Enhancing Your OKR Planning Session with ChatGPT
The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into business practices has transcended from being a trend to a crucial competitive necessity. Failing to adopt such innovative technologies can result in significant setbacks compared to forward-thinking competitors. It is thus unsurprising that within the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) community, the use of ChatGPT in OKR setting is a topic of heightened interest. Drawing from our extensive experience with implementing OKRs, we aim to share our insights, experiences, and specific methodologies.
Let's initially clarify the role of AI in the context of OKRs. Despite the impressive capabilities of ChatGPT and the awe-inspiring dialogues it can generate, one must remember that it is fundamentally a text-generating network with a tendency to diverge from its input. It would be imprudent to solely rely on ChatGPT to set OKRs.
OKR, akin to any Agile framework, primarily emphasizes people and communication, followed by processes and tools, as outlined in the original Agile Manifesto. OKR involves the team's deliberate choice of focus for a specific duration (quarter or month) in pursuit of strategic goals, and the responsibility for the chosen focus and its execution. Consequently, the selection of OKR should be a team effort, with AI serving as a valuable adjunct.
Let's delve into our OKR planning session structure and identify the most suitable areas for ChatGPT and its counterparts.
An OKR planning session typically involves 5-20 participants. These may include the management team and key employees at the company level, or the entire team at the team level. The session can generally be categorized into three phases:
  1. Idea generation through brainstorming: Identifying key goals to focus on in the upcoming period to facilitate strategic progression.
  2. Idea filtering: Initially segregating routine tasks, then selecting the most critical change-oriented goals for the particular period through voting.
  3. Formulating 1-3 selected ideas into Objectives and identifying suitable progress indicators or Key Results.
Artificial intelligence, given its current level of advancement, proves beneficial in the first and third stages.
In the first stage, ChatGPT can effectively counteract the "blank slate" effect and generate innovative ideas. These generated ideas can subsequently serve as a foundation for further team brainstorming.
Below is an example of a "prompt" to kickstart idea generation. Keep in mind that ChatGPT generates unique, spontaneous responses, so the desired answer may require multiple iterations and clarifications.

Assume the role of a seasoned manager with comprehensive business acumen, exceptional market insight, and extensive analytical capabilities. Your expertise encompasses understanding of vital business operations, technological advances, emerging markets, and methodologies for process enhancement. You are known for your innovative thinking and capability to break from traditional patterns and devise unique concepts.
Before generating responses, please make sure to ask me some key questions to better understand the context, using my answers to inform your ideas.
  1. What is the nature of your business?
  2. What are your strategic objectives?
  3. Over what time frame do you typically set your OKRs?
  4. What key insights and learnings have you gathered from your previous retrospectives?
Utilizing the context from your role and my responses, engage in the initial brainstorming phase of the OKR planning process. The question you and your team should address is, "Given the insights from our previous retrospectives, what objectives should we prioritize in the coming [specified period] to make significant strides towards our [strategic goal]?"
Considering the context provided by me, along with general themes from the balanced scorecard (finance, customers, processes, learning and growth), technological innovation, emerging markets, and process improvement, devise as many objective ideas (a minimum of 20) that could contribute towards achieving the strategic goal. Be succinct and precise with your ideas. Present your ideas in a table format.
Objective | Aspect of the Strategic Goal it Targets

Notably, in the second stage—voting and selection—only the human team members should participate. This is not just due to ChatGPT's limitations regarding business-specific competence, but more importantly, the team members should be responsible for setting and achieving their goals and discussing their decisions.

However, in the third stage—formulating OKRs—ChatGPT can be a helpful assistant. Firstly, when formulating Objectives for the chosen ideas, you can gather all ideas from the participants and ask ChatGPT to produce a concise version that encapsulates the proposed ideas. Secondly, it can suggest a suitable array of metrics for measuring Key Results, from which the team can make the final selection. Bear in mind, ChatGPT's training is based on a wide array of internet examples, not all of which are optimal, so initial training to formulate OKRs correctly might be necessary, as detailed in our previous article.

In conclusion, ChatGPT and similar technologies are on the verge of becoming indispensable aids in planning sessions. We hope this article provides useful guidance in keeping you at the cutting edge of technology.

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