Notes and Takeaways on Hoshin Kanri, OKRs…
I released a book named “Learning and Building E2E test automation with Cypress & OKR – Define, Code & Apply an E2E strategy with Cypress & Objectives Key Results with PO mindset focus on Quality” at the beginning of this month December 2022.
To write the very first chapters, I had to focus on OKRs and the ability to build them for Q/A management.
The book is available for sale on Amazon and the code is my GitHub account. See below.
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BP216HCW/
- The Code is on Github: https://github.com/bflaven/book-learning-and-building-e2e-test-automation-with-cypress-and-okr
- Youtube: https://bit.ly/2WPlpAU
But, indeed, my very first question remain how I can combine Visualization with all the goal setting methods (OKRs) or project management (Kanban, Scrum…)
Beyond the OKRs which can be an essential step in establishing and conducting a strategy or even adopting Kanban for the tight management of a project… These are easy and effective processes to implement in place, but my wish remains what visual representation can be given to these processes to intuitively know the state of progress (Time Management), the implicit and the explicit, the possible dangers or guarantees (Risk Assessment).
You can find some elements gathered on my GitHub account that attempt to combine this Visualization and OKRs made with Streamlit. That are just premises for a future Dashboard. See https://github.com/bflaven/BlogArticlesExamples/tree/master/asana_hoshin_kanri_strategic_planning
Here are the much loose notes gathered during the chapters writing process. Why do I release all as a post, just because like I said many times before in this blog: It is a psychological “terminator” to end a book writing process and in this chaotic jumble here are “golden nuggets” to discover.
I try to gather all technique to visualize workflows to spur value delivery instead of producing waste* from OKR to strategic planning
*Making sh… to be even more specific
A major source of inspiration is the asana.com or atlassian.com as they are making promotion for such methodologies as often their platforms offer enablers to implement such way of working.
1. Hoshin Kanri for Strategic Planning, grabbed from asana
1.1 Hoshin Kanri
Never heard of it before but I am naturally keen of the Japanese approach.
First because Hoshin Kanri “is a strategic planning tool that businesses use to connect company-wide objectives to the day-to-day work of individual contributors”. That sounds interesting. Second, as I was reading at the same time the “The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming” where I grab some overarching concepts on work in general. Here they are:
“Instead of offering a hundred explanations, would not practicing the philosophy be the best way? When the specialist decides to take his own advice and begins to do as he says, he breaks down the walls that enclose him in his specialization. We listen to him then as we could not before, because he speaks with authority — not out of knowledge only, but out of knowledge and experience together.”
At the same, Masanobu Fukuoka advocates for a great counterpower to anarchic activity that produce mostly waste: the do-nothing. This is not against work but against unnecessary work. It is sometimes a commonsense response to expert authority: “How about not doing this? How about not doing that?”
Very thoughtful advice when you are exercising as a PO on the opportunity or not to develop a feature. Indeed, as a PO who should know why you are developing some product’s features but also why you do not develop some other.
Anyway, Hoshin Kanri can be combined with Agile methodology
I gave the direct ressource to some best posts that I found on Hoshin Kanri, one by Asana, the other gave a good a good Hoshin Kanri Planning Matrix.
All the ressources from asana.com are great even on OKRs. Check https://asana.com/en/resources
2. Other Ressources on How to write Effective OKRS
When you have not a clue on the nature of something e.g., OKR for instance. You call Google to rescue and try to find some advanced examples. In my case, I was looking for OKRs applied to Q/A. So, here is a shortlist of ressources including my book now!
- QA / Tester OKR Examples : https://www.keka.com/qa-tester-okr-examples
- How To Write Effective OKRs (With 60+ OKR Examples): https://clickup.com/blog/okr-examples/
- 25+ Real OKR Examples for Different Teams: https://gtmhub.com/resources/articles/okr-examples
Some personal remarks on OKRs from what I learn:
- Setting OKR gave sometime a chance to say NO to anything that differ from the goals’ alignment unless you decide as a team to change your OKR.
- If as a team we set OKRs, that is the best way to expose learning value from a success or a failure. It is key for progress otherwise; it is like progressing in the dark!
3. Takeaways from John Doerr in “Measure What matters”
John Doerr in “Measure What matters” has plenty of wised aphorisms and pratical advises turn to action.
“Ideas are easy; Execution is everything.” – John Doerr
There are many good and useful parts. I have just taken for this post the one about scoring OKRs, and sorry for the reference but John Doerr is quoting the one used by Google.
3.1 Two rules for notation & calculation for OKRs
The simplest, cleanest way to score an objective is by averaging the percentage completion rates of its associated key results. Google uses a scale of 0 to 1.0.
# color rules for indicators progress 0.7 to 1.0 = green.* (We delivered.) 0.4 to 0.6 = yellow. (We made progress, but fell short of completion.) 0.0 to 0.3 = red. (We failed to make real progress.)
Once for all, you can even apply the OKRs system for self-assessment and not only for organisation but you may pervert the OKRs system as you may fall quickly into the TODO’s list nightmare.
Advice always pragmatic and simplistic… People love figures and color. It gave both a point of seriousness and value visual thinking. On these latter, you can find more in “The Back of The Napkin” by Dan Roam. Some indication on OKRs notation used by Google especially Visual semiology more simply the colors choice! Helpful when you draw a board for OKRs, and you want to briefly know the indicators progress.
# example of calculation success rate # take each indicator progress for your key result and make the sum Key result #1: 0.5 Key result #2: 0.7 Key result #3: 0.3 Objective: (0.5 + 0.7 + 0.3)/3 = 1.5/3 = 0.5
Again, a very concise definition on OKRs and its ability to fit together with Agility. By reducing the definition to the maximum:
- Agility is the ability to manage uncertainty to change direction with relatively little impact based on newly discovered information — which happens ALL the time in software development.
- The OKRs setting goal method lean on two simple components. OKRs are intended to state a qualitative goal for a team (the Objective), business unit or company that is aspirational and time bound and then to provide quantitative measures (the Key Results) to assess whether you have achieved this qualitative goal.
Last remark, the common mistake in software development is miss targeting the overall purpose of the feature development; “The only thing you’ve measured is your ability to get code to customer. More code does not equal more value.”
Finally, I also advise the reading of more “Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results (Empowered Teams)”
4. Takeaways inspired by Marty Cagan
I discover the name of Marty Cagan through a series of posts that gave Marty’s wise quintessence counsels. One reminder is quite flattering but also very engaging as a P.O: “the product manager needs to be among the strongest talent in the company with the technology sophistication, business savvy, credibility with the key executives, deep customer knowledge and passion for the product.”
- Strategic Planning by asana.com
- Lessons Learned by asana.com
- Meeting Notes Tips by asana.com
- OKR Meaning by asana.com
- Maximizing OKR Benefits by asana.com
- Keys OKR Success QA
- OKRs template
- Confluence: templates for OKRS
- Goal-setting guidance for project leads and would-be jugglers alike
- OKRs: Your seriously simple goal setting guide
- Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with templates
- OKR dashboard project
- First Python Dashboard
- json structure for OKRS
- Excel files for OKR
- Nice explanations on how top grade OKRs
- How to score OKRs
- Why your OKRs suck…
- Good source for OKR methodology
- How to write okrs by piktochart.com
- templates for OKRs by aha.io
- OKR examples on perdoo.com
- Look for OKR on github.com
- Good example of readme with OKRs
- Mindmap for okrs
- OKR (Objective and Key Result) Personal OKR for improving self
- Python – load json file with Pandas
- Build a real-time-live Dashboard with Streamlit