It was a busy Thursday (3 June 2021) at 5pm and while I was still getting the hang of my new job at PRODT and understanding the concept of No Code, my phone rang and a voice said, "Manas, there is an emergency project for one of the largest hospital chains in India. This is for a social cause but the project needs to be delivered in 3 days! It's a 3 step workflow, so are you game for the challenge?"
As a first reaction, I was completely blank. Did I really hear 3 days? We are almost at the end of the day on a Thursday and have one working day left! How is this going to happen! In the back of my mind, my experience of delivering applications using code based platforms was pushing me to say "no." A project of any size requires a proper planning, requirements and understanding before we commit to anything. Nevertheless I said "OK" - "Let’s understand what needs to be done here."
Within the next hour, an 8 member squad consisting of the hospital's application and infrastructure team and PRODT, teamed up to discuss the requirements. A mockup application created by the hospital’s application team was shown as the baseline requirement.
The requirements given were:
Another challenge given was IP tunneling to connect with the hospital's HIS system hosted on a private cloud. Luckily, we had our very own battle tested DevOps team by our side.
After the presentation, a few quick decisions were made by the technical architect and head of DevOps after which we sent a message saying "We are On!" For the next 3 days, 2 members from the application team and a DevOps engineer jumped into action. There were about 15 individual pages to be created and integrated for an end to end workflow. My past experiences from code based deliveries kept hinting me to say - how is this going to happen?
Meanwhile, the DevOps team raised up a server on Azure and started setting up the IP tunnel. The IP tunneling was a complex job and had to comply with all restrictions on the hospital's private cloud policies. It was a Sunday evening and with some support from the hospital’s infrastructure team, the DevOps part of the job was done.
The application team was not far behind, they pushed themselves hard and by Monday afternoon the entire workflow (as shown in the presentation) was ready. My thoughts went from how will this happen to how did it happen! I had never seen an enterprise grade application built that fast and ‘NoCode’ was a new revelation to me!
We published the application to the hospital for acceptance testing and then a second round of efforts started which included - testing of boundary conditions, some issues with the payment gateway integration and a plethora of change requests. We hit a roadblock with the payment gateway issues, however we got top notch support from the NoCode platform’s engineering team who nosedived into this and helped us resolve the issue.
Now when I reflect upon this delivery with the past deliveries of my other projects, it seems that NoCode could be the next gold standard in application development.
Today as I write this blog, I see 25000 successful transactions on the vaccination drive application we have built and after reflecting on the delivery, I now understand how this has happened!
What are OKRs
Goals and objectives are the backbones of how a company succeeds. They represent the most crucial aspects of a company's strategy. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a popular strategic planning method that helps teams and companies set goals, make progress, and drive results.
Large organisations like Netflix, Amazon, and Google all have adopted OKR planning and have been able to achieve their planned outcomes
Benefits of OKRs
How to write OKRs
OKRs can be written at the individual level, team level, or at organisation level. The structure of an OKR contains an objective written at the start and about 3 to 5 or 6 supporting key result areas against each objective. Key results describe the various checkpoints that are measurable and help you analyse the achievements.
For individuals, it refers to what is the goal for an individual person. Example:
Objective: Learn skills to become a full-stack developer by Sep 2022.
Key Result Areas
For teams, it refers to what significant goals they want to achieve. Example of OKR for recruitment team:
Objective: Reduce the overall lead time to interview by 30%.
Key Result Areas
For an Organisation, OKRs define the directions and objectives the company wants to achieve.
Objective: Achieve Sales Turnover of $1M in the current financial year.
Key Result Areas
OKR Visibility and Transparency
OKRs are not just for the senior management of the company. OKRs are planned in collaboration with the execution teams, making it extremely important that the OKRs are shared across the board.
Planning OKRs is a great start to visualise and track the progress of your objectives. OKRs have been in practice since the 1970s and have grown in popularity over the years. Google was introduced to OKRs in 1999 which became a part of their culture. OKRs bring agility to teams and make the employees push themselves and perform better. They offer flexibility and freedom to pick the direction and speed at which the objectives need to be achieved. The most significant aspect of OKRs is that they give you clear measurement guidelines in terms of your targets vs achievements. The best part is OKRs can be applied to any large, small, short term or long term goals. Now that you know what an OKR is let’s have some fun! Write in the comments your key results for the objective: Road trip to the beach!