When mpj first presented OKR monitoring in Notion to the Kulkul team a few months ago, he used SMART targets — in various places, ranging from documents to Kanban boards of some kind. Tracking goals become a crucial thing for a newborn company such Kulkul.
Months had passed since we first set our goals. Our goals were initially documented only as a list of items we wanted to do, along with their associated measurements. We later found that we had accomplished many things, but we had still strayed far from our initial goal. For instance, for the rest of the year, starting in August, we want to hold at least one event per month for a total of five events. However, we didn’t realize we were still far behind until October.
Mpj developed a strong desire to solve this dilemma (borrowing from Basecamp Shape-Up). Finally, we agreed to manage our priorities using OKR (Objectives Key Results) and better log it in Notion. And here’s a crucial point to remember from our process:
Tracking goals is satisfying
The obvious advantage of writing our targets in a standardized way is that we can keep track of them and handle them easily. For example, as a Chief Kul (read: CEO), mpj can quickly obtain answers to my frequently asked questions.
- What tasks have been completed and which have not?
- Are there some improvements we’ve made if the target hasn’t been completed?
- How much time can I devote to which part of our goal in the coming weeks or months?
Another advantage is that by linking our Kanban board mission to the OKR, we can conveniently monitor how we accomplished our target and investigate why any targets couldn’t be met.
Know our why
Knowing our why is the second most crucial advantage of tracking our goals, particularly in OKR format. Why do we want to meet those goals (Objectives), and what do we do about it? (Key Results). Previously, we just knew what we wanted to do from a list of targets, but not why. Knowing the Why is critical for a mission-driven company like ours.
Assigning and tracking goals to subordinates is a piece of cake
Since the notes are created digitally in Notion, as described in the previous blog post, they can be circulated worldwide, and everybody can feel a sense of intent. In addition, I can connect a specific role on our Kanban board to a particular Key Outcome, providing more context when solving a problem. From the beginning, we have had this value: we expect our employees to do the job and understand why they do so so that they can improvise and do their work differently while also fulfilling our ultimate goal.
…we expect our employees to not only do the job but also understand why they do so, so they can improvise and work differently while also fulfilling our overall goal.
People have an insatiable need to check things out.
Another thing I like is the dopamine rush that occurs when we work together to accomplish something. When we get closer to our target, I can tell that our team is making strides. And I enjoy the feeling of checking a checklist from our goals, particularly when it is done together when I accomplish a particular target.
…when we try things out, it’s not all about the dopamine rush; we’re improving.
We should confidently presume that it is the right thing when we review an item in our priorities and aligns with our intent, assuming we set our OKR correctly. This is important because anytime we try things out, it’s not all about the adrenaline rush; we’re making change.
Developing a data-driven culture
Last but not least, by consistently monitoring and writing our targets, we can see how we are doing as a team. It also aids us in making data-driven decisions for ourselves. The answers to the following questions are simple to find.
- Are we making enough progress?
- Which aspect is it that we are not investing in enough?
- What objectives are in jeopardy, and which are on track?
- Are we pursuing the right goals?
Being data-driven does not imply applying a sophisticated Machine Learning algorithm; instead, it begins with a small step: gathering data about ourselves. Goals, like data points, can help us to grow.
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