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Why Do I Hate OKRs?

How to Measure ScrumMasters
Today, I'd like to talk about OKRs and why I don't like them and don't recommend them to my clients.

The problem with OKRs is that they are treated like any other silver bullet (hello Scrum!), which seems to magically solve all organizational problems and save time and effort.

In my opinion, this is especially dangerous in the case of OKRs. I'll try to answer this briefly, based on my observations of the OKR implementations I've seen.

1. OKRs have been hyped up too much, turning them into a whole methodology with training, conferences, certification, and even academies. And all of this is taken from Google's method, which can be read in just 20 minutes! This creates the illusion that everything is covered, and this is very dangerous if we talk about running an organization.

Blindly implementing OKRs often replaces communication between people - which is the most important thing in complex work because context is everything (remember individuals and interactions over?).

3. OKRs too often turn into old-fashioned KPIs with basic OKRs rules violations described in the same Google methodology.

If you still want to use OKRs, I recommend the following:

1. Read about what Google did (and if you still have questions after that, then turn to books, training, and conferences)

2. Do everything possible to not violate the basic rules from the link above - they exist for a reason.

3. Use creating and updating OKRs as the basis for deep workshops, where the most important thing will be forming contexts around them. My empirical observation is that if the leaders invest less than a few days of their time in such sessions per quarter, something has probably gone wrong.
And that's all for today.

Do more with less and may the force be with you!

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