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Storytelling with OKRs

okr storytelling

Use the power of storytelling to help define the group objectives and key results (OKRs). By sharing the group’s expectations and reflections on setting and achieving goals, you will be able to align about the desired outcome. The ´Storytelling with OKRs´ activity provides an engaging and collaborative way to encourage reflection, goal setting, and progress tracking, while fostering open and honest discussions among participants.

okr storytelling

Step by step

  1. Align on the current status. Ask the following question and have a quick conversation about it:
    • Where are we today?
    • What problem do we face?
    • What challenge do we have?
  2. Decide the Objective. Foster a conversation, take notes and then define the objective that answers the following questions (Tip: Assess if objective aligns with the ACCID criteria for Team Objective effectiveness):
    • Where do we want to get to?
    • What do we want to achieve?
  3. Write down the indicators. Ask participants to (individually) answer the following questions:
    • What are the things that show progress towards the objective?
    • What do you value in the process?
    • How do we know we are getting there?
    • What are the leading indicators towards the objective?
  4. Cluster similar indicators, discuss and define the Key Results (KR)..Assess whether each KR passes the SMART criteria and the Objective-Driven KR Inquiry.
  5. Review the Objective and Key Results. Review, refine, simplify, and optimize your OKRs to ensure clarity and effectiveness.

Step 1 of the activity is to get everyone on the same page and understand the current context. Step 2 should result in one objective. In case there is more than one objective, focus on one first, then repeat the activity for the other objective(s). Step 3 makes it easier for Step 4, coming up with  the KRs, the quantitative indicators that shows you are making progress towards the objective.

It’s important to distinguish between the KRs that indicate progress towards the outcome and the tasks and activities required to achieve the outcome (output). As a facilitator, you can either push back and leave the output conversation for a later time or let the group bring the output conversation along with the outcome. In this case, aim to have at least a few KRs that are outcome-focused, not output-focused.

Activity template on Mural

Please find below the Storytelling with OKR activity template at Mural.

This is one of the activities I share on the Team OKR training. Join the the next class of the Team OKR Facilitator: Unlocking Team Success with OKRs training.

I have been sharing more on Team OKR. You can find these posts at https://caroli.org/en/the-blog/

This activity is also part of the inception related activities.

Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books on business agility). He's also the creator of FunRetrospectives.com , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here.
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