Workflow is a work method & process designed for objective driven teamwork using OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) and role based distributed authority.
The method is designed to work well for stable organisations but also to work well with fast growing and/or changing organisations. Change is built into the Workflow process.
Think of it like an operating system for teams to get work done efficiently and effectively allowing teams to achieve amazing and inspiring things.
Quick Start Guide
1 Get Organised
In order to be most effective it’s important to be clear on all the functions that the organisation needs to handle, and how those responsibilities relate to the team members.
Take these actions:
- List all the people on your team.
- List all the roles the organisation need to perform.
- Add the roles to the people responsible.
Each person should be clear on the roles he’ll perform during this timeframe. Usually this is implicit. This process makes it explicit and the structure is used in each step of the process and used to automate procedures.
Any new roles are added at the end of each timeframe. Any roles that are no longer relevant are removed after the evaluation meeting.
Roles come with full authority, within the roles guidelines. That means that when a role is accepted the person is completely responsible for making sure the responsibilities of the role are handled, implemented according to the guidelines, and the OKRs for that role in the active timeframe are met.
The role map of your team can be put on a wall for reference, or you can use a digital tool to keep the information up to date and share it easily.
2 Set a Course
Provide a vision for the next timeframe through a Strategic Guidance message and make clear where the focus should be. Be clear on certain company goals and how they interrelate, but then get out of the way and let your team take over.
3 Focus using Objectives & Key Results
Invite your team to set their personal OKRs for the next quarter based on the strategic guidance.
During a Strategy Meeting the OKRs can be discussed and weighed based on priority and interdependence and potential implementation conflicts.
After the Strategy Meetings the OKRs are approved, rejected or postponed by the Strategy Manager for the team, after which they are final.
Time to fire up the engines and get going.
4 Plan your Execution
With the ORKs in place it’s important to plan implementation in detail. Break down the OKRs into Tasks and plan the execution of the tasks.
During the weekly Planning Meetings the planning is discussed and updated. Any new tasks that are discovered during execution are discussed and added to the planning.
5 Do. Execute. Implement.
Time to make those plans materialise. Start implementing.
Daily team and status updates during the Check-in meeting.
6 Always stay sharp: Signals
During execution it remains important to keep a close eye on any potential problems, but also on any opportunities that might arise.
During the daily Check-Ins Signals are collected from the team.
A signal is simply an opportunity or a problem that’s spotted by any of the team members that might relate to one or more roles. The signal is captured, and delivered to the person who has ownership of the role.
The person responsible has to process the Signal and has to determine if it can be accepted or should be rejected. If the Signal is accepted he’ll determine whether it’s a task that should be handled immediately, or a new OKR.
New OKRs are discussed during the planning meeting and scheduled for implementation either during the ongoing timeframe or postponed till the next one.
7. Learn from your Results
At the end of the timeframe it’s time to make up the balance to see if the objectives were met and what can be learned from it.
The evaluation meeting is held at the end of the timeframe in the slot where normally the planning meeting would be held. The week after the next strategy meeting should be held.
Any unfinished OKRs are discussed and a decision is made whether they go on the ice-box for later implementation or if they are cancelled based on new insights.
The results are taken into account and used to formulate the Strategy Guidance for the next quarter.