Diana Adam, Product Manager at Pandai, is our OKR Champion. She approached FlowyTeam and asked them to help refine and expand our OKR program.

When Pandai first started working with FlowyTeam, our rapid growth was cause for celebration. However, growing fast can throw up some unique challenges. One of the challenges Pandai faced was achieving alignment.

Pandai already had an OKR program that had moved through a couple of iterations by the time Diana joined the company.

“The team had previously tried OKR software but then moved back to managing OKR in a spreadsheet.”

OKR was an exercise amongst the leadership team rather than involving the entire company in creating and achieving business goals.

Having used FlowyTeam at another company, Diana thought FlowyTeam’s software and approach to OKR could help OKR become embedded in Pandai’s culture.

“My goal was to get everyone focused on results and pointed in the same direction.

From outputs to outcomes

Working together with a FlowyTeam Coach, Diana created a rollout and training plan starting with the Leadership team. The focus of the training was to shift thinking from measuring outputs to measuring outcomes. This focus on outcomes is an important step toward achieving alignment.

“When our OKRs were output focused, we could have completed all our Key Results without actually moving the company
forward,” said Diana.

“Now, if we hit our OKRs, we should throw a party because our OKRs measure impacts instead of an activity.”

An aligned team focused on results.

The top-down rollout of OKR with FlowyTeam went well. “I was very impressed with how receptive our employees were. we had a few ex-Google employees who had worked with OKR before and personally experienced the benefits,” said Diana. “but even employees who had never used OKR were excited.”

Despite the initial positive response from many, there was also a healthy sceptic dose, especially since Pandai had tried OKR before. The concern was whether FlowyTeam’s approach would be any different than what we had tried before.

“What most people thought was missing from previous attempts was buy-in across the organization,” said Diana. Addressing this early on in the implementation process by engaging leadership and encouraging us to drive adoption throughout the company helped overcome this challenge.

Starting with the end in mind

Pandai’s first quarter working with OKR was a marked improvement from previous attempts. The FlowyTeam approach, starting with the mission & vision and strategy before creating Company OKRs, provided the clarity and focused the OKR program needed. Several departments immediately started to see an impact: better focus and alignment because of a clear path to success.

Tuning the OKR Program

“Over time and with proper guidance, you’ll learn a lot about how to tweak OKR for your organization. We learned, for instance, how to identify interdepartmental dependencies upfront and ensure that everyone is on the same page about priorities for shared resources, like recruiting,” said Diana.

As part of the Q4 2020 planning process, the leadership team invested time in gathering information necessary to evaluate the potential impact of various OKRs and make informed decisions about this quarter’s priorities.

“This quarter, we’ve been much better about measuring baseline metrics when we create our OKRs so that we have the data we need to evaluate the impact of our initiatives at the end of the quarter,” Diana explained.

Focus is saying no to things.

With OKRs in focus, employees feel we have permission to say No to things that aren’t a priority. “The upfront workaround prioritization and inter-departmental alignment have already been done, so employees can focus on executing the related work rather than constantly debating priorities”, said Diana.

One piece of advice from Diana to others looking to start OKR, “Take your time upfront to introduce the concept of OKR and get everyone bought into the new way of thinking before rolling it out. OKR is a significant change that affects the entire organization, and successful adoption won’t happen overnight.”

What’s next for Pandai?

The future for Pandai is exciting. The amount of organic traffic to our website is a testament to the demand for our product. The feedback from users who write in with our own unsolicited success stories is an inspiration for Diana and everyone at Pandai.

At Pandai, we’re proud to work with FlowyTeam as part of our success.