How to use the 1ovmany OKR canvas to create amazing OKRs

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Why do I need an OKR Canvas?

The process of guiding a team or stakeholders through the crafting of OKRs can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re relatively new to the OKR methodology, or even experienced OKR practitioners. 

If you are a Product Manager, Scrum Master, Agile Coach, work in an agile team, or involved in any variety of performance management, and are not confident with the OKR framework, then the 1ovmany OKR canvas will help you without the need to be a seasoned OKR expert.

A canvas, such as the Business Model Canvas, or a tool such as the Balanced scorecard, is a great practice to support collaboration and alignment, facilitating conversations toward the objective and goal of the session. 

The key activity of goal setting, deriving product strategy, setting business goals, KPIs, or agreeing on a key result is a tough initiative, even in a small team, so use this OKR tool as a template to help you set measurable goals and achieve your objective.

Who is an OKR Canvas for?

Maybe you’re beginning your OKR journey, you’re on the road and found it hard to do this as a team. Perhaps your goal is to introduce stakeholders to the OKR method and smart goals, in order to demonstrate how they can be utilised to align company objectives

Alternatively, you might be a Product Manager and the objective is to increase engagement within your team, for the purpose of creating strategy and discovering the right key metrics or company goals to validate and measure the outcome. This OKR tracking tool will work for you all.

Unlike some other OKR templates, this framework should be adaptable in any organisational context from start-ups to small and large organisations, in fact, we use it in some very large organisations and the teams have had great success and seen real OKR progress

It will also work with management teams for generating strategic OKRs, as well as helping to craft a vision, ambitious goals and improve overall employee engagement. We have not yet tried it for personal OKRs and we’re unsure whether it would work, but do try and provide us with your feedback.

What does the OKR canvas look like?

We’ve found that a spreadsheet or google doc is not the best example of a software tool for enabling collaboration, and as our primary objective was to encourage collaboration, we built our OKR canvas using Miro.

It’s constructed of facilitation boards, where rich conversation and collaboration can occur, and data boards are used to document the outcome of the collaboration activity, all designed to encourage continuous feedback and maximise employee engagement.

We provide this as a downloadable PDF and a .rtb Miro backup file which you can load to your own Miro account, and use as a blueprint for starting the OKR coaching process within your organisation.

How do I use the 1ovmany OKR canvas?

The objective of the 1ovmany OKR canvas exercise is to support strategic thinking, but it’s key that you don’t attempt to achieve that in a single sitting. We humans need time to absorb new information, assimilate and evolve our thinking, especially when it comes to initiating the OKR process and constructing smart goals. 

It will take a few sessions working as a team to complete the activity, so be sure to book around 2-4 sessions with your team in order to facilitate this.

The 1ovmany OKR canvas comes with a detailed facilitation guide (the link is in the email once you download it), and in the video below, I will explain how each of the key sections of the canvas should be used, so you can feel confident in achieving your goal when it’s put into practice.

 

The stages in the canvas creation

Stage one: The value proposition

The initial challenge we identified for rolling out OKR best practices in many organisations, is that the purpose of the team is unclear, as well as the value they expect to deliver. 

The objective of their product strategy often demonstrated a lack of universal clarity amongst team members, which also highlighted a below-borderline understanding of the customer segment served.

Therefore, we first need to focus on developing a more comprehensive understanding of what it is that we as a team are trying to achieve, so when we create an objective there is consistent alignment with our purpose. 

Second, we need to define the core customer segment that each purpose serves, in order to validate the key results that create customer/business value.

Stage two: Challenges, blockers and aspirations

In this stage, we look to the team to make clear what they are collectively aspiring to achieve for the organisation during the next OKR period. 

As well as what challenges they see themselves facing (things they can overcome) and the potential blockers preventing their success (things they are powerless against). 

We also want to define any key stakeholder considerations that are going to be significant factors in meeting quarterly goals and team objectives.

These items together should give us a much better idea of what the team consider as being the key initiatives that should be dealt with over the coming OKR period, and the issues that need to be addressed.

Stage three: Prioritise our activity

In this stage, we will use the data and insights gathered from Stage two, for the sole purpose of prioritising activities and areas of concern that will form the basis for our OKR template

The activities should be prioritised categorically in order of importance – from high to low priority. This section is about ensuring focus and alignment throughout the team in a constructive manner, and help us narrow in on our strategic goal.

Stage four: Create your OKRs

By now the team should be converging in on a set of OKRs that they will commit to for the coming period.

The completed canvas should act as an OKR template, justifying the investment they represent, and demonstrating a balanced portfolio of outcomes and implied work, also allowing the team to track progress and stay on top of execution. 

Remember that a healthy balance will trade-off innovation and experimentation, operational and technical debt repayment, and delivery of ongoing features and product improvements.

Summary

This article, and the short video above, should serve as a template for how to use the 1ovmany OKR canvas. 

We devised this useful OKR management tool as a framework for facilitating OKR crafting sessions within your organisation, and adopting a logistically sound OKR approach. 

You can use this tool to identify and prioritise business objectives, which will help provide a strong underlying basis for creating strategic OKR.

So whether you’re a certified OKR coach or simply looking for an effective way of setting & justifying OKRs alongside organizational goals, please try it out and let us know your feedback. 

We’ve enjoyed good customer success using the 1ovmany OKR canvas, but we do love to hear how you got on using it, and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our OKR tools and help organisations align OKRs with their business strategy.

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