In support of optimization efforts within VA’s Office of Information and Technology, DIS tailored the OKR framework to meet OIT’s organizational objectives, resourcing, and culture; developed a suite of training materials and value stream management tools; and facilitated workshops and training sessions to incorporate the OKR methodology into strategic organization performance management. Using certified OKR coaches, we worked with the Executive Leadership team and Chief of Staff to facilitate the development of outcome objectives and key results for the Digital Transformation Strategy and for each Service Line (e.g. Office of Information Security). We developed a formal Concept of Operations including a swim-lane process map and clear roles of responsibilities.
The OKR method has been embraced by the CIO and Principal Deputy CIO as an effective means for improving VA’s Office of Information Technology’s focus on outcomes and results. Applying a mix of training and quality reviews, leaders and action officers gained comfort with shifting to success being measured as an outcome rather than outputs or tasks completed. Among the most successful applications of the OKR method, have been VA progress in improving software product management and reducing chronic cybersecurity risks resulting from the shift in focus from tracking security initiatives to aligning and focusing initiatives removing material weaknesses.