Do you use OKR's at your company? If so how is your process for setting them for a designer? What are some great examples?
Yes, we do. Not a lot of difference from the way Google does theirs (https://www.gv.com/lib/how-google-sets-goals-objectives-and-key-results-okrs).
We set 3 OKRs every quarter, where the first 2 is project-related, and the last goal reserved for personal-growth. Then we spar them with the design team to make sure they're aspirational enough, and quantifiable.
I found this question to be helpful when setting my goal; that is, does it make you wanna get out of bed every morning?
Hmm… I have to admit I wouldn't try and set design/designer OKRs.
I'd be looking for ways for design/UX to impact the companies OKRs.
It's awesome seeing this question here Toby! Design has really earned a seat at the table over the past decade, and OKRs are great way for designers to stay transparent and aligned to key strategic initiatives. At BetterWorks, we set them quarterly and are often broken down into three areas—usability/user research, product design, and cultural (http://blog.betterworks.com/goal-setting-and-okrs-for-designers/).
We also have a post on OKR framework influenced by design leaders around Silicon Valley: https://medium.com/@randallhom/how-top-design-leaders-design-effectively-a609adc3ecc3.
Here's the framework I use for my goals...
Objective: Deliver design for feature X
Get everyone aligned by defining key problems and/or generating hypotheses with stakeholders.
Validate problems by conducting user research (there's Stanford research that you only need to talk to 4–5 people to see trends).
Iterate and seek daily internal feedback. This is key to staying transparent and keeping your design efficient.
Ship, observe, and validate, because design doesn't stop with shipping.
Tie it all together and write it all down in a visible manner. Tracking progress and keeping it in front of you keeps you accountable for your work.
OKR = Objectives & Key Results?
Ours are focused across the initiatives of the company. We used to prescribe them more specifically to feature launches, but found that given unknowns our timelines were almost always off and as a result OKRs were almost never achieved.
As a result, we now focus mostly on metrics like:
- % of usage of Actionable features (things that users will use consistently, get value out of, and would have to come back to in order to continue seeing value);
- NPS scores of beta features;
- process enhancements (Incorporate personas into product process for 100% of our features) that benefit multiple teams;
- and culture related ones for the sake of hiring/awareness growth (blog posts, events attended, etc).
On an individual contributor level (because those are only half of the design team OKRs, and we are multi-functional, assisting with business, marketing and product) my team has:
- OKRs that reflect our over all team goals, as it's important to align with other departments in order to achieve key results;
- OKRs that reflect their own personal learning, like attending X number of events/classes, contributing X number of blog posts, etc. It's pretty mixed, both department wide, and with the individual team member.
We have experienced a general problem with the way Google describes OKRs, and that is that people get confused when you measure OKRs on Company, Team AND individual level. Designer or not - it is hard to set OKRs as a person and make them inspiring and measurable if they need to make sense not only to yourself, but also perfectly align with team and company OKRs. The contra productive result is that management is left with trying to optimize the actual alignment to get an overview and in this process, much of the inspiration and motivation in the teams are lost. OKRs is about making good ideas on progress happen. Keep focused on what really matters at all cost.
We found a much higher success rate through keeping the OKRs as an individual thing only and then let these align/link to a tree structure of Focus Areas instead. Focus Areas substitutes the Team- and Company OKRs and should not entail metrics at all, especially not financial metrics.
You should ask yourself, ”what is the untapped potential that I can achieve for the overall company goals?” and to a designer this often is around the experience of the product, service or brand you are working with. To get some guidance around how to come up with metrics, I usually recommend some framework like the following:
But remember, no one can tell you what metrics you should focus on, a big part of the value in OKRs is to over time find your own success metrics. So don’t start with trying to set it perfectly, just see it as a good way to get started with a good practice around your individual and company focus. Keeping at it will not only bring a lot of value to the company, it will give your personal work a lot more meaning and sense.