Los Angeles, California
Information Technology & Services
"Koan has been a game-changer for us. The tool offers a strong organizational commitment to OKRs and helps the TrueData team stay aligned and on-track towards our key objectives."
True Data Achieves Strategic Alignment and Increases Employee Motivation
TrueData is a mobile data platform that sources data from carefully vetted and curated publishers to make it available for mobile ad targeting and intelligence. The platform provides publishers with the infrastructure to safely generate an incremental revenue stream while delivering mobile marketers the highest quality data available.
Based in Los Angeles, the startup is seeing rapid growth and CEO Elliott Easterling was looking for a way to clearly define the top priorities for the company as well as keep all employees on the same page.
The Quarterly Problem
Easterling was a fan of John Doerr’s OKR methodology and had been trying to roll out the system to his employees for several quarters. Each quarter, the executive team would engage in two days of planning to map out the strategy for the company and define the primary objectives and key results that needed to be focused on. They then tracked those OKRs in Google Sheets and would revisit them as a company each month during team meetings.
“Overall, the process was really clunky,” says Easterling. “There was really poor visibility and a lack of tracking into how we were progressing as a whole. At the end of each quarter, there would be a last-minute, big push to try and complete our objectives, but we consistently failed to hit even 50% of our OKRs and the team would become demoralized.”
Replacing the OKR spreadsheet
TrueData was looking for a software-based solution that would get everyone in the company aligned and to help prioritize the right work. A consultant from the Chasm Group recommended Koan. Easterling began testing the platform and by the end of 2019, he had it out to the entire company with the ambition to hit 70% of their Q1 2020 OKRs.
After Easterling and the executive team defined the top priorities for the company, each team developed its own sub-set of OKRs that rolled up into the master corporate OKRs. Easterling also implemented a change management program so that all team members were reporting their OKR confidence scores weekly through reflections. The feedback collected in Koan would then be used to guide all of the company’s team meetings.
"Koan has been a game-changer for us. The tool offers a strong organizational commitment to OKRs and helps the TrueData team stay aligned and on-track towards our key objectives," says Easterling.
Deep Insights, Real Results
Koan gave TrueData real-time weekly reporting about OKR progress across the company and within each team. But most importantly, they were able to deploy and pivot resources weekly to address OKR blockers or potential issues within the company.
“Ultimately, the reporting and action cycles were the difference between OKR program success and failure for us,” says Easterling. “By using Koan, TrueData was able to far exceed our 70% OKR completion goal for Q1 and we also achieved record revenue for Q1!”
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