Development Methodology – OKR you ready to get everyone validating their Objectives and Key Results
Techcrunch.com once covered an article that included advice on how to find a good mentor included some sage advice from the likeable and all round good egg Russell Buckley of Ballpark Investments (click here for the full article) who once took time out to give me some informal advice and BD intros, thanks Russ!
Here’s the quote;
“I’m also encouraging some of the companies I work with to set Objectives and Key Results or KPIs (depending on the tools they use) for their Board and advisors. Not a popular idea with many Directors, but I would like to see it as normal. After all, most investor/directors sell themselves as adding value prior to the investment, so why not hold them accountable?”
This is definitely good advice also very timely for us as we’ve just created a way for startups to set goals better by creating Objectives & Key Results (OKR) and getting them validated by peer review. So for this development methodology post we’re going to show founders, business owners and mentors not just how to set and share their OKRs – but also to validate them, using the Benchify platform although ant specialist OKR platform will have a similar approach and can be used
Right, on with the talk through on how to get your mentors and investors to set and validate their OKRs, using Benchify
1). Upgrade to a company account
Once registered, upgrade to a company account and add or invite your mentor to your company in your “Company Bench” admin section.
2). Mentor or Investor enters their OKRs
Now that you have a company account, the mentor or investor can log on, set, update, and grade their OKRs such as the one below in your company Objectives section.
Remember that Objectives and Key Results can be big statement and a bit fluffy but Key Results are not. They have to be achievable with clear quantifiable outcomes.
So in the key result example below the Mentor is expected to intro five follow on potential investors in the quarter.
3). Furthermore, the mentor can also do a health check for each Key Result so you know how confident they are in delivering it and get an early heads up if things are going off-piste.
Again, this is a classic addition to the core OKR approach (see below example). We’re not really showing you anything yet that any other OKR platform should not be able to do.
3). Optional KPIs
Now lets take you a bit further by giving the mentor or investor the option to use a default set of mentoring focussed KPIs to get deeper continuous feedback, as shown in the example below.
So now the mentor or investor’s self-graded OKRs (and optional KPIs) are now visible to you and the rest of the team – just like classical OKR. See below for an example.
4. Cool, now how do they validate their OKRs?
What’s really neat is that with Benchify you and your team can get your OKRs validated by simply adding people with good visibility on the OKR to get a weekly, monthly or quarterly email request to anonymously grade your OKRs – although a good old fashioned “real world” request first is always polite!
Here’s an example of the OKR and a simple slider for the person to score your OKR. As easy as that!
Now that’s done you can see in the next example the results with the validated average grade highlighted to the right of self-grade of the Mentor or Investor.
So in this example the OKR’s validation score (the average of the 3rd parties scoring the OKR) is higher than the mentor’s, but broadly in the same range, which implies that they are in sync on the OKR’s “genuine” status.
OK I should have shown a real scary difference but I think you get the message!
It’s not a guarantee, but it’s a good canary in the mine.
Development methodology: Benefits to the startup founders
Using this approach means you can see not just all your core team’s OKRs but the objectives and key results for your mentors, non-execs and operational investors and, additionally, if they have been validated by peer review.
Development methodology: Benefits to the mentors and investors
For mentors and investors keen to understand both your startups development methodology and goal setting approach this approach also benefits you as you have clearly defined goals, better management of expectation and a system to validate and get input on their progress. You are fundamentally adding more value. And, of course, you have a better organised investment.
So, in summary, this will help improve focus, communication and coordination with the following specific benefits;
- The Mentor or Investor is using OKRs giving everyone better defined goals improved visibility on their progress
- Everyone is able to see the mentor or investors OKRs – they’re fully on the team!
- You can see how well they’re doing using classical OKR self-grading and optional additional KPIs, which can then be validated and graded in-life.
You could of course use google docs combined with a vanilla survey platform for the OKR verification part. But if you’re interested in an integrated approach, which you can also use to manage OKRs across your startup, you really will benefit from a specialist OKR or goal setting software combined with coaching from a specialist
It’s lovely shiny new feature, which could have disproportionately high benefits, if only by encouraging OKR adoption by your mentors and investors. So nothing to do with us on that front!
But we can definitely help with the heavy lifting.
Thanks for reading!