What are OKRs?
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) were originally invented by Intel, as an effective way to track and define business goals. OKRs are extremely popular with start-up companies, as they can “fine-tune” their direction and goals in a tangible, trackable way.
However, before businesses can begin to consider OKRs, they should devote some time to seriously brainstorm future goals because an OKR can only be effective if the goals are relevant and attainable.
How do you use OKRs?
First you define three to five objectives; these can be for the company, team, or personal. These objectives should be ambitious, qualitative, time sensitive, and actionable. Next, you will want to define three to five measurable results. These key results should be quantifiable, achievable, a bit difficult, but not impossible. OKRs are typically based on growth, performance, revenue, or engagement. Each key result has a progress indicator or score of 0-100% or 0 to 1.0 that shows its achievement.
Once defined, you will need to communicate OKR objectives and key results to all relevant personnel. Goals can always be revisited when needed and as employees begin their work, they will update their result indicators regularly, usually weekly. A particular objective is considered complete when it reaches 70-75%. It seems counter-intuitive, but if 100% of objectives are reached; the objective was probably not ambitious enough. OKRs are meant to motivate. They need to be reviewed and adjusted as necessary to be effective tools.
Why use OKRs?
The main benefit is help keep vision, goals, and objectives in front of employees. When properly established and regularly used, OKRs are simple and do not require much time to implement or follow. OKRs are used by Fortune 500 companies, startups, and everyone in between. OKRs are said to be the one “best practice management tool” for your team or company as it has the ability to move your people in the right direction and ensure they follow your vision.
There are several apps on the market that guide you through the process of setting up and tracking OKRs. Weekdone is a good alternative to trying to figure OKRs out on your own. If you still need a bit of guidance, this video from Google explains how to set realistic OKR goals that are attainable and useful.