Tracking OKRs in ClearPoint

During this webinar we will share some tips and tricks from our clients for effectively tracking Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in ClearPoint! Join us on this episode of the “I Didn’t Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!” to learn more!


Introduction (0:00)

  • Laura: Hello everyone, and welcome to the “I didn’t know ClearPoint could do that!?!” webinar series
  • Today, we’ll be talking about the OKR strategic framework and how it can be used in ClearPoint.
  • But before we get started, here are your smiling hosts, I’m Laura
    • RJ: And I’m RJ!
  • Laura: As a few housekeeping announcements:
    • We will be recording this session and will make it available within a week
    • The webinar will last about 20 minutes with time for questions at the end
    • So you can submit your questions to… the new Q&A chat box!! This is located in the toolbar at the bottom of the Zoom window.
    • As always, any that we don’t get to, we’ll follow up with over email!
  • Now, on our last installment, we walked through some awesome charting features, so if you’re interested in setting up charts to visualize data, be sure to check out that recording and transcript on our website or Vimeo channel!

Agenda (1:02)

  • RJ: Today, we’ll be talking about OKRs!
  • Laura: We’ll go over what OKRs are, the benefits of using them, and finally how you can tackle this framework in ClearPoint. So again, if you have any questions you’d like us to address during the webinar, be sure to submit them to the Q&A located at the bottom of your Zoom toolbar! What do you think RJ, does that sound OK?
  • RJ: Okay?? That sounds amazing!
  • Laura: Great! Let’s first start out with a poll…

What brought you to this OKR webinar?

  1. My organization uses OKRs and I want to see how to track them
  2. Curious to learn more about OKRs in general
  3. I’ve never heard of OKRs
  4. I love the IDK ClearPoint webinars and never miss one!

What are OKRs? (2:48)

RJ: Let’s get started. First, what is the OKR framework?

Laura: It is a framework to manage strategy that is becoming popular and frequently used by organizations. The “O” stands for objective and the “KR” stands for key results. Every objective has multiple key results, and this is the grouping mechanism of the framework.

RJ: Can we break down what an objective or key result should entail?

Laura: Okie-dokie. An objective is: an ambitious qualitative goal that motivates a team and pushes the envelope. Objectives are the primary focus of a group and what they want to accomplish within a given time period. A Key Result:  Measurable outcomes that clarify what it means to get the objective done. They are like measures defined specifically in the context of the objective.

RJ: This sounds great. How can I convince my boss to use this framework?

Laura: Well, there are many benefits to using OKRs. For example, one goal of the framework is to align employee performance and efforts to your organization’s goals. This helps drive a shared responsibility of the team’s work and results. It’s a great tool to communicate the purpose of your work and make sure everyone is focused on delivering value. When successfully implemented, OKRs have been shown to:

  • Increase employee motivation and creativity
  • Empower employees to take ownership
  • Foster innovation

RJ: That all sounds a-okay. How do I know if my organization would be a good candidate for the OKR framework?

Laura: You should consider OKRs if:

  • you are trying to give teams ownership
  • You have a clear mission
  • you want open communication about projects
  • you want top-down and bottom-up communication

Laura: Also, this framework can be used across different types of industries! Local governments, health care orgs, non-profits, and for-profit companies alike can use OKRs, if they determine they’re a good fit. On this slide, you can see a couple examples of what an OKR might look like in the local government and private sectors. You can see there’s 3 key results per objective, and the objective is an overall qualitative goal. The key results are measurable items that, if completed, will indicate that the goal has been achieved.

RJ: You should be aware, especially if you are just starting out, that developing and implementing OKRs is a journey. At the beginning, your OKRs may look a bit different than an organization who has been using them for years, and that’s okay. If you’re just getting started, we recommend having no more than three levels of OKRs, avoiding mathematical rollups, and evaluating performance subjectively. However, once your organization embraces and achieves OKR implementation, you’ll see that transparency is a given and you won’t need to worry about buy-in.

Laura: Okie-dokie. RJ, let’s move from the “why” should you use OKRs to the “how”

RJ: Yes, let’s get into it! Your first step will be to organize your overall structure. There are a few things to determine here:

  • the “levels” of your OKR (usually we have corporate + departments, but sometimes there are levels beneath that, like divisions and individuals).
  • the OKR start and end date (when do you start reporting, and when should the OKR be completed?)
  • Reporting frequency  – Updates are usually collected quarterly, but sometimes annually
  • Criteria for on track vs off track.  We recommend 70% of target completed or better is green, 40% or better is yellow, and anything less than 40% is red

Laura: Next, let’s start actually building out some OKRs. To do this, you’ll want to start at the top of your organization. It is important to know that OKRs are usually built from the top level down.

