Defining and achieving business objectives is essential for growth, but it’s not uncommon for teams to lose sight of long-term company objectives in favour of short-term, team-oriented goals. This can cause delayed or missed completion of company objectives, not to mention inefficient use of resources.
The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework is widely used throughout the technology sector. It helps align team efforts with business objectives, and helps measure progress along the way. First introduced at Intel in the 1980s, the OKR framework is championed today by tech giants including Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn. It involves setting goal-oriented objectives and milestones (called Key Results) for individuals and teams. The chosen objectives are clearly linked to strategic business goals, ensuring all team activity moves the company forwards.
Reed Professional Services offers OKR consultancy to help teams work more efficiently. Teams become data driven, and focus more on quality outcomes than quantity of output. Use of the OKR framework also improves measurability towards company objectives, and provides oversight and insight for those at the management level. We’ve provided OKR consultancy for several high-profile clients, including the BBC.
OKR Consultancy at the BBC
We’ve been working closely with the BBC since 2007, and have successfully delivered over 500 projects across multiple departments and initiatives. Many of these projects have been business transformation projects aimed at helping the BBC meet strategic business objectives. In 2018, RPS was invited to provide OKR consultancy to senior leadership to help them align their teams towards completion of business goals. Initial consultancy garnered such positive responses that RPS was asked to roll out the OKR framework to ten BBC teams, including iPlayer, television, and BBC Sounds.
Implementation of the OKR framework began with us providing training workshops to introduce teams to the framework and coach them through setting their own objectives and milestones. Teams were shown how to review and refine their OKRs, empowering them to make iterative improvements to their work practices.
We also provided a simple tool for use by team leaders and the senior leadership team, giving them visibility of all OKRs set by their teams. This overview of objectives and progress provides management the opportunity to prioritise projects, refocus teams, and effectively measure progress towards the BBC’s strategic 2020 business objectives.
Having seen the impact of OKR implementation on the initial 10 teams, BBC Sounds requested that we develop and run further workshops for the teams in Salford and London responsible for Native Apps, Responsive Web, and RMS. The workshops – delivered in December 2018 – were specifically tailored to the teams involved. Thanks to the previous rollout, we were able to demonstrate to them the effectiveness of the OKR framework using real world examples from within the BBC.