Booming Business – Right time to Introspect.

One common 'phenomenon' I observe as quality management expert is a one-liner "we want to Grow" if I meet 100 managers, 92 of them set forth "GROWTH" as their first requirement.

Obviously, as part of my job, it is on me to understand what exactly they mean by growth. Usually, it boils down to

  • To expand the business, it can be increasing market share
  • Expand customer base
  • Expand product/service range


Just an overview of what growth means, each company has its requirements, and to me, each is a case study.

Another 'phenomenon' I have observed is the use of cliché', that is, "we want to achieve world-class performance." There is nothing wrong with this statement or a company wanting to achieve it, but the problem is the term is often misquoted and more often misunderstood.

In this article, I would like to talk about a few things which need to be set for business to grow, to be successful, and achieve "world-class performance."


There are many but let's highlight few,

  • Understanding the long terms goals and aligning daily activities to achieve those goals – It does not matter whether a company is a small or a big, one of the most important measures that management needs to take is to put its long term goals in perspective.
  • It is imperative to understand the difference between the "Vision" and "Mission" of the organization. In most cases, I see management is confused between the two.
  • When vision is clear, it's time to get the mission statement ready.
  • Goals are achieved when they are SMART – this is something which is used quite often, but how it is done, let's shift to that.
  • Measuring, analyzing and understanding metrics is something important to set smart goals.
  • Quality experts use various tools to understand data, but it is vital to keep track of KPI's and OKR's (measure what matters), balance Scorecards
  • Another critical but often ignored area is updated process maps and value stream maps.


There are many other factors, but I would like to touch on a few basics on how businesses can improve and get better ROI and retain and attain customers.

The purpose of this article is to help business owners, process owners, project managers introspect on what is the current quality control situation in the organization, what they need to understand in terms of quality improvement, what steps they can take to initiate the cycle of improvement.

If you want to initiate your quality journey, start with a "GOLDEN CIRCLE," this is a thinking process which begins from Core and moves out. So start with a

Why – things need to be done/achieved

Moving to What 

Finishing with How

Most companies start thinking about How and end with why.

Understanding the "WHY" is the only way forward to the path of quality improvement, once you start with why get ready with your questionnaire, this questionnaire would help you understand and rate your priorities. Only when you get to know your WHY's you will be able to figure out the how’s.


The second step, focus on Financial and Quality Trilogies


  • Financial Trilogy
  • Quality Trilogy
  • Business Trilogy


Phases you need to focus on in each trilogy are Planning, improving, and controlling.

Whenever quality improvement/management is discussed, the mantra of success is "Continuous Improvement." Project managers, process owners, and management have to think in line with continuous improvement to get the desired result.

Continuous improvement is the umbrella term used to collectively refer to various quality improvement techniques used, such as Lean, six sigma, kaizen, TQM, BPM, DFSS, etc.


In this article, I would briefly discuss OKR, a very useful metric which if understood and implemented in the right way, can help your business BOOM. Understanding OKRs can change your business thinking, shift your business priorities to the ones that will help you scale your business, and change the way you and your teamwork.

OKR – Measure what Matters

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results; ideally, it is a goal-setting strategy that focuses on making tough business choices.

OKR method was created by Andy Groove, a famous executive known for leading Intel and Pioneering Management techniques. Though Inspired by Peter Drucker's "Management by Objectives," it was very different from MBO's. Initially, its name was iMBO (since it was started at Intel so it was Intel's Management by Objectives). OKR was the primary weapon used in operation Crush, which was Intel's plan to Crush its competitor Motorola and achieve market dominance. Andy Groove taught this method to John Doerr, who coined the term OKR and later Doerr helped Google use this technique, and it's no secret how big companies likes Gates Foundations, LinkedIn, Spotify, Netflix are using it to achieve their strategic objectives.


The big question is how to use OKR's to propel your business objectives.

The answer is simple, to start with, do not have more than 2 Objectives, and each objective should not be tied to more than 3 Key Results.

In simple words, the objective is what you wish to achieve, and it should be simple best when written in two lines, By definition, objectives are significant, concrete, action-oriented, and (ideally) inspirational. Stay away from fuzzy thinking and execution.

Key Results are measurable actions that are taken to achieve the objectives. Key results should be measured quarterly at the best so that the team knows they are on track.

 Key Results should be sketched in such a way that they are measured to accuracy. To judge if Key results are accurate, it is easy, either you achieve the results or no, there is no grey area simple Parameter to check key results is to measure them on a scale of 0 or 1.

Characteristics of Key Results 

  • Time-Bound
  • Aggressive and realistic
  • Measurable and Verifiable

Example of OKR

Objective: Develop autonomous vehicles.

·      Key Result #1: Hire ten artificial intelligence subject matter experts.

·      Key Result #2: Invest an additional $500 million in research and development.

·      Key Result #3: Roll out a prototype by fiscal year-end.


Though a vast topic, I will end it giving few don't when using OKR's


  • OKR's are not similar to KPI's, they are different.
  • OKR's are used for dramatic growth. Slow growth companies won't find much use.
  • Everyone in the organization should be working towards similar goals.
  • Where an objective is long-lived, rolled over for a year or longer, key results evolve as the work progresses. Once they are all completed, the objective is necessarily achieved.
  • OKR's are measured quarterly, and they are not tied to any compensation.

The purpose of this article was to introduce the concept of OKR so that you utilize this time to work on this method and see if this can help achieve the 10X growth, a booming business, and an objective and result-driven organizational culture.



Posted on 03 April, 2020

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Categories : Continuous Improvement # Up-Skill with Janam Sandhu

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