Dec 2, 2019

Using Mind Maps for Visualizing Тeam Goals in OKR Framework

Team Goal Setting, Communicating and Tracking - Objectives and Key Results Methodology Implementation via Mind Maps

On closer acquaintance with OKR methodology, it becomes clearer that the most important things here are clarity and coherence of objectives and key results. And the specific way of the methodology implementation (for example, choosing software tools) is not so important - the key moment is that the objectives and key results should be adequate and correctly structured between people in a team. Software just should provide their easy browsing, as well as tracking and achievement assessment. And abundance of software tools in this area even seems somehow surprising since there is little that can be automated here and introduction additional software tools can only make it worse because each of them requires more attentional shifts, which resources are limited.

In some cases (if the whole organization is located in one office), the whole methodology, basically, can even be implemented on paper, without software.

Given all of the above, it is possible to consider mind maps as a suitable tool for implementing OKR. To clearly demonstrate how this can be done, I took the OKR examples listed in the most well known book on this subject area: John Doerr - Measure That Matters and showed how these examples would look on mind maps to see how well this way would be for maintaining OKR system for different use cases.

The attached mind map also contains recommended web resources and books from there.

Below is the full-size image of the mind map, and here is the mind map itself, hosted using online mindmapping tool (unlike competitors, this tool is free and have no limitation on number of mind maps, although its visualization features leaves much to be desired).

I would like to highlight a few moments that seem the most important for me. Separate mind map branches were created for examples of "Paired KRs", as well as for "Weak vs. Average vs. Strong KRs" -  these examples are very useful for understanding the entire OKR methodology. Also, was considered a case from the book ("Operation Crush"), when the objective is formed from key results from two different higher order goals. The problem here is that not every mindmapping tool allows to merge such branches. To designate this merger, I decided to continue only one branch, and just mark the second one as merged with it - it seems as a quite a functional option for such cases - the corresponding equivalent branches (thru their labels) can be easily found by searching text on the mind map.

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