Agility and strategy:

A good fit?

Post for Agile learners posted on March 19, 2022

The OKR framework combines agile work at the process level with a strategic level. If Scrum answers the question of how I can iteratively work out solutions to complex problems with my team, then OKR, or Objective Key Results, provide an answer to the question of how strategic alignment is achieved at the enterprise level.

OKR, described on Wikipedia as a management system, helps to implement the strategic course of a company operationally while always keeping the achievement of goals in sight. OKR brings together what often exists side by side in companies: the bird's eye view of management in vision and mission broken down with the operational view of the feasibility of vision and mission at the department level.

OKR Mural This mural contains the most important aspects of OKR (Copyright © CONNECTINGSCIENCE)
The special added value of this framework is particularly evident in organizations that work agilely across departments. Here, the joint definition of objectives and key results can help keep the team's agreement with the goals high. Depending on the depth of integration of the framework in the company, the principle of self-organization extends over all departments or only over an operational level.

So why doesn't everyone use this goal-finding system? Above all, the cultural imprint of a company decides whether the OKR system can be meaningfully integrated into the corporate context. In hierarchical organizations, empowerment at the team level is associated with loss of control. However, when used correctly, OKR brings responsibility and trust to organizations. In the end, it is clear who will benefit from this system: the people working in the organization.