Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a goal-setting framework that helps teams and individuals align their efforts towards common goals. They promote transparency, alignment, and focus, directing your team's efforts towards impactful work. They ensure everyone is moving in the same direction and understand their role in achieving the team's and organization's goals.
Managing OKRs effectively is as important as creating them. You need a tool to track OKRs and help your team get an overall view of what’s on everyone's plate. The tool should also let you centralize your team and limit access. With all its powerful features of content sharing and creation, privacy, and ease-of-use, Notion is the perfect tool to manage your OKRs.
As an all-in-one workspace, Notion offers a centralized place to set, track, and manage OKRs. You can create separate pages for each Objective, with sub-pages for corresponding Key Results. This allows for a structured and organized view of your OKRs.
You can design your OKR pages to suit your team's needs, using various content blocks, such as text, checklists, databases, and more.
Further, Notion's collaboration features make it easy for you to share OKRs with your team, leave comments, mention team members, and collaborate in real-time. This enhances the visibility and transparency that are crucial for successful OKRs.
Finally, Notion's tracking capabilities allow you to monitor the progress of your OKRs. You can easily update the status of Key Results, see at a glance what's on track or needs attention, and review progress regularly with your team.
Here’s are the 7 steps to managing OKRs in Notion:
1. Create and set up a Notion workspace
The purpose of OKRs is not just to track the team’s performance but also to create an environment that’s conducive for clear communication and caters for an easy access to shared resources. You can create such an environment with Notion workspaces.
A workspace is essentially your team’s hub. It functions as a closed space where your team can securely share content, comment, collaborate, and track all individual and group tasks effectively.
A Notion workspace can help you centralize your content, making it easy for everyone to find what they need and when they need it. A common workspace also promotes transparency as everyone can see what others are working on, contribute ideas, and support each other.
2. Creating OKRs
As someone who manages a team's performance and annual hikes, it’s vital for your team’s success to craft meaningful OKRs. The OKRs should not just be achievable and realistic but they should also be audacious.
Here’s what you should consider while asking your team to set OKRs:
- Explaining the difference between Objectives and Key Results: To avoid excessive back and forth, make sure your team knows how to fill out their OKRs by specifying how objectives differ from key results.
- Objectives are what you want to achieve. They should be short, inspirational, and engaging. They provide direction and indicate where to go.
- Key Results, on the other hand, is how you define success. They define what successfully achieving an objective looks like. They are specific, measurable actions or outcomes that contribute to the achievement of the Objective.
- Alignment with Company Goals: It is important for an organization that all teams and individuals focus on a common goal. Each individual has a role to play, they may take different paths but the intent must be common. It’s thus important that your team aligns itself with the company goals and all OKRs lead to them.
- Balanced OKRs: Aim for a mix of 'business as usual' and 'stretch' objectives. This keeps the team engaged and motivated without burning them out.
- Suggest using the SMART Framework: SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It's a framework that ensures the objectives and key results are detailed and realistic.
- Specific: Clearly define what needs to be achieved.
- Measurable: Have a clear metric to track progress and confirm when the goal is achieved.
- Achievable: Ensure the goal is realistic and attainable.
- Relevant: The goal should align with your team's strategy and the broader organizational goals.
- Time-bound: Set a clear timeline for achieving the goal.
3. Creating a New Page for Each Objective and subpages for key results
Creating a new Notion page for every objective not just helps you see all key results associated with it but also helps you organize your OKR assets better.
The ability to create a parent-child structure in Notion is especially useful if your team has common OKRs. It gives you a birds eye view of what’s on everyone’s plate and helps you optimize workload effectively.
Each new page functions as a folder in Notion. Once your “Objective” page is ready, you can add all associated key results as sub-pages. This will help you set up an organized, aesthetic view of your team’s OKRs.
Here’s how you can add Key Results as subpages in Notion. And here’s what a folder-subfolder structure looks like:
4. Tracking Metrics for Each Key Result
What gets measured, gets managed. The Key Results in OKRs are essentially the measurable steps that lead to achieving the Objectives, and thus, each Key Result must have a clear, trackable metric.
The metric could be a sales target, number of leads generated, etc. After defining the metric, you can track it using Notion’s progress bar feature. This feature tracks what percentage of a key result has been achieved.
Here’s what the progress bar looks like:
But for the progress bars to be effective, your team needs to update the key results regularly.
5. Putting all OKRs in a Notion template
Notion templates are pre-designed page layouts that you can reuse and customize easily, thus allowing you to maintain a consistent format across team members. This not only saves time but also ensures that all OKR related information and assets are structured in a user-friendly manner.
After creating a template in Notion for your OKRs, you can replicate the page as many times as you need and assign them to your team. This way, you can ensure completeness of OKRs and consistency across team members.
Here’s an example of a template button for a freelancer’s pitch:
6. Sharing the Notion OKR template with your team
Once you have created your OKR template in Notion and duplicated it, you can share the duplicated version with your teammates. Notion allows you to customize the sharing options for every page. You get to decide who sees the page and what’s the level of their access.
If you choose to share the individual OKRs with only the pertinent team members or even make the OKRs public. It’s your choice.
To share your Notion page, click on the “Share” button at the top right corner of your screen. The below screenshot is of the view that Notion shows.
You can share your page with individuals, teams, or even publicly.
7. Monitoring Progress of OKRs - weekly, monthly, quarterly
It's crucial to regularly monitor the progress of OKRs so that you can identify short-comings and course correct accordingly. Notion's powerful features facilitate efficient tracking and reviewing of your team's objectives and key results on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.
To facilitate these reviews, you can create database views of your team’s OKRs filtered by different time periods. Notion offers many types of databases to help you visualize OKRs in many different ways.
You can bucket OKRs based on who owns them or their progress, or even visualize them in a timeline or a gallery view.
Successfully managing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is essential to your team's performance and how efficient it appears in front of the higher-ups. Notion is an ideal tool to manage OKRs. Its features promote collaboration, transparency, and efficiency, making it super easy to set, track, and attain your team goals.