Measure What Matters – OKRS – The Simple Idea That Drives 10 x Growth – John Doerr

Focus. There are never enough minutes in a day. True focus can be hard to achieve when running your own company. Your time can easily be eaten up with fire-fighting, trouble-shooting and delivering on your promise and value proposition.

All the more reason to take time out of your weekly schedule to consider your company’s progress – and more importantly – to focus on those over-reaching goals so that your team can ‘buy in to your vision’ and support you and your company.

Step forward John Doerr – the ex-Intel engineer who advised some relatively unknown software geeks on how to optimise their operations in their startup years. They were Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who still use Doerr’s ‘OKRs’ system to this day.

OKRs – objectives and key results – enable individuals and teams to set challenging ambitious goals with measurable results – allowing progress to be tracked and creating alignment within organisations. It’s a simple technique that has proved popular with startups, mega-corporations and even U2’s Bono.

In essence: choose no more than 3 goals per financial quarter. Each goal should typically have 4 or 5 measurable activities that support the goal. The goals and activities are then discussed with your team, and responsibility for the activities is delegated to team members. Progress is then checked on a weekly basis.

Team members are allowed to challenge new requests on their time that run contrary to their OKRs. Equally it’s an agile set up and the measurable activities, and even the goal may be tweaked as nothing is set in stone.

It’s really that simple.