Two Reasons Why OKRs Are So Hard In Legacy Enterprises

At some point, organizations only want to hear good news. That could spell bad news not only for their OKR implementations, but the future of the company.

Michael H. Goitein

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Are we sure everything’s OK? Photo by Ali Khalil

It all started with a yellow status on a dashboard.

Across my years as an IT consultant, I was paid for my management and execution expertise across all aspects of Agile software delivery. The people who hired me expected full transparency, and wanted to know about any potentially problematic issues as soon as I saw them. I had even gained credit from one CEO for my habit of raising “pink” flags, which, if ignored, could grow into far more serious (and costly) problems. Now, for the first time, in what seemed an innocuous situation, I was being discouraged from raising awareness of a potential challenge.

“This wouldn’t land well. Change that yellow to a green.”

Large organizations love green dashboards

Perhaps it’s a cultural thing. Be nice, don’t rock the boat.

But at some point, when companies move from being a Day One to a Day Two organization, processes get put into place that people begin following on auto-pilot:

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Michael H. Goitein

Aligning Strategy, Product & Lean/Agile Delivery for maximum value | Enterprise Agile, OKRs & Product Coach at @keybank | https://michaelgoitein.substack.com/