Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) – these are not new. Like many great business concepts, they originated in the 1980s and have stood the test of time. Popularised by Google in the 2000s, they’re now common parlance across big business. Indeed, any smart business focussed on growth and profitability will have some kind of measurement framework in place, whether that’s referred to as OKRs or something else strategic goal-oriented.
One universal principle OKRs are designed to achieve is efficient use of time and resources – effectively prioritising effort against outcomes, rather than outputs. Implementing this framework identifies areas for rapidly accelerating progress,
sometimes by overcoming the constraints of in-house resources, or reducing employee overheads. Often, therefore, it can highlight areas of operation that would be more effectively delivered by outsourcing.
However, perhaps the biggest challenge most commonly highlighted with OKR implementation – and one that keeps business consultants in business – is alignment. If companies struggle to get individual OKRs to align across different teams within the business, then surely trying to achieve OKR integration with external teams must be impossible?
That rather depends on who those external teams are.
If a business is to successfully exploit what Deloitte has termed the Open Talent Economy, the emphasis is on remote, disparate, autonomous delivery. The Global Technology and Business Services Council predicted last month a significant disruption to the UK sourcing industry from the gig economy for on-demand technological skills in short supply, such as software development. The trend seems set for wider distribution of independent contributors delivering on business objectives.
So how can OKRs possibly align a galaxy of bright but transient distant talent stars?
Setting meaningful OKRs for individual software development contractors, for however long they may be involved in project work, can be a daunting prospect. There are certain difficulties in attempting to incorporate OKR measures as a dependency within contractual and payment terms. How can a Chief Technical Officer be sure that freelance resource is invested in business outcomes, rather than task delivery, or hours?
A professional managed outsourcing arrangement can provide flexibility to scale resource as and when required, whilst maintaining established strategic commitments to outcome measurement and improvement. Techifide’s unique delivery model ensures that OKR equity remains within the team, no matter how this constellation changes over time.
Bentley Systems holds an uncompromising focus on OKRs for the success of their platforms. They respect and recognise the expertise of their dedicated Techifide team, who regularly contribute tracking and forecasting data to inform each OKR review and provide guidance for relevant stretch goals to be worked towards. Long term working with clients in this way co-creates two-way investment in shared outcomes.
If you'd like to find a remote outsourcing solution that aligns with your business OKRs, complete the form below and we'll be in touch.