OKR: objectives and main results | the workflow (2023)

OKR: objectives and main results | the workflow (1)

You want your team to be unstoppable. Not only do you want to consistently master your daily to-do lists, but you also want to make measurable progress towards your most important goals.

So... how do you make it happen? Close your eyes and tap your heels three times? Rubbing a magic lamp and waiting for a wish-granting genie to appear? Cross your fingers and hope for the best?

Definitely give it a try. But if you really want to push your team forward, hiring OKR will likely get you where you want to be faster.

Have you ever heard of OKRs? They've become something of a buzzword, and many of the definitions are riddled with jargon and blah blah blah.

