top of page

OKR's and Agile, I don't care, but...

Jim had been working tirelessly on his business for months, but it seemed that no matter what he did, progress was constantly being held back. He had implemented OKRs, Agile practices, and all sorts of tools to help him stay organized and on track. But still, he felt as though he were stuck in the same spot.

Jim was plagued with late projects and a need for more responsiveness that had been getting in his way. Desperate for a solution, Jim decided to take matters into his own hands. He began working extra hours, using every spare minute to organize his team and automate processes whenever possible. But nothing seemed to be making a difference.

Finally, after weeks of effort and sheer determination, Jim cracked the code.

He assembled all the pieces together, creating an elaborate plan with OKRs and Agile practices at its core – finding a way through late projects and lack of responsiveness.

Jim had done it; he had found success by cleverly leveraging data-driven decision-making combined with innovative methods like OKRs and Agile practices. It was a hard lesson learned - but one that Jim could apply going forward anytime he felt overwhelmed by new problems or roadblocks.

Jim doesn't care about OKRs or Agile. Jim cares about running a successful business. I'm with Jim, so how did Jim build business success?

Quarterly Cadence: The Cornerstone of Adaptive Enterprise

The quarterly operating cycle is the key to an adaptive enterprise. It's a flexible, nimble way of doing business that allows organizations to respond quickly to changes in the market. And it's something that every organization should consider. Here's why...

Leveraging OKRs during QBRs for Strategic Planning, Budgeting, and Delivery Excellence

For an adaptive enterprise to thrive, its members must come together every quarter to collectively leverage OKRs for the Quarterly Business Review (QBRs). Perform a data-driven review and reset quarterly while delivering on demand. Don't get into the habit of only delivering quarterly as it takes time in the market to get feedback and actionable data that can be used during your quarterly review.

The organizational capabilities implemented throughout the strategic planning, planning and budgeting, and delivery excellence generates data-driven insights that fuel actionable learning and improved performance. Every quarter is an opportunity for teams to course-correct to ensure they drive towards meaningful progress that resonates with their mission statement. This quarterly cadence allows teams to develop their resilience and adaptability to anticipate issues before they arise and respond promptly when any disruption occurs.

The Four Organizational Capabilities

Strategic Planning

To effectively maintain leadership alignment and focus on strategic business outcomes, it is vital to articulate the organization's overarching objectives at the beginning of each quarter. This process should involve setting measurable tactical Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aligned with the organization's mission and vision.

Planning & Budgeting

An incremental roadmap and budget can deliver tremendous value toward business growth strategies. The process begins with identifying measurable OKRs and KPIs aligned with the organization's mission and vision, outlined during the strategic planning process. As teams create deliverables and timelines for each objective, they can begin to develop an incremental roadmap and budget that reflects the trajectory of both their short-term and long-term goals. These deliverables can also feed into budgeting initiatives, allocating resources to deliver maximum value from marketing campaigns, customer acquisition efforts, product development, etc.

Delivery Excellence

When aiming to achieve their goals on-time and within the allocated budget, organizations must emphasize delivery excellence. This includes constructing a culture of interdepartmental collaboration and responsibility, utilizing the most efficient communication & coordination processes, as well as leveraging technology for quicker execution. By consistently nurturing an atmosphere of quality in delivery, companies will be able to adjust swiftly when disruption occurs while also capitalizing off their efforts for optimum value.

Data-Driven Learning

Use Quarterly tactical OKRs and KPIs to evaluate performance and progress on actual outcomes by providing a quantitative measure of progress against the organization's strategic objectives. Avoid, the "Are we there yet?" operational status meetings.


An adaptive enterprise operates quarterly, emphasizing four key organizational capabilities: strategic planning, budgeting and planning, delivery excellence, and data-driven learning. When these four facets of the enterprise align and work together seamlessly, it results in an exceptional organization that can grow and thrive over time. It is possible to apply this adaptation language to any business or organization, large or small. By structuring an operational schedule around the four core competencies of adaptive organizations – setting clear objectives and analyzing past success – you can create a robust system of continuous improvement that will undoubtedly benefit your business now and in the future. While it may require some adaptation to reflect the unique needs of your business, embracing this organic approach is well worth the effort for ambitious growth.

The steel chain of an adaptive enterprise is a powerful tool that helps organizations to stay current and competitive. This process requires harnessing the power of strategy, OKRs, planning, metrics, and KPIs to ensure success. By leveraging the continuous delivery cycle, teams can drive tangible business outcomes with responsiveness and resilience. With quarterly performance reviews, organizations can review progress and adjust as necessary to reach higher heights.

Quarterly operating cycles may seem daunting initially, but if implemented correctly, they can drive your business' success. Don't think you need to tackle everything at once—this often does more harm than good. Instead, break down your goals into manageable chunks and focus on one capability at a time. Begin by dedicating yourself to accurate strategic planning and detailed budgeting and planning for future endeavors. Commit to excellence in execution and delivery, never forgetting that data-driven learning offers insight into any mistakes made along the way. If you take it step-by-step, you'll soon have an adaptive cycle customized for success!

In my next posts I'll continue on this thread with the following topics, be sure to follow us at Scaled OKRs to get notified of these posts:

  • The 3 Critical Links between the 4 Organizational Capabilities

  • The Steel Chain of the Adaptive Enterprise that builds in resilience and adaptability

  • Anticipating Issues with Data-Driven Insights

  • Adaptive Leadership

We feel the positive impact of aligning to OKRs.

  • Yes

  • No

  • We want to be...

151 views0 comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page