How DER STANDARD creates transparency and focus with Mooncamp
About DER STANDARD
STANDARD Medien AG stands for quality journalism, social discourse and offers high-quality, national news, information and discourse media. Its 100 percent subsidiary, STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H., publishes the daily newspaper DER STANDARD as well as the online medium derStandard.at.
DER STANDARD has been published as a daily newspaper since 1988 and today, with a reach of 7 percent in Austria, is the leading quality newspaper in the print sector. As early as 1995, derStandard.at was the first German-language daily newspaper to go online and is currently the leading news portal among Austrian newspapers, with 33.8 percent reach and over 2.5 million unique users per month. STANDARD Medien AG thinks print and online together and has the mission to further develop DER STANDARD and derStandard.at.
An interview with Stefan Novotny, DER STANDARD
Stefan, please introduce yourself briefly. What is your role?
In my role as OKR Champion of the STANDARD, I am responsible for ensuring that the OKR process in the company is designed according to the needs of the employees and that successful OKR iterations are completed.
Please explain how you came to implement OKRs. What challenges did you face?
STANDARD MEDIEN AG and its various business units employ over 500 people. This makes us one of the largest media companies in Austria.
The media industry is a very fast-moving one and is constantly changing. New challenges await us every day. In such a large company with so many employees, there are many different ideas for developing the company and preparing it for a successful future.
In order to meet these challenges, we have decided to introduce OKRs throughout the STANDARD Group. Focus and having clear goals in mind are more important than ever in today’s world. In our opinion, OKRs are exactly the right tool for this.
What issues or challenges led you to decide to implement OKR software?
STANDARD Group consists of four different business units, and within the business units there are also different departments. All in all, there are more than 16 divisions and departments, all of which work with OKRs.
At the beginning of our OKR journey, we worked with Excel sheets. Due to the amount of OKRs and the complexity of our process, we reached our limits relatively quickly and realized that there was no way around professional OKR software. When employees are working on their OKRs, it is important to have a simple solution for recording progress and documentation. A successful iteration does not only include the achievement of set goals, but also things that do not actively contribute to the achievement of goals.
How have the above challenges and issues impacted your organization?
Especially the coordination in the planning phase between the different areas and the documentation of the progress of the OKRs caused problems because there was a lack of clarity. Excel spreadsheets were not attractive or practical enough for this purpose. In order to establish a sustainable OKR process, it is important to recognize the concrete progress that OKRs bring, to be able to read transparently in documentation what has happened so far, and to make it fun for the employees to live this process in the company. For this reason, we had to act and implement a professional OKR software.
Thanks to Mooncamp, the OKR achievements and the goals reached can be viewed transparently.
Solution and implementation
What possible solutions did you consider? Did you compare alternative solutions? Which ones?
We first evaluated what software solutions were already in use in-house and whether we were working with software that could help us with OKRs. One consideration was to use Microsoft Planner to represent the OKR process. But here, too, we found that we quickly reached our limits. Our development departments work in an agile manner and use solutions intended for this purpose, such as Jira or Confluence. But even these alternatives did not turn out to be the right fit for our OKR solution.
How did you hear about Mooncamp?
On the OKR site whatmatters.com there is a list of OKR software solutions. Mooncamp was one of them. In search of a suitable solution we also consulted Google, here Mooncamp was also on the first page in the search result.
What were your criteria for choosing Mooncamp? What was the main reason why you chose Mooncamp?
STANDARD MEDIEN AG is a heterogeneous company where many needs have to be considered. Our OKR process has been adapted accordingly and probably works differently in our company than in other companies.
If you set up an OKR infrastructure, the process is always adapted individually to the needs of the company. That was one of the reasons why we were looking for a flexible solution. It was important for us that the software reflects our processes 1:1 without having to make major compromises. Mooncamp was the only software that made this possible.
With Mooncamp we have the possibility to live our OKR process in the tool as it is built in reality. We have been working with OKRs for almost a year and a half. The process has already taken on a very concrete form, but there are still regular adjustments to be made. Thanks to Mooncamp, I can reflect these requirements in the software and thus ensure that employees can quickly find their way around.
How have employees accepted the new tool? Do you have a secret tip for successful integration into everyday work?
Our goal was to establish an OKR tool in the company that can be used to accompany the OKR process from start to finish. Each of our steps can be mapped and completed with the tool. This is very valuable and is immensely helpful in the acceptance of the tool. If employees have to work with several tools from the beginning, there is a greater chance that they will quickly lose the overview and thus also the joy of participating in the OKR process. Mooncamp helps to design the process in such a way that it can be carried out without compromise in all phases using the software.
How were your employees prepared in advance to use Mooncamp?
As OKR Champion, I provided individual training for each department, which lasted about an hour. Since our departments work differently internally, it was important to me to show that this can also be mapped in Mooncamp and that the software is a benefit for all of us.
How has Mooncamp impacted the overall success or the success of your team?
Thanks to Mooncamp, OKR accomplishments and goals achieved can be viewed transparently. This not only helps to make the success of individual OKRs visible, this also helps to solidify the OKR process throughout the company.
How does your OKR process benefit from Mooncamp?
We now have the ability to present our OKRs in a way that is transparent, sorted, clear and accessible to all. This is important for anchoring the OKRs in the company and for acceptance among employees.
It is now also fun to work with OKRs. Not only because the software is so easy to use, but also because it offers many options for designing the OKRs. So you can specify different, even automatic, measurement types. The emojis provided are also popular, in order to convey the meaning of OKRs also symbolically.
Could the use of Mooncamp positively influence one or more of the following factors?
- Productivity increases or time savings
- Reduced costs
- Increased sales or growth
Direct costs could not be reduced by Mooncamp, of course, since Mooncamp was an additional investment. In terms of productivity increases and time savings, Mooncamp has helped us a lot because we can administer and execute the entire OKR process from a central location. Whether the use of the software has led to sales increases and growth, I don’t dare to say. In any case, the goals and achievements are visible to all employees, and thus sales increases and growth are transparent to all.
Is there anything you absolutely love about our product?
I love the understatement and the straightforward nature. The software is not bloated and does what OKR software is supposed to do: Help us with the OKR process.
If you were allowed to design an advertising poster for Mooncamp, what advertising slogan should be on it?
Mooncamp - Best campsite for high performers!