How should IT align its OKRs to the company’s OKRs?

I think it takes a top-down and bottom-up approach. You have to do both. We have been implementing OKRs, which I think is familiar to a lot of companies at this point. The OKR approach really helps drive from company objectives to product vision and objectives all the way on down to each department. This helps everybody to come together and coalesce to rally around those things. What are the key results that we are driving, and where are we adding accountability? But you also need a bottom up approach.  You have to speak with the teams and understand the pain points. Where are the bottlenecks, where are we being inefficient? And those, in turn, can also inform some of those objectives and help define key results, informed by KPIs etc. I meet regularly with key stakeholders, my peers, our leadership team, and the product team especially. We're joined at the hip on OKRs, so that way we're all moving in lock step, discovering opportunities to use all resources creatively and constructively. And then, at a micro level, we are ruthlessly agile on my team. I'm a big proponent of getting away from the waterfall mindset. It’s about being willing to shift when it's appropriate, and finding the resources and time to do the right thing as the world changes and the marketplace evolves.

Anonymous Author
I think it takes a top-down and bottom-up approach. You have to do both. We have been implementing OKRs, which I think is familiar to a lot of companies at this point. The OKR approach really helps drive from company objectives to product vision and objectives all the way on down to each department. This helps everybody to come together and coalesce to rally around those things. What are the key results that we are driving, and where are we adding accountability? But you also need a bottom up approach.  You have to speak with the teams and understand the pain points. Where are the bottlenecks, where are we being inefficient? And those, in turn, can also inform some of those objectives and help define key results, informed by KPIs etc. I meet regularly with key stakeholders, my peers, our leadership team, and the product team especially. We're joined at the hip on OKRs, so that way we're all moving in lock step, discovering opportunities to use all resources creatively and constructively. And then, at a micro level, we are ruthlessly agile on my team. I'm a big proponent of getting away from the waterfall mindset. It’s about being willing to shift when it's appropriate, and finding the resources and time to do the right thing as the world changes and the marketplace evolves.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
In IT, there are mainly two kinds of things we do. One: we manage and support the users on the existing services. Two: we deploy the new services. The top priority is that the user is not stuck or blocked. We call that ‘Keep The Lights On’ (KTLO), so that's something everybody focuses on. KTLO work has priority. And after that comes the OKRs: where the department is going, where the company is going. And then comes the other work: assessing new tools, working for a requirement for the other team, building new capabilities. We funnel all of that work through our agile methodology. We do a monthly sprint in which we decide how much is the availability for the projects? Based upon the availability, we get the requirements related to the OKR from the other teams, and then we prioritize the requirements based upon the business value it brings. Sometimes we are able to quantify, sometimes we are not able to quantify, but then we try to address from a business impact perspective. There are certain things that are time born that we have to put ahead (e.g., a ServiceNow upgrade, a Salesforce upgrade). We list those in our monthly sprint. Then, we prioritize: high, critical high, moderate and low. Critical and high must be done that month; moderate and low are the ones that can be pushed to the second month, if something more urgent comes up. That's how we try to prioritize. So at a minimum, we do sprint planning once a month in which we talk about priority.  I have enabled my team to directly work with various business units, and I ask them to determine the priority of all the things they’re hearing. Then, if I have additional knowledge on what the department priorities are, I say, "Okay, there are two other things that have recently come in and that could affect things because there are certain things that management is looking for." So then I try to refine those priorities in that sprint planning meeting. But during the month, there is always something that comes up. When that happens, I try to assess if it can be pushed to the next month. If it cannot be pushed, then I meet with the team and then I reprioritize the work.
0 upvotes