  • At the corporate level, create up to 5 objectives with 3-5 key results linked to each objective
  • Each KR should be measurable and linked directly to an Objective.
    • Data should be tracked as “progress” or percent complete.  Some people express % complete on 0-100%, others on 0-1 scale
  • The KR should also have a start value and target value

Repeat this process at each department level, making sure to link each OKR set to a corporate OKR (at the top level).

RJ: Wow, OKRs seems like it could be really useful for our team at metropolis – we currently have 3 different departments who have ownership of various objectives that ultimately contribute to our larger Objectives across the city, and we are looking to get more visibility into the status and progress both within departments and at our top level!

Laura: You definitely seem like a good candidate for the OKR framework – and I think ClearPoint can help! Let’s jump in and take a look at what ClearPoint can do to help you track OKRs.

OKRs in ClearPoint (8:43)

RJ: Definitely! Let’s jump in… I like the look of this already! Here we can see our corporate structure with all of the necessary levels ultimately rolling up to our top level corporate scorecard. Each department that will contribute to our OKR tracking is listed directly beneath so we can easily see which departments are involved. We even have the option to get more granular, if there are individual teams that will have OKRs impacting the overall department – like we can see here in our Police department which is made up of three individual units that will roll up to the department level. Can we jump into one of these departments to take a closer look under the hood?

Laura: Absolutely! Let’s have a look at the airport scorecard to see the structure and how this will work at this department level!

RJ: Awesome! I can see that we have our department Objectives focused on employee retention, Sales, and airport safety, as well as the three key results that are contributing to each objective. If I click into one of my key results I can get visibility into the Owner, any Analysis and Recommendations for the period, the start and end date, the percent complete, the linked Objective and a Gantt chart timeline. I can once also see and set the status for the Key Result.

Laura: Exactly – keep in mind that the details associated with the Key Result can also be customized, so if you wanted to track something like budget and see that from the detail page, you could always easily add that as well!

RJ: Great! Once I finish updating my Key Results I can then click to look at my Objective where I can once again see analysis and recommendations, as well as the corporate Objective that this department level is impacting. I am also able to see the status of my three key results, and in turn set a status for this Objective based on those. Since I can see here that two Key Results are Above Target, and one is in the Caution Range, I will set this Objective as Above Target.

Laura: Exactly, it makes updating very easy, especially given the clear alignment between your airport department’s Objectives and it’s Key Results.

RJ: I see – this is definitely an easy process… can you imagine if one day it was so simple you didn’t even have to set any status’? You could just have them automatically calculate performance based on their date adjusted percent complete – ahh I see it now… a world where all I need to do is slide one button at the department level and bam! I can see overall status at both the department level and across all of Metropolis at the city level?

Laura: RJ, you can stop dreaming – this world already exists! With ClearPoint we can input  our Key Results actual percent complete and compare it to a calculated percent complete that is automatically calculated in ClearPoint based on where we should be given our start date, end date, and what date it is today. Let’s take a look at this.

RJ: To set this up we need to be sure we have Project Evaluations enabled. Once enabled we can click into our key result. Click into ‘100% of employees complete’ key result and then click to edit the key result.

  • From our series tab, we can see that we have set up both a Percent Complete, and calculated percent complete series. Clicking to edit the percent complete, we can see that we set up a reference series that directly pulls from that percent complete field we saw on the detail page earlier. We then set up the same series except chose calculated percent complete, which will automatically calculate where you should be at any point in time given the start and end date of your key result.
  • The final step is to set up an evaluation that looks at percent complete and evaluates it against calculated percent complete. Here we have set up our calculation so that it will be above target if our percent complete is greater than or equal to 70% of our calculated percent complete, we will be in the caution range if we are greater than or equal to 40% of our calculated percent complete, and below plan if our actual percent complete is less than 40% of our calculated percent complete.

Laura: Awesome, let’s see it in action! When we turn on ‘Use Percent Complete Evaluation’ we can see that if we change our percent complete now our status will automatically pull through based on our progress relative to where we should be at this point in time.

RJ: Wow, this will save me a ton of time and reduce any status errors with clearly defined criteria.

Laura: There’s more though! If we are looking to go a step further we can set our Objective to automatically evaluate based on the status’ of the linked Key Results. All we need to do is edit our Objective, and use the links tab to enable automatic evaluation, and set the weight that each individual element will hold on the overall score. Finally we can set our Objective criteria as we can see here.

