Using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in SAFe for Maximum Value Delivery

The OKR method is a goal-setting system that is used to improve business results. It is used in SAFe to describe strategic issues at the portfolio level. Strategic themes represent the breakdown of business objectives and link business strategy with the SAFe portfolio. To optimally link SAFe and the OKR framework to maximize value delivery, it is necessary to reflect the OKR process and its cycle.

We recommend starting with an OKR workshop where all key stakeholders responsible for company strategy first ask and then gather employee input on what they think should be top priorities. The acronym OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, a popular objective management framework that helps companies implement and execute strategies. The goal is what you set out to do, and the key results are how you measure the outcome of your actions to achieve the goal. The strategic theme would be placed at the top of a division or business unit as a goal, the measure of success would be key outcomes, and all contributing teams and roles would have cascading objectives to link them together.

The benefits of having several key outcomes associated with each objective should be clear from this example. We need to consider the time it would take to write, review, and ultimately evaluate the team's IP objectives in the OKR format. Thanks to improved filter functionality and configurable privacy, teams can choose the lineups, goals and progress, of the team they want to see as needed. This approach also allows members at each level of the organization to see the direct impact of their work against the key results of the OKRs with which they are aligning.

Goals must be ambitious and take people out of their comfort zone to strive to achieve more. It is based on breaking down high-level objectives into viable local objectives, interconnecting alignments, and then increasing performance to measure progress and success in strategic initiatives. Create your goals with related key results at various levels of your organization and connect them to work items (such as epics or features) and Scrum Sprint objectives or SAFe PI objectives so that you can easily see planned or ongoing activities or initiatives to achieve key results and ultimately achieve your goals. The goal is your destination, the Key Results show if you're going in the right direction and the Initiatives are what you'll do to get your car going.