Strategy ImplementationDo companies with strong metrics culture need OKRs

Metrics and OKRs serve different purposes and complement each other in various ways.

Metrics are specific, measurable values that help organizations track their performance and progress towards specific goals. Metrics are typically used to evaluate performance and make data-driven decisions. They provide a clear understanding of what is being measured and how progress is being made.

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), on the other hand, are a goal-setting framework that provides a clear and specific structure for setting and tracking goals. OKRs help organizations align their efforts towards achieving specific and measurable objectives, and provide a clear understanding of what success looks like and how it will be achieved.

When used together, metrics and OKRs can provide a powerful toolkit for driving performance and growth. Metrics provide a clear understanding of what is being measured and how progress is being made, while OKRs provide a clear structure for setting and tracking goals. This can help organizations make data-driven decisions and align their efforts towards achieving specific and measurable objectives.

In summary, even if a company has a strong metrics culture, OKRs can still provide significant value by providing a clear structure for setting and tracking goals and aligning efforts towards achieving specific and measurable objectives.

OKR Grading

Grading in OKRs refers to the process of evaluating the progress made towards achieving the objectives and key results set in the OKRs. The grading process helps to determine the level of success achieved and provides feedback on areas that need improvement.

Here’s how to grade OKRs:

In general, OKRs are graded on a scale of 0-1, with 0.0 indicating no progress and 1.0 indicating full attainment of the objective. Grading provides a clear picture of progress and allows individuals and teams to focus on the areas where they need to improve.

It is important to note that the grading process should be a supportive and constructive feedback mechanism, rather than a source of stress or negativity. The focus should be on learning and continuous improvement, rather than on assigning blame or punishment for not achieving objectives.

OKRs can be graded at different frequencies, depending on the nature of the objectives and the goals of the organization. Here are two common approaches to grading OKRs:

End of cycle grading: OKRs are graded at the end of each quarter or half-year, after the set timeframe for achieving the objectives has passed. This approach is suitable for objectives that are long-term or have a significant impact on the organization and its operations.

Weekly or monthly grading: OKRs are graded on a regular basis, such as every week or every month. This approach is suitable for objectives that are more short-term or have a smaller impact on the organization. This approach provides more frequent feedback and allows individuals and teams to adjust their focus and priorities on an ongoing basis.

Ultimately, the frequency of grading should be determined by the nature of the objectives and the goals of the organization. Both end of cycle and frequent grading have their benefits, and the approach that is chosen should align with the overall strategy and goals of the organization.

Grading OKRs too often can lead to several problems, including:

In general, it is important to ensure that the grading process is supportive, constructive, and focused on continuous improvement, rather than on punishment or blame. This can be achieved by setting clear criteria for grading, involving employees in the grading process, and providing regular feedback and coaching to help individuals and teams achieve their goals

company vision, strategy and OKR

There is a strong linkage between a company’s vision and strategy and their OKRs. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a tool used to align and drive progress towards a company’s overall vision and strategy.

Here’s how to create the linkage between a company’s vision and strategy and their OKRs:

By creating a clear linkage between a company’s vision and strategy and their OKRs, organizations can ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that progress is being made towards achieving the overall vision and strategy.

Google has a company purpose of “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This purpose serves as the guiding principle for the company and informs their overall strategy.

Google’s OKRs are aligned with this purpose and focus on improving their products and services to better serve their customers. For example, one of their OKRs might be “Improve search results relevance by X% within the next quarter.” This objective is aligned with their company purpose of making information accessible and useful, and the key result (improvement in search results relevance) helps measure progress towards that goal.

Another example might be “Expand Google Maps coverage to X new countries within the next year.” This objective aligns with the company purpose of organizing information, and the key result (expansion of coverage to new countries) helps measure progress towards that goal.

By aligning their OKRs with their company purpose, Google is able to focus on the most important goals and objectives and ensure that everyone is working towards the same vision. This helps drive progress towards achieving their company purpose and ensures that their products and services continue to improve and meet the needs of their customers.


Here’s a general roadmap for implementing OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) across an organization:

This roadmap should provide a general framework for implementing OKRs, but the specific timeline, approach, and details will vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization and the specific goals and objectives of the OKR implementation.

