5 Reasons why you should think in Objectives instead of Tasks

5 Reasons why you should think in Objectives instead of Tasks

In the workplace, there are two main ways of thinking when it comes to goal setting and achieving success: task-oriented and objective-oriented thinking. Task-oriented thinking focuses on the steps or actions required to complete a task, while objective-oriented thinking focuses on the outcome or objective that we intend to achieve. This blog post will explore the differences between these two approaches and discuss the benefits of adopting an objective-oriented mindset, specifically through the use of OKRs and agile practices. We will also delve into how this approach can positively impact motivation and ROI (Return on Investment).

By setting clear, measurable objectives and identifying key results, organizations can align their efforts toward achieving their goals and create a sense of ownership and accountability within their teams. This helps to motivate employees by providing them with a sense of purpose and direction in their work. Instead of simply completing tasks for the sake of completing them, employees are able to see the larger picture and understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the organization.

Thinking in objectives rather than tasks is easier to learn if you have already practiced agile work, such as writing product backlogs. Unfortunately, we are trained in school to follow commands and complete tasks, but it is relatively easy to move toward thinking in desired outcomes rather than tasks.

Furthermore, an objective-oriented mindset allows organizations to achieve better ROI by focusing on the results they want to achieve, rather than just going through the motions of completing tasks. By defining clear objectives and measuring key results, organizations can identify areas where they need to improve and adjust their strategies accordingly. This helps them to optimize their efforts and resources to achieve their objectives in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Adopting an objective-oriented mindset also encourages continuous improvement and learning. With the help of OKRs and agile practices, teams can regularly review their progress and adjust their strategies to ensure they are on track to achieve their objectives. This allows them to stay flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances, which is especially important in today's rapidly evolving business landscape.

Adopting an objective-oriented mindset through the use of OKRs and agile practices can help organizations improve motivation, ROI, and overall success by providing a clear sense of direction and focus, optimizing their efforts and resources, and encouraging continuous learning and improvement.

OKR is a goal-setting framework that helps individuals, teams, and organizations set measurable objectives and track progress toward achieving them. It involves setting specific and achievable objectives and identifying key results that indicate progress toward these objectives. OKRs are commonly used in agile organizations to improve alignment, transparency, and focus in goal-setting and execution.

Many notable companies use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as a framework for setting and achieving goals. I’ve collected some examples as inspiration.

Google has been using OKRs since its early days. In fact, John Doerr, who introduced the OKR system to Google, was an early investor in the company. Google’s OKRs are famously ambitious, and the company is known for setting goals like Organize the world’s information and Make the internet faster.

Amazon uses OKRs to help align its diverse businesses and teams. Each team at Amazon sets its own OKRs, which are then reviewed by senior leadership. Amazon’s OKRs often focus on improving customer experience and driving innovation.

LinkedIn is another company that uses OKRs to help drive innovation and growth. In fact, LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner has said that OKRs are the linchpin of their performance management process. LinkedIn’s OKRs focus on things like increasing user engagement and growing the company’s talent solutions business.

Spotify uses OKRs to help align its product development teams with the company’s broader goals. Spotify’s OKRs are designed to be flexible and adaptable, which allows the company to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

Barion leverages OKRs to align its employees toward common goals while experiencing rapid growth. Despite facing stringent compliance requirements from authorities and rapid industry changes, Barion has successfully secured millions of EUR in investment and now serves 15,000 webshop clients.

We, at Sense/Net also use OKRs to manage our company. You can learn about management agility and OKRs at the various courses and workshops provided by Sense/Net Agile Academy.

Thomas Biro

co-founder & chairmain
agile business architect,
agile coach
Thomas Biro

Co-founder of Sense/Net & Barion, author of Digital Readiness Framework. Tom graduated in engineering from Nottingham Trent University. Since the advent of the Internet, he has been involved in digitalization, initially focusing on the technical, and later on the human aspects. Tom is an M-shaped talent, with extensive knowledge in IT, entrepreneurship, and agile. He likes to promote provocative ideas. In his view, only free, critical, and scientific thinking will move humanity forward. He believes that the essence of agility is the agile mindset, which he puts great emphasis on teaching.

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