Variable Cadence Implementation
Dropping down a level, team and department heads need to operate at a faster cadence, generally quarterly (but we also see trimester and semester cadences), in order to maximise benefit to the wider organisation whilst embedding agility and responsiveness within the objective setting process. In this way teams remain nimble and are able to react quickly to the changing environment around them, whilst also focusing on what is most important in delivering on strategic imperatives. Removing the perceived limitations of strategy mapping by not requiring OKRs to fit into set perspectives ensures that only the one or two most important things a team can work towards in the next 90 days to further the company’s goals are focused upon, rather than an exercise in box ticking and conforming to taxonomy.
By combining this “top down” strategy map with “bottom up” OKRs below we overcome conflicts faced by all organisations in how to exert control at different levels. Senior leaders now possess a robust and comprehensive tool for communicating strategy and monitoring its execution (strategy maps), while at lower levels OKRs promote flexibility depending on changing circumstances, whilst also demonstrating alignment with overall strategy.
OKRAdvisory is a specialist in the application of this VCI approach.
Variable Cadence Implementation, or VCI for short, combines the best attributes of two powerful tools, Strategy Maps and OKRs, to promote strategic alignment and balance measurement throughout an organisation.
By adopting a VCI approach, organisations can benefit from dual or multi cadence operation (usually annually for corporate level objectives; quarterly / trimesterly for business unit, department or team level objectives; monthly for individual objectives), easy to understand and apply terminology, enhanced engagement, and improved strategy execution.
The real essence of VCI is a recalibration of the speed of strategy execution to suit the different levels within an organisation. After all, senior executives operate with a different time horizon to team leads and operational staff, so it stands to reason that their execution cadences should reflect this difference.
At the higher level the perspectives provided within the Strategy Maps & Balanced Scorecard methodology, often combined with Excellence models, ensure the presence of different lenses for examining the business in a systematic and holistic way, ensuring careful consideration of drivers and outcomes. Moreover the corporate objectives and their accompanying key result measures, which are commonly set annually, are necessarily high-level as they are designed to track overall execution at the highest organisational level. As a tool for high level strategy communication and tracking therefore, strategy maps are particularly effective.