What is an OKR?
The OKR process is centered on the principle of setting ambitious goals (Objectives) then breaking those Objectives down into Key Results (KRs) which are highly measurable. Underneath each Key Result will be a list of tasks (ToDos) which are the actual things you will do to deliver your Key Results. The results of those elements are typically graded once per quarter.
The concept was invented at the Intel Corporation and is widely used amongst the biggest technology companies in the world including Google and Zynga.
In a nutshell, your objective is what you want to accomplish. Your key results are how you get there.
For how to write OKRs, the actual formula is simple: Objectives are goals and intents, while Key Results are time-bound and measurable milestones under these goals and intents.
Benefits of OKRs
- They force an organisation to be ambitious but clear with their goals.
- It requires measurement and are therefore tangible.
- They help employees understand how their actions help the organisation to achieve its ambitions.
- They’re open and transparent, encouraging better collaboration and communication throughout the organisation.
- They provide a framework for rapid failure which leads to accelerated success. (As the goals are set quarterly, you know quickly what’s achievable and what’s likely to fail, allowing you to make plans accordingly.)
Example of OKRs
Let’s say you want to focus on improving customer satisfaction. You might have a set of OKRs that looks like this:
Objective: Understand and Improve Upon our Customer Satisfaction Levels
KR1: Conduct 50 research focus groups with our customers
– ToDo: Engage a third party research agency
– ToDo: Hire a venue
– ToDo: Design focus group questions
KR2: Deliver a consistent Net Promoter Score (NPS) of above 80%
– ToDo: Implement an NPS system via email
– ToDo: Perform quality audit on current NPS responses
KR3: Reduce customer attrition due to product dissatisfaction to less than 0.5%
– ToDo: Increase attrition reporting frequency to daily
– ToDo: Reduce wait-time for contact center to less than 2 mins
Book: Measure What Matters
Good Article: Fundamentals on OKRs