OKR planning typically happens annually and quarterly across multiple levels in an organization. Collaboration Boards in Ally.io help you brainstorm, ideate and plan together effectively.

In this article, we’re going to share the best practices for using the Collaboration Board templates for Company and Department OKR planning.

Company OKR Planning

Initial Prep + Setting the Stage

Who should be involved: OKR Champion, OKR Planning Facilitator

Start by creating an organization-level collaboration board and select the company OKR planning template. Share the collaboration board with everyone involved in the company OKR planning process (Leadership Team, Department Heads, etc).

Customize the template according to your requirements and lay down some ground rules on how you want to facilitate the planning session. Add any information on the board that will help inform your team. This should include broader company goals (strategic growth pillars), customer feedback, or previous quarters’ OKRs.

Use the ‘Introduction & Basics’ section to list down all the information.

The Company OKR Planning template is categorized into 3 major sections.

Section 1: Reflect & Retrospect

Section 2: Brainstorm, Ideate & Prioritize

Section 3: Refine & Define

Section 1: Reflect & Retrospect

Start your planning process with a short retrospective. This helps align and organize thoughts around what the focus should be for the next quarter/year.

Who should be involved: OKR Champion, OKR Planning Facilitator, Leadership Staff, Department Heads

What we recommend:

  • Reflect: Collaborate as a team to capture thoughts on - "What went well?" and "What could have been better". Drag and drop sticky notes from the toolbar and use them to add ideas and under each column.

  • Group similar topics: Once the team has listed down everything under each column, facilitate a discussion to identify related and similar topics on what worked and what didn’t. This will help you group these items into themes, merge similar ideas and make decisions.

  • Discuss and prioritize topics: Capture key learnings, decisions, and action items in the summary section.

  • Communicate: Communicate key learnings broadly with the team. This will set the context for the next step: brainstorming for the new quarter/year.

Section 2: Brainstorm, Ideate & Prioritize

Once everyone involved has a clear understanding of the next steps from the retrospective, it’s easier to start formulating ideas and start planning together. Pose the question, "What can we do to bring the most value to our customers in the upcoming quarter/year?", and tie-down ideas and suggestions back to the company pillars/themes for that quarter.

Who should be involved: OKR Champion, OKR Planning Facilitator, Leadership Staff, Department Heads

What we recommend:

  • Brainstorm: Identify the strategic/ growth themes of the company that everyone is aligned towards and list them down. Encourage each department head/leader to add what each department should do in order to align with the company pillar.

  • Ideate: Capture ideas against the themes together as a team. Remind everyone to focus on sharing ideas and not worry about the idea being an objective, key result, or a project. You can always convert an idea to an OKR to a project or key result to project and vice versa anytime!

  • Prioritize: Discuss and vote on ideas that have been captured. Use the text widget to collect votes from the group and prioritize the ideas with the most number of votes!

Section 3: Refine & Define

The last and most important section in the planning process is to refine all the ideas that have been discussed, identify dependencies, alignment and start defining them as objectives, key results, and projects.

Who should be involved: OKR Champion, OKR Planning Facilitator, Leadership Staff, Department Heads

What we recommend:

  • Refine: Create OKRs and Projects using the widgets in the toolbar or convert ideas in sticky notes into draft OKRs & Projects.

  • Define: Add details such as owner, team, metrics, and more.

  • Align: Align your OKRs and Projects with Company/Team level Objectives and Key Results. Select an Objective widget and click on the blue circle at the bottom and connect it with the green dot on your key results and projects widgets to align.

  • Publish: Keep your OKRs aligned and in a draft state and publish them when ready!

Department/Team OKR Planning

Initial Prep + Setting the Stage

Who should be involved: OKR Champion, OKR Planning Facilitator, Team Members

Start by creating a team-level collaboration board and select the team OKR planning template. Share the collaboration board with everyone involved in the Team OKR planning process. You can customize the template as per your requirements.

The Team OKR Planning template is categorized into 3 major sections.

Section 1: Reflect & Retrospect

Section 2: Brainstorm, Ideate & Prioritize

Section 3: Refine & Define

The Team OKR Planning template is pretty similar to the Company OKR Planning template. The only difference is in ‘Section 2: Brainstorm, Ideate & Prioritize’, where you will have to align ideas to the company-level OKRs instead of the strategic growth themes of the company.

Note:

  1. The early access to Collaboration Boards is now available. Please reach out to [email protected] if you'd like to try this experience first hand.

  2. Collaboration Boards is available only in the Ally.io 'Enterprise' pricing plan.

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