RJ: So now my objectives will automatically get a status assigned to them – what a relief I don’t have to worry about doing that! What about at our top level Metropolis scorecard? We currently have not only some of our own key results, but also want to take into account the Objective Performance from each department when setting a status.

Laura: This is definitely possible, and one of the great aspects of using this rollup. Let’s click into our top level Objective ‘Improve employee and citizen satisfaction’ to see more. From this page we can see one of our top level objectives and analysis and recommendations. We can also see it’s linked key results. When we click to edit and then click into the links tab we can click enable Objective evaluations and see that the only difference here is that we included not only it’s own Key Results, but also all of the department Objectives when configuring the weighting! Does that look OK?

RJ: OK? This is even better than a-okay; it’s perfect! Wow Laura, this really is amazing, I cannot wait to show this to our team – they will be so impressed with the ease of tracking our OKRs in ClearPoint.

Laura: If you’re going to be showing your team let me show you one more cool thing that will really knock their socks off. We know that it can be really helpful to show a view that contains information from numerous reports, so let’s really wow them and show them a fully built OKR dashboard. Here in the Airport department we can see a dashboard that contains:

  •  a pie chart showing a status snapshot of all the key results. We can see from this we are above target on 5, in caution on 3 and below plan on 1.
  • We also have a Gantt chart that gives an easy visual of not only the end date, but also the status and percent complete for the Key Results.
  • Finally at the bottom we can see a full OKR overview that shows all of our Objectives, their analysis, Key Results as well as their owners and analysis, a percent complete, and the end date.

Does this look OK?

RJ:  Okay?? This is spectacular! Show stopping! My team is going to love this… they’re always talking about how difficult it is to access information from across departments and teams. This has everything you could need to know in one view! This is really going to help with transparency.

Laura: I’m so glad to hear that. These dashboards can be shared with anyone in your organization, or outside of it! You can export is as a PDF or post it online via an HTML export link. The goal is certainly to promote transparency, as well as easy and quick visibility into results so your team can spend less time chasing down different documents and updates from people, and more time analyzing results to make better decisions!

RJ: One of the most important aspects of the OKR framework is that everyone should be able to see all OKRs across the department, so this will help us meet that requirement and get more buy-in for this new process.

Laura: I’m glad to hear this is all working out better than OK 🙂

Helpful Resources: E-Books (18:33)

Laura: Alright well, I’m ready to dive into the OKR framework and start brainstorming how my organization can pull this off.

RJ: Good news – ClearPoint recently published a new ebook – the Objectives & Key Results Library. If you’re ready to begin tracking OKRs for your organization, are still exploring the world of OKRs, or already have a strategy in place, our library is the perfect resource for your team.

This ebook will help you set up an OKR structure in no time with the help of our comprehensive list of OKRs. Remember, for each area, you’ll want to pick between 3 and 5 Objectives, each with 3-5 Key Results, so use this list as inspiration and customize your set of OKRs to lead your team to success.

Laura: This resource is free and will allow you to:

  • Pick from 350+ examples of Objectives and Key Results,
  • Filter OKRs by industry and business area, and
  • Build an OKR framework custom to your organization’s goals

RJ: Rachel is sharing the link to this page in the chat. If you are watching the recording, you’ll see links to this resource below the video.

OKR Library:

Laura: We also have an OKR excel template resource to share with you. This will allow you to experiment and see how everything aligns in Excel before committing to a long-term solution. After you fill out the template, you’ll be able to:

  • Better understand how an Excel OKR template can help your organization track and measure performance
  • Visualize the correlation between company OKRs and department OKRs so you can ensure alignment between the two levels.
  • Track your Key Result targets and current status to see if you’re on track to meet your goals in the timelines you’ve defined.

RJ: Rachel is sharing this link in the chat as well!

OKR Excel Template:

Questions (20:20)

Laura: Okie dokie, with that, we’d love to use our remaining time today to open up the floor for your questions!

Question 1: Is it possible to track key results’ actual data as well, besides just the percent complete data?

  • Yes, you can! Project evaluations is an enterprise-level feature that allows you to track data for key results (or initiatives, as they are more commonly known in ClearPoint). You can have as many series as you would like, so you can definitely track any actual data there as well.

Question 2: How do I get the ‘key results’ element?

  • We have re-named the default ‘initiatives’ element to be ‘key results’. You can do this at any point in any account. We’re using the initiatives element for key results because it comes with a lot of the great project management features needed for OKRs.

Laura: Alright, well it looks like that’s all we have time for today! Thanks for taking the time to check out how to use OKRs in ClearPoint! We hope you can now confidently say ‘I DID know ClearPoint could do that!’. See you next time, and Happy Reporting!