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We plan during the cool down week at the end of a four week cycle.

The goal is to specify and choose the projects that will best help us achieve our OKRs. At the end of the cool down week everyone should know what they're working on for the next three weeks and how it furthers Sourcery's goals.

Quarterly we plan our OKRs to guide us towards our long term objectives, vision, and to increase our North Star. At the end of the OKR planning process everyone should know what we are focusing on for the upcoming three months and understand how to prioritise planning for upcoming cycles.

Cycle Planning

Cool down week:

  1. Monday morning - Brendan & Nick to share high level focus and major projects for cycle
  2. Monday afternoon meeting
    • previous cycle retro
    • discuss cycle goals and project ideas
    • review ideas
  3. Tuesday-Wednesday - everyone writes up projects using the project template for the next cycle and move these to the Proposed column
  4. Thursday - everyone comments on the proposed projects, and the proposer updates them accordingly
  5. Friday morning - Brendan & Nick to share initial project priorities
  6. Friday planning meeting
    • Brendan & Nick to talk through initial priorities
    • Discuss projects, understand outliers, update estimates and scopes
    • Choose the final priority order and decide which will be included in the cycle
    • Brendan & Nick choose project owners
    • Add chosen projects to next cycle and reject other projects

Longer term roadmap

The goal at the end of a cool down week will be to have:

  • An exact plan for the next three weeks
  • A clear idea of what we're doing for the rest of the three months to hit our OKRs
  • A general plan of where we're heading for the next 6 months

We can have different types of projects to capture this:

  • Long term epics - showing where we're heading in the next 6 months
  • Epics for the current OKRs
  • Projects for the current cycle - either related to an epic or standalone

Each of these will have a different status so they can easily be viewed on the project boards. Only projects proposed for the current cycle will be estimated.

OKR Planning

At the end of the OKR planning process we are aiming to have 2 - 4 core objectives, each with 1 - 3 key results that we are pushing towards to better position Sourcery towards its long term goal.

Structurally, OKR planning is very similar to our Cycle Planning.

  1. Everyone can contribute OKR ideas to our planning board.
  2. Starting one week before our scheduled planning meeting, everyone should begin reviewing and commenting on proposed OKRs to ensure clarity.
  3. In our planning meeting we will have an open discussion about which OKRs to pursue for the coming quarter. Unlike our Cycle Planning we do not use a quantitative estimation methodology here, but rather an open discussion around long term priorities and objectives.

Reviewing OKRs

At the end of each quarter each OKR owner is responsible for writing up a brief retro on their OKR covering a few areas:

  1. How did we progress on the OKR? Did we acheive our goal?
  2. What did we do well in moving towards the OKR?
  3. What could we have done better?
  4. Should we conitnue to focus on the OKR in the next quarter and if so, what should be our new target and what should we do differently?

Single ownership model

Each of our OKRs, Projects and Actions Items has a single person responsible for making sure it happens.

Having a single person responsible ensures that there is no confusion over who is going to do it. It also gives the person responsible much more freedom and agency is deciding how to do it and how to achieve the best result.