chapter 5

How To Overcome The Challenges Of OKR | Chapter- 5

Many startups will set up OKRs and forget about them and then return to their previous activities. It’s easy to misjudge the scope of this change and, as a result, fail to use a change leadership approach founded in behavioral and cultural change to execute OKRs. OKRs are all about transparency, and keeping them hidden prevents accountability and alignment. 

Solution – Review OKRs frequently

Teams should track critical results every week and build regular OKR reviewing habits as a team to enable cross-functional talks about how to accomplish the desired result best. Otherwise, you’ll be considerably off course by the end of the quarter.

  • Challenge –  Not appointing an OKR Champion

When OKRs are introduced to an organization, there is almost always a learning curve and certain hurdles. The senior team’s responsibility is to assist in breaking down those barriers. To ensure a successful rollout, senior leaders should select and engage with an OKR Champion.

Solution – Having a Champion for your OKRs from the Top Down

Executive leadership support and a champion are required for an effective OKR program. You might have a team with various roles, but the OKR champion is critical for holding everyone accountable for OKR completion. An OKR Champion is akin to a Blackbelt in Lean 6 Sigma, and their assistance can be crucial to the methodology’s success

  • Challenge –  Failing to Develop an OKR Playbook

If individuals who must utilize OKRs don’t grasp how they work, it might lead to extra effort and misunderstanding.

Solution-  Keep a Record of the Process and Share it with Others

We recommend that you create a playbook to ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page. It’s also critical to publish OKRs so that everyone on the team can see them and understand how they’re being implemented.

  • Challenge – Failing to Communicate the Importance of OKRs

Without much context or explanation, the leadership team and employees are frequently told that the organization is using OKRs. As a result, there is little buy-in to the “why OKRs” question, which can cause uncertainty and raise friction toward implementation.

OKRs are sometimes misunderstood as just another task or fad to add to already overburdened employee schedules.

Solution –  Concentrate on the Team’s Advantages. Concentrate on the Team’s Benefits

Everyone wants to know that their work has an enormous impact and that it matters to the organization as a whole. Teams that collaborate with a goal in mind perform better. Reminding your teams that you trust them and then enforcing that trust in how you work toward your objectives provides that incentive.

  • Challenges – Employees are Not Being Trained or Engaged

A lack of clarity and direction in a team often leads to poor results and unhappiness among all members. Rolling out OKRs too rapidly or widely without enough buy-in from the organization or training is often the leading cause of poor OKR implementation and the reason for so many failed attempts to deploy the technique. Training on OKRs as a technique, which provides context into the “whys and hows” OKRs would be explicitly used in your firm, helps achieve buy-in.

Solution –  Educate and Involve Everyone in the Process

Educating and involving everyone in OKRs will be critical to the organization’s success. It will be critical to perform training at all levels of the organization before the commencement of the first OKR cycle, including OKR writing workshops and OKRs for team leads. Maintaining transparency and incorporating everyone in weekly updates as the OKR process matures will keep teams aligned and assist in anticipating any challenges or roadblocks.

  • Challenge-  Having an Excessive Number of OKRs

Although OKRs are intended to identify no more than 3 to 5 priorities, leaders can overextend themselves, resulting in a slew of additional Objectives. Delays and slower execution might result from a lack of prioritizing the essential few objectives that drive breakthrough performance. Instead of adopting OKRs for their intended purpose of goal planning and prioritization, some organizations try to capture all of their work and projects in them.

Solution – Less is More When it Comes to OKRs

Organizations, teams, and individuals who divide their attention between too many goals are inevitably less focused on the most important ones. We recommend that each target contain 2-4 objectives and 3-5 key results.

Tasks, not outcomes, are the focus.

The majority of businesses are accustomed to creating project plans for deliverables. This is crucial for execution, but a change from tasks and projects to results is essential when it comes to goal-setting. It’s easy to go from the desired outcome to the specific steps required to attain it.

OKRs are not to be confused with tasks. Knowing what goals you want to attain helps you identify the projects that will help you get there. Don’t be too specific. As new knowledge becomes available, a watertight strategy will choke out originality and innovation at the start of the process.

Although projects are linked to OKRs and aid in their completion, they are usually tracked in a different system than OKRs.

  • Challenges – OKRs are Either too Unrealistic or Simple

Although OKRs are intended to push the organization, they are frequently achieved through “business as usual” operations, indicating that they aren’t challenging enough. OKRs might also feel unachievable at times, signaling that they are unrealistic and overly complicated. Employees can see nonsense when they see it, and goals established too far in the future will not mislead (or motivate) anyone.

Solution – Strike a balance between aspirational and achievable goals.

It’s critical to establish a balance between ambitious and achievable objectives. While no OKR should be easy, balancing the two will test employees while also ensuring that they feel like contributing to the organization’s larger aims.

  • Challenge –  Only Setting Top-Down Goals

It’s tempting to assign OKRs to everyone in the company. However, if all of your objectives fit neatly into a parent/child tree, your team is undoubtedly not thinking creatively, taking chances, or displaying initiative. It also makes it challenging to achieve organizational alignment and buy-in.

Solution – Teams develop their OKRs that align with the company’s overarching plan.

Before bringing the entire business together to understand and challenge their alignment with your overarching vision, invite teams at all levels to establish their OKRs.

 In the end, you want to develop a process where teams feel empowered to create their OKRs, and then push teams across the company to ensure they’re focusing on the correct priorities at the right time. This method encourages innovative thinking and calculated risk-taking, all in the name of propelling your company forward.


1. What Is The Connection Between OKRs And Workflow?

Aside from managing deadlines, one of the biggest concerns in any workflow is maintaining concentration. However, clearly stated objectives aid in the accomplishment of baseline targets. As a result, unneeded goals and distractions can be eliminated. At the same time, the attention is unrivaled.

2. Do OKRs Help To Achieve Goals In A Dispersed Setting?

The term “distributed” has a broad definition. Its concept and variants differ depending on the type of work.

You’ll need to set up workspaces with people who can provide constructive input on accomplishing OKR-related goals and settings in a dispersed context.

You’ll be able to obtain “relatively” quantitative results. Aside from that, keep an eye on essential assignee duties, responsibilities, and deliverables to ensure a smooth transition from point A to point B.

3. Can OKRs Be Changed Or Updated On A Regular Basis?

Ideally, objectives should be defined for a year and revisited once a year. Key Results, which are evaluated and updated on a monthly/quarterly basis, should be reviewed and updated as needed. Setting shorter Key Results has the advantage of allowing firms to quickly respond to changing business needs.

4. What Would Constitute A Major Failure In The Setting Of OKRs?

When you don’t keep the big picture in mind, you’ll end up wasting resources. Clear communication with the team is critical since it reveals their part in the wider scheme of things, and employees will eventually realise how their duties contribute to the team’s success.

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