Ubiquitous to any organizational theory or model is the aspiration to motivate and direct a collection of individuals to achieve a shared goal. Simply stated, how can leadership point the boat in the right direction and get the crew to row together?
One of the better-known responses to this question is encapsulated in John Doerr’s 2018 book Measure What Matters,¹ the seminal work on the subject of OKRs, that is, Objectives and Key Results. OKRs were conceived by Andy Grove at Intel around 1975 and, later, evangelized and implemented by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google.
According to Doerr, OKRs are “a collaborative goal-setting methodology used by teams and individuals to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. OKRs are how you track progress, create alignment, and encourage engagement around measurable goals.”² OKRs are expressed in the following formula: “I will (Objective) as measured by (Key Results). For example, ‘I will fix the website for the vast majority of people as measured by 7 out of 10 people being able to get through, a 1 second response time, and a 1% error rate.’”³
From these humble origins, OKRs have become the marching cry for thousands of startups to enterprise-scale corporations seeking alignment for their team’s collective efforts.
Since gaining familiarity with the OKR model through a teamwide reading of Measure What Matters, Cloudforce, with advanced specialization in Windows Server and SQL Server migrations, has enthusiastically adopted this goal-setting methodology. The impact of this decision is clearly evident in the hypergrowth of both our team as well as the portfolio of valued clients we serve.
One of the crucial tenants to the OKR paradigm is its public visibility across the enterprise,4 a functionality that Cloudforce has previously achieved through a third-party SaaS solution, 7Geese (now a Paycor company). For this reason, a collective cheer arose at Cloudforce during this year’s Microsoft Inspire keynote when CEO Satya Nadella announced the pending arrival of Viva Goals, Microsoft’s native solution to OKR creation and tracking, as part of the Microsoft Viva Suite. (Viva is Microsoft’s budding “employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights in the flow of work.”5)
Digging deeper during a breakout session entitled “Enable Digital Employee Experience with Microsoft Viva,” Seth Patton, General Manager for Microsoft 365 and Viva product marketing, highlighted Viva Goals’s ability to align disparate teams to an organization’s strategic priorities. It does so by enabling executives to create clarity and alignment so that everyone in the company can confidently work towards the correct priorities. Equally important is the way in which Viva Goals allows individuals to remain squarely in the flow of work through its direct integration with Microsoft Teams. With Viva Goals, OKRs will no longer need to exist in a silo or, in Cloudforce’s case, a third-party solution.
Currently, Viva Goals can be procured as part of the Microsoft Viva Suite for $9.00 user/month (with an auto-renewing annual subscription).
Curious as to how you can optimize Microsoft’s growing ecosystem within your organization? Reach out to our team of Microsoft specialists via the links below!
1 Doerr, John. Measure What Matters. Portfolio Penguin, 2018.
2 What is an OKR? Definition and Examples.
4 This Is the Internal Grading System Google Uses for Its Employees – And You Should Use It Too.
5 Employee Experience and Engagement: Microsoft Viva.