Sean Osawa is the CEO at Ricksoft, Inc., a company developing powerful add-ons to help Atlassian users improve their productivity. And like many startup leaders, Sean is wearing multiple hats - supporting all departments except product development. Things were manageable in the early days of the company when they were just 2, but their increased success required them to grow the team rapidly.
Ricksoft’s core team tripled in size in early 2020, while also adding 30 contractors to the group. That quick expansion introduced new challenges to keep everyone accountable to the mission of the company. Sean looked for a simple way to evaluate and track their goals. They decided to implement the OKR framework, and needed a tool to support them.
Tability has been useful for planning goals, tracking them every week and leading our team in the right direction"
"Tability helped us experiment & adopt the OKR framework." Ricksoft, Inc. begun to experiment with OKRs in Q1 of 2020, testing the framework with their new employees. They knew that OKRs could present some challenges in the early days. So, rather than making the process too strict and rigid, they decided to take a more relaxed approach for adoption. "We tried to make it not so serious. Just focused on adopting the concept of OKRs, without putting too much pressure on the team. We thought - let’s learn OKRs and share what we learnt."
The flexibility of Tability allowed them to start with a simple process that they iterated on as they got more comfortable. They used their first quarter to learn about the basic principles of OKRs and figure out their baselines. Sean went on to explain that:
Although they had never used the OKR framework before, they are learning & improving every quarter. After iterating their goal-setting process, it was easier to set their Q2 objectives.
"The process of setting goals, needs to be very logical. You need to review your previous numbers to set your next goal." The team at Ricksoft, Inc. came up with a great way to make sure they were working toward achieving the right goals. They use a process where they set an ‘approver’ for each OKR. One person sets the objective & key results, then someone else has to approve it. “That way, two people have to agree the goal makes sense and encourages the team to think about the goal deeply,” Sean explains.
Since adopting OKRs with Tability, Ricksoft, Inc. has been able to learn and improve every quarter. But one of the key benefits for Sean is to know that everyone has a shared understanding of what the goals are. He can rely on the weekly check-ins to automate accountability while minimizing work on his end. The ability to have continuous visibility on which goals are priority and which initiatives are necessary to achieve great outcomes has allowed their remote team to improve their execution. Everybody knows what the mission is, and the best way to get it done.
But that’s not all. Sean goes on to explain how Tability has contributed to their company culture, too:
One of our OKRs at a company level is to write internal blogs to share within the team. We had a target of 30 blogs this quarter. This motivated us to share our private life and get to know each other more. Especially under the situation of COVID. We needed something outside of work. Some people wrote about hobbies, family, what they like, food. So it contributed to creating a great culture with our remote team."
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