Using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to Ensure Success

 

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might not get there.”  

 

 

-Yogi Berra

At Pro-ficiency, we are scaling the business to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.  A key part of that is having great execution across our organization aligned to True North for our customers and our company.

To operate Pro-ficiency, we utilize a variation of the Toyota Lean Management System.   John Doerr, one of the leading venture capital investors in Silicon Valley, wrote about this approach in his book Measure What Matters.  From an early stage, Google built their business around this model.

“OKR’s have helped lead us to 10X growth, many times over. They helped make our crazily bold mission of “organizing the world’s information” achievable.  They’ve kept me and the rest of the company on time and on track when it mattered most”.

– Larry Page, Google Co-Founder

This management system can apply to any industry as witnessed by the successful deployment by Intel, Bono (the entertainer), Zume Pizza and the Gates Foundation just to name a few.  

As John Doerr relates in his book, the definition of “OKRs” is “Objectives and Key Results.” It is a collaborative goal-setting tool 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.

Our capital partner, NovaQuest Capital, uses a similar model with each of their portfolio companies.

At Pro-ficiency, Wes Stewart (our CFO) and I have worked with the management team to implement a series of Tracking Sheets for each functional area (currently 12 tracking sheets).  Each functional area has 5-8 measurable goals that are aligned to the other functional areas across the company.   Each month we measure each result as either red or green.  There is no yellow.

We had our first Operating Committee Meeting with the new management team this past month.  We were able to accomplish a deep review of the business in less than 2 hours and focused the team on the critical performance issues.

If a measure on a Tracking Sheet is red, we create a detailed corrective action plan on a single sheet of paper.  This allows us to quickly align on a cross functional plan for getting us back on track.

We are scaling rapidly as a business to meet the market demands for our products.  The Management System allows us to quickly assimilate new talent into the organization and quickly align around a shared vision for our future.

We know where we are going.  At Pro-ficiency, we want to enable every clinical investigator, in every clinical trial, to operate at their peak performance through our immersive simulation experience.   Join us on this noble mission.