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ROB Part 3: Use your rhythm of business to refine & align OKRs

We’ve documented our current ROB and started getting our house in order by implementing new rhythms. So what steps are left in the phased plan that allow you to reach your operational excellence goals?

Refine & align OKRs

In order to drive your new ROB, your entire team needs to understand their roles and how their work supports the team’s goals, as well as track their progress.

Using your ROB, you empower your team to do the work that matters. They understand where they fit in the plan, feel supported, and have mechanisms for overcoming blockers or raising issues.

OKRs are an essential part of your ROB because they largely drive decision-making & prioritization.

Developing a robust ROB allows your team to get aligned on key priorities predictably and consistently. OKRs enable you to stay focused on what’s most important and determine how time is spent daily, weekly, and monthly.

Benefits of centering & aligning your OKRs
Start with a revision of your existing OKRs

This exercise will happen with, and likely be driven by, your leadership team. The goal is to build, test, and refine OKR scaffolding to train accountability and build execution muscles that can be carried forward as you make changes to your ROB.

Perform a comprehensive review:

Make the end product of this process visible to the rest of your org to show that you & the LT are aligned and committed to focusing on what’s most important for this quarter, year, etc. Your leadership team will drive alignment within their teams against these redefined priorities.

Set up quantifiable measures

You should always set quantifiable goals for your OKRs — but you should also have a set of metrics to judge your ROB efforts on. The benefits of having success metrics in place for your operational excellence programs are twofold:

  1. You build a supported narrative that you can bring to your peers and executive management to tell your leadership story around strong operations.
  2. Setting black and white goals can prevent backsliding and silent resistance to your ROB initiatives. You drive accountability and action by outlining a compelling destination and giving you team a way to track their progress.

Your metrics should be focused on understanding ROB-related outcomes. They could also be extended to culture, promotion, manager, or organizational health.

We’ll provide some options to choose from below. Craft your metrics based on your organizational culture.

Hold yourself accountable

You can build these metrics into your own OKRs or assign ownership across your team. For example, the metrics are owned by the Office of the Chief of Staff.

These can be explicit done or not done metrics and should be timeboxed:

Source your leadership team

Issue a survey to your LT before, during, and after the change initiative to get feedback on leadership response to organization challenges. These tend to be qualitative, but you can build in yes/no or scaled questions for comparison.

For example, using a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being “very ineffective” and 5 being “very effective”, how would you rate our collective leadership team on the following measures?

Leverage existing surveys

Does you company issue a quarterly or yearly survey to assess employee satisfaction? If so, you can leverage the existing survey results as a baseline to measure your ROB change initiative.

However, instead of waiting for the next survey cycle, sample your team’s progress against relevant survey questions at more frequent intervals. This will help you be more agile as you adjust your initiative to be as successful as possible in your org.

Look for measures in your company’s survey that are relevant to your ROB objectives. For example:

Your ROB toolkit

It can be hard to find a good starting point for your operational excellence goals. By optimizing your ROB, you are making those efforts real, visible, and measurable while keeping workflows rooted in the OKRs and priorities that really matter.

Continue your ROB journey with our series:

Photo by Manuel Nägeli on Unsplash

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