I asked one question to a handful of employees across various levels and functions in an organization, starting from the CEO – ‘What is your company’s strategy?’ I was startled to learn that nearly every one had their own version of the company’s strategy. Some were close and others way apart from the originally conceived strategy. This might sound like an aberration and communication issue to you. I beg to present that this is merely a symptom of an underlying problem in the organization. When different functions and roles in the organization perceive strategy differently, that in itself is the starting point for an implementation failure.

While strategy formulation is traditionally driven by well devised and tested methods, it is widely accepted that there is lack of definitive method for strategy implementation.

I have put together an e-book titled “Hoshin Kanri: Strategy Implementation”. The purpose of this book is to provide necessary knowledge and insights for a leader who has to steward strategy implementation in his/her organization. I can assure you that it will be a good starting point. From my experience, I can observe that Hoshin Kanri fills that gap in strategy implementation by providing an robust method to deal with complex scenarios.

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Further Assistance

Consider the Strategy Formulation Lifecycle Strategy Formulation Lifecycle

Consider the following facts about Business Strategy:

Source: Large Research Organizations & Consulting firms such as Wharton, Renaissance Consulting, etc

No matter how great your Strategy is, it wouldn’t make any difference, as long as it is not implemented well.

Remember, unless your strategy isn’t grossly wrong, mostly strategies would yield equally good results as long as implementation is seamless.

Rolls-Royce and Ford have completely different strategies and both of them are successful. Think about it.

One real reason for your organization to fail is not wrong Strategy, but its poor execution. To ensure that does not happen, there are certain skills and experience that are critical :

In a nutshell, the right strategy implementation professionals will stitch together your organization to fulfil your strategy.

There are the top 10 challenges in strategy implementation in the order of significance. Does your organization face these challenges? And what are you doing about it?

  1. Lack of ‘Individual Ownership & Joint Accountability’ for organization goals
  2. Non-synchronized effort between leaders/functions in applying a strategy
  3. Budgetary Planning, Strategic Planning & Performance Planning non-synchronized
  4. Leaders give great talks on prioritization, but they don’t prioritize strategic initiatives
  5. Strategic Initiatives aren’t scoped well – punctuated with long duration & unrealistic goals
  6. Too many strategic initiatives run concurrently leading to strategic fatigue
  7. Most strategic initiatives bet on the same best guys around leading naturally to under performance
  8. Strategic Initiatives evolve from a wish list rather than from environment scanning
  9. No QUANTITATIVE measures of success for strategic initiatives
  10. No systematic mechanism to adapt strategy to changes in external & internal environments

Interview: Organizational Strategy Challenges & Solutions

Extract of an interview of Neil published in Consultants Review Magazine about Organizational Strategy Challenges and Solutions

The economy stands at a crucial juncture now and constant endeavour for excellence and accuracy has come to be more pivotal than ever before.

The goal now is to focus on industry needs with a futuristic perspective, in order to foresee the norms of tomorrow. Canopus Business Management Group (CBMG) is a business services firm that focuses on strategy implementation & business transformation to make them future fit, and it is this approach that has brought them a fair amount of success already. Incepted in 2009, by the MIT educated Nilakantasrinivasan Janakiraman(Neil), CBMG started operations in Chennai, with the vision of bringing something fresh to the consulting space. Read More

Canopus Business

Course Highlights

Course Description

Annual Goal and Strategy Setting is a very complex process and is largely driven by the company’s culture and tradition. But there are few important elements to this exercise, without which the whole exercise will be waste. In this course, you will learn about the basic elements of good goal and strategy planning exercise, assess where your organization stands when it comes to strategy execution, so that you can create a broad outline to pull your entire organization together around a single game plan.

What makes this course unique?

In my personal experience, many organizations do this activity like any other team outing and end up missing several important elements which impacts the organization’s chances of meeting their goals.

This is a no-nonsense crash course with practical approach to lead an annual goal and strategy session.

Who should take this course?

If you are responsible for coordinating Annual Goal and Strategy Planning for your organization or your department, then you will certainly find this course useful.

Course Start Date: March 15, 2015

Course Package:

Course Fees: Rs.5000

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Course Details


Many organisations are focused on long term vision but loose sight of what challenges they face daily & weekly.

Teams get frustrated when leaders drive them crazy on vision but don’t address on ground reality.

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