Book review: Who does what by how much?

I recently got my hands on this actionable OKR related practical guide. And if you’ve read “Measure what matters” and if you wish to implement OKRs in your organisation, this is the book for you!

The book cover for Who does what by how much? A practical guide to OKRs.
The book cover for Who does what by how much? By Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden

The titular question

This is (of course) the main theme in the book. Jeff & Josh argue that OKR’s should always be customer focused. And they distil the creation of OKRs down to this very simple (to ask) question. But where the question is easily asked, it might take you some time, and multiple iterations, to answer.

  • Who? Your (external or internal) customer
  • Does what? The behavior we want to influence
  • By how much? Measurable value to increase or decrease.

The book then sets out to guide you through 4 parts to get answers to that question, the parts are: what are OKRs, how to write them, how to put them into practice and finally how they can lead to success in your organisation.

Customer-Centric Focus

The central theme of the book is that everyone has a customer—whether internal or external—and success hinges on making these customers happy. The authors argue that the satisfaction of customers should drive the objectives of any organization. By focusing on customer needs and behaviors, companies can create more value and drive better results.

Practical Implementation of OKRs

Gothelf and Seiden provide a step-by-step guide on how to set, track, and achieve OKRs. They break down the process into manageable steps, making it easier for teams to start using OKRs immediately. The book includes examples, templates, and tips to help readers overcome common pitfalls and successfully integrate OKRs into their daily operations.

The returning visual that helps understand the flow of OKRs in the organisation is the OKR cycle image. Which contained a circle with 4 parts: Team OKRs, execution, Learning and Checking in.

Each of these sections have a dedicated chapter (or more) to describe how to get the most value out of your OKR use.

Key Takeaways and other nice things

Each chapter is well written in a friendly and informative way. But in case you are in a rush there’s a final section at the end of each chapter with Key Takeaways. Which makes the learnings of the chapter easy to digest and grounded because you might have read that section twice 😊.

There are some chapters that focus more on theory, but overall, the book is very action prone. Compare this with the before mentioned Measure what matters book, which holds a lot of theory and history of OKRs, Who does what by how much? is a great follow up.

The last chapter of the book is a great reminder for everyone that wants to addopt OKRs. It mentiones close to all the struggles you will face when implementing it, with great suggestions to mitigate.

Final notes

I can recommend Who does what by how much? to every organisation that wants to structure their work based on the OKR mindset. The combined reading of Measure what matters and this book makes sure organizations are ready to implement OKRs in their organization.

Closer to home, I believe OKRs are a great strategy in regards to getting the most success out of your projects programs and portfolios. I believe, that if OKRs aren’t a thing in your organization yet, OKRs should start a life in the Enterprise PMO.

I’ve mentioned this in my last post, but let me mention it here again, due to a H2O & electronics related disaster at home I’m currently working on a simple laptop setup that won’t allow me to create any video content. Please know that a new high-end laptop is on its way and I’ll be happily recording new videos soon. In the meantime, have you seen this video related to Microsoft Loop?

Loop, ToDo, Planner. A Match made in heaven!