As part of our remote working series, today we explore a topic that is crucial to evaluate a remote team: goal and performance tracking.
We’ll talk about this by exploring how the OKRs methodology applies to a remote setting, and how to implement it correctly.
Let’s dive in!
I’ll borrow a definition of OKR from Weekdone, a SaaS solution designed specifically for tracking :
Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a popular management strategy for goal setting within organizations. The purpose of OKRs are to connect company, team, and personal goals to measurable results while having all team members and leaders work together in one, unified direction.– Weekdone.com
Goals give people direction and motivation to move forward. To make sure these goals don’t end up actually impossible or unreasonable (resulting in undermining all the team’s efforts), leaders and managers must be very attentive in the goal-setting phase.
The SMART framework for goal setting is a starting point in defining the characteristic the goals should have to be actually attainable:
The OKR methodology takes it to a new level by putting the goal in the company context and in relation to each other. The objectives are the main goals that need to be achieved, while the key results are the metrics to keep an eye on to make sure the objective is within reach.
If you’re a manager o CEO in a remote team, you’ve probably trying to choose the best way to track goal and performance.
Is the OKRs methodology the right choice for a remote team?
To be honest, a lot depends on the team itself, the structure, what product/service you make, and the context of work.
It’s hard to make a blanket statement and say that OKR is a “one-size-fits-all” for all remote teams.
However, this methodology brings a series of benefits that apply well to the remote context:
The Timeneye team went remote during the COVID19 pandemic, and coincidentally this is the year we decided to implement OKRs for the first time.
These are the steps we’ve followed in the last few months, which I think will work for any manager of a remote team.
First thing first, you have to select your main objective(s).
To do so, you basically have to answer the question:
“What needs to be accomplished?”
The answer to this question will be your objective. When you select the objective for the team, make sure it’s aligned with the company goals.
Your objectives can vary depending of the type of business you’re in. Let’s say, for example, that you’re working at a SaaS company trying to make the business profitable. One objective can be:
Increase Monthly Recurring Revenue by 20%
Ideally, you should have no more than 3 objectives at the time.
If “What needs to be done” is the objective,
“How am I going to get this done ?”
is the key result. Basically, it’s metrics you’ll have to check to make sure you’ve achieved your objective.
If we go back to the SaaS example, some key results from our MRR objective could be:
Increase trial to paid conversion rate by X
Have at least 1000 monthly leads
And so on.
Remote teams rely on communication and trust.
Your team members should always be aware of the team (and company) objectives and what’s expected from them. It’s crucial that you share your thoughts on the goals before and after you have created. Not only it will support a culture of transparency but you’ll also get some feedback on the attainability of the goals from other people.
Make sure your team understand their role in the bigger picture of the company goals, and empower them to manage and update their progress.
Tracking is a fundamental part of any goals strategy, even more so with the ORKr.
There are a lot of software solutions out there to easily gather share and track OKR. If you’re part of a remote team, make sure to choose a tool that’s accessible online and easy to use.
In Timeneye, for example, we have been using Koan, which has a useful “Weekly reflection” feature that we use to update our weekly progress. Other popular tools for OKRs tracking are Weekdone, Perdoo, and Gtmhub.
Since you won’t be able to just walk to your teammates’ desk and watch them work (which you shouldn’t do anyway, but that’s another story), you can track the progression of their work using a time tracking tool.
Timeneye helps you see how your team has been allocating their time, keeping track of deadlines and time constraints.
Now you can start tacking how the team’s doing!
How do you track goals in your team? Let us know in the comments!