Updated: Jun 24
Vietnam's journey from KPI-driven to OKR-driven business objectives for a more flexible and adaptive approach to measure results.
In recent years start-ups in the ride-hailing and e-commerce sectors introduced OKR (Objective & Key Results) management into Vietnam's business world. A further push came through numerous IT development and business start-ups which are popping up in HCM City and Hanoi due to the favorable market and workforce conditions. In 2020, due to Covid-19, more and more traditional distribution, sales & hospitality businesses are looking into OKRs, which is not surprising as Vietnam was always an agile and adaptive country.
At Asia PMO, we introduce Agile & OKR management through webinars and live workshops to entrepreneurs, business teams and freelancers from all industries and professions. Besides, a lot of HR executives are interested in studying OKRs as a new performance and result tracking system. The main target of these trainings and workshops is to introduce OKRs and to support participants by defining meaningful, measurable and manageable OKRs for their companies. Above that, most participants would like to know how to introduce and manage OKRs in companies and their teams and would like to have recommended IT solutions.
Most companies are coming from a KPI and / or Balanced Score Card driven management system with half-yearly reviews and yearly target setting. The advantages of these traditional styles is that it gives the company and its staff planning security for 12 months and rigorous performance and bonus achievement measures, which can be broken down to all team and employee levels. In a volatile labor market like Vietnam it also makes sure that employees stay onboard for at least 12 months. However, it triggers a huge turnover trend mainly in February / March when bonuses are paid and divides the year in more and less productive cycles. Our focus is to introduce quarterly OKRs as sole target management system in mainly agile and fast-moving companies and as an extension to KPIs in more traditional and process driven companies for agile teams like IT, Product Development, CX and PMO. These traditional companies can than later transition slowly from KPIs to OKRs.
Define and develop Objectives, Key Results and Actions
At Asia PMO we help teams and individuals understand and set inspiring and manageable objectives. These are based on the company strategies and should be limited to 5 per quarter. Based on the objectives, we develop Key Results which are measurable and have a defined end date. After that we ask our participants to brainstorm actions to achieve these OKRs, however we also advise them that action ideas should normally come from their teams rather than the management level.
Implement and manage OKRs in companies
We explain to our clients how to set-up a 3 months management cycle for Objectives, Key Results and Actions and recommend IT Tools to track them. Especially how to structure the OKR review & set-up workshop with the wider management each quarter, monthly stage gate reviews and weekly team actions versus key result tracking. The key to OKR implementation is a transparent communication of the entire company, team or individual OKR progress and a culture in which bottom-up communication is possible.
Do you want to develop & implement OKRs?
Implementing OKRs in Vietnam outside the start-up world is challenging but rewarding. Our clients get more flexible and adaptive in times of crisis and develop a more participative and transparent management style to attract and retain the millennial and Gen-Z workforce. If you are interested in understanding and trying OKRs for you, your team or your company, feel free to contact us or comment on this post. We can host online or in-house training and workshops for you company to understand, develop and manage OKRs successfully.