Office Hours: Getting Started; 3 Universal Deployment Parameters

Welcome to OKRs Office Hours

As noted in an earlier post that previewed The OKRs Field Book, there are 10 questions–dubbed the Universal Deployment Parameters–that you must answer before getting started with OKRs. We call these questions “deployment parameters” and Chapter 3 of The OKRs Field Book analyzes each parameter in detail. While you can get great content from the book, I’ve always felt an interactive video would bring the book to life. After completing my first book back in 2016, my daughter asked if the book would be made into a movie. Luckily for all of us, to my knowledge, there are no plans to produce a movie based on any OKRs book! (Sorry Mr. Doerr!)

Though I’ve never dreamed of being a movie star, I still have dreams of teaching college courses as a professor. While it is unlikely that I will complete my dissertation and receive a Ph.D. from Stanford, the team at Quantive is helping me achieve the next best thing: Office Hours!

Each month, I get to feel like an OKRs professor. The host, Jenny Herald, introduces the topic and moderates questions from our live audience. Based on feedback from the first few office hour sessions, I believe this interactive classroom format is a great way for us to dig deeper into how to get started with OKRs.

So, I am committing to writing a blog series to share and reflect on these office hour recordings. But before we get to OKRs, let’s go back to the last time I was recorded in an academic setting.

A Bit of Context… You Can Never Be Too Safe

I was a graduate student at Stanford nearly thirty years ago. Back then, we watched courses recorded on SITN: Stanford Instructional Television Network. Certain lectures were recorded and made available on VHS to students. Although I was not the professor, I was featured as a student in one memorable recording of a Decision Analysis course on the topic of personal attitude toward risk.

I arrived at class a bit late that day and quickly took my seat after locking my bike to the rack outside the lecture hall. After opening remarks, Professor Howard asked me if I would come up to the stage to discuss my attitude toward risk. As I am quite an extrovert, I was honored to be called up to take center stage. Unbeknownst to me, I was still wearing my bike helmet. I had forgotten to take it off. 

As it turns out, Dr. Howard’s interview featuring me wearing a bike helmet and discussing my personal risk tolerance went viral on campus. While other students laughed after each question, I just assumed they were enjoying my witty responses; I finally realized that I was wearing the helmet after I returned to my seat, so yeah, that was embarrassing!

And the Point Is…

These office hour recordings may have their embarrassing moments, but I’m not wearing a helmet (at least not yet)!

Let’s Dive In! Universal Deployment Parameters

The first office hour recording digs into three universal deployment parameters:

  1. If, how, and when to define OKRs at various levels in an organization
  2. How many OKRs you should set per team
  3. The three types of key results

Here is the recording of our first office hour!

The Complete List of 10 Universal Deployment Parameters

  1. At what level will we set OKRs?—company, team, individual?
  2. How many OKRs will we set? How will we balance internal and external objectives?
  3. How will we score OKRs? How will we update progress?
  4. How long is an OKRs cycle?
  5. What are the three types of key results? Are milestones appropriate?
  6. Where will we draft, publish, and track OKRs?
  7. How will OKRs relate to performance reviews?
  8. How are OKRs different from KPIs?
  9. How will we ensure OKRs are aligned?
  10. How will we ensure most KRs originate from the “bottom-up”?


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