Quick Guide to OKRs

Raul Maldonado
Feb 27 · 3 min read

What is an OKR?

OKR (Objectives and Key Results)[Not OKRA] is a framework for defining and tracking objectives and outcomes to drive engagement and focus on your goals.

Objectives are motivational, challenging, and qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve.

Key Results are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the Objective.

OKR methodology was introduced to Intel by Andy Grove in his 1983 book “High Output Management”. Later on in 1999, Intel’s John Doerr recommends the methodology to Google’ CEOs Larry Page and Sergey Brin for their 40+team.

OKR Example

OKR Formulation

The following is a general structure for forming and OKR

I will [Objective] as measured by [Key Result].

and can be used in the following example

Example

Engineering Manager’s OKR:

Objective: Create a better Customer Experience

Key Results:

  • Improve Net Promoter Score from X to Y.
  • Mitigate Churn or Bounce Rate under Z%
  • Improve Product/Business Awareness for Engineering team from 30% familiarity to 80% familiarity.

In some instances, a hierarchy of OKRs can be created too. The manager above can have OKRs tied to team performance and growth, outside of business objectives as well.

Employee’s OKR:

Objective: Improve Customer Journey with Product

Key Results:

  • Create training/documentation on product usability
  • Optimize UI and usability of product from X% engagement to X+ Y % engagement

“If it does not have a number,

it is not a Key Result.” -Marissa Mayer

The Benefits

  • Agile Goals
  • Simple
  • Transparent
  • Nested Cadences
  • Bidirectional Goal Setting

OKR Mistakes

OKRs sounds so enticing, and when starting with the methodology, many are tempted to “LIST ALL THE GOALS”. However, avoid these OKR mistakes to ensure you reach your goal(s):

  • Forgetting about your OKRs
  • Using OKR as a task list
  • Setting too many OKRs (Use between 2–5 Objectives)
  • Not aligning your OKRs
  • Separate metrics from initiatives

Getting Started

If you have a sophisticated system/software for driving OKR culture to your company, then awesome!

If you do not have funding for such sophisticated software, please feel free to check out the following resources to get you started:

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this quick breakdown. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn.

Raul Maldonado

Written by

Data Analyst, Salesforce Admin & Google Ads: Search Certified

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