monday of the next quarter

  1. The $CEO launches the new quarter with finalized KPIs and OKRs all-hands meeting.

  2. $EXECUTIVE_TEAM and all other teams use the new quarterly KPI/OKR sheet for tracking progress in their weekly meeting.