Lessons Learned Over 4 Years of Implementing Company-wide OKRs


Lavanya Gopinath
Lavanya Gopinath

Director of Operations at Chargebee

Episode notes

In 2019, Lavanya was seeing a need to align priorities between teams and make them more visible and transparent.  This led her down the journey of making the decision to implement a company-wide OKR system. On this Journey, she learned many lessons along the way and shared the most important ones with me today.

Key things discussed

  • What led to the decision to implement an OKR system at ChargeBee.
  • Reducing the number of priorities teams were focusing on and mapping all these out.
  • Getting company buy-in on implementing OKRs by having the leadership team paint the vision of what it is and why it’s important.
  • Learnings, experimentation, and refinements made since the program has been implemented.

What you will learn in this episode

[00:02:54] About Lavanya’s origin story and how she came to stewarding objectives and key results (OKRs) at the billing and revenue management platform Chargebee. 
[00:04:49] How and why OKRs play a pivotal operational role at Chargebee.  
[00:06:12] About prioritizing goals in a way that quickly aligns leadership and teams. 
[00:06:59] The Chargebee journey has not been without stumbling blocks. 
[00:08:24] Defining key results: What to communicate about and when. 
[00:09:29] About the Why: Strategies for motivating teams to adopt OKR processes. 
[00:12:19] How Chargebee articulated cultural values and objectives designed to resonate across the enterprise. 
[00:13:39] About Chargebee’s key objectives: growth, value-add, an empathetic ethic, and fast learning cycles. 
[00:14:49] How outside OKR coaches helped define and respond to challenges. 
[00:16:49] Learning Curve Lessons: The process takes time and people need prodding.  
[00:18:00] About experimentation and failing fast, which are part of the OKR journey. 
[00:20:43] How Chargebee layers OKR and operations into quarter-end close-outs.  
[00:23:27] Rules of the Road: How to set your OKR process up for success. 
[00:23:35] The role of internal OKR champions deployed across all business functions. 
[00:25:54] How OKR champions are identified and recruited. 
[00:27:57] About the cadence of Chargebee’s quarterly and annual OKR milestones. 
[00:29:49] What occurs during monthly OKR reviews and how the tracking works
[00:32:39] Rolling out recognition at the functional level. 
[00:33:29] Special ways of honoring (and reinforcing) individual contributors. 
[00:34:50] About blending OKR methodology with other performance metrics. [00:37:14] How OKRs differ by function and in a cross-functional context. 
[00:38:19] What comes next in Chargebee’s evolving OKR journey. 
[00:40:26] Quick-fire questions. 
[00:43:07] Operational issues that are top of mind for Lavanya.

Relevant links

Company logo
Company logo
Company logo
Company logo
Company logo
Company logo
Company logo
Company logo