Congratulations! So you have decided it is time to increase your company´s growth, productivity, transparency, alignment and communication by introducing OKRs. Now you are probably wondering how to convince everybody else at the company of the benefits of this change and bring them on board, and make them willing to go through with the changes. Here are some recommendations on how to approach introducing the OKR management tool into your company and make OKRs a success.

1. Pitch

Pitch to your company and sell the OKR goal setting method. As in almost all situations, people will most probably be reluctant to any changes. When covering the basics, talk about at least these 3 points:

2. Set a Pilot Phase

Set an initial pilot phase with a time period of 3 – 6 months, setting only one company and team-level objective (you can start with one team only at this trial stage). Include everybody to brainstorm on this company objective, which should be aligned with the company's vision, strategy and mission.

3. Launch the Project

Officially launch and announce the project. Consider an official company presentation and set success criteria for your pilot phase. You can even use key results to determine how you will measure success. Announce the company's OKRs to the whole company.

4. Hire an OKR Coach

Consider hiring an OKR coach for this phase to help you and your team to draft and refine your OKRs.

5. Prepare for Resistance

Be prepared for resistance. People will most probably try to resist as they try to resist any other major changes. If resistance persists and you are an advocate of the OKRs (but not the CEO), consider giving it some time and try again to overcome resistance later.

6. Answer the Following Questions

After the initial introductory phase is over, and in order to make the OKR setting easier, think about the following:

  • What will be the scope and level of deployment (company-, team-, business unit- or individual level)?
  • Who will be using them (execs only, team leads, individuals)?
  • Will OKRs be cascading top down, or will you start bottom up and then get approval at the management level?
  • Who will lead and coordinate the OKR process? Will you name an OKR champion? It could be the CEO, the COO, the HR Manager or somebody else.
  • What is the most suitable cadence of the OKRs in your company? Most companies set their OKRs quarterly, some every 6 weeks.
  • What resources will you dedicate to support the introduction (software, coaching…)? If you are a startup, maybe sophisticated software tool will not be necessary.

7. Prepare to Fail

Be prepared to fail. You will most probably fail at first when trying out OKRs at the company. Try again. It will take two to three shots. But most importantly, do not give up! Eventually, you will reap tremendous benefits throughout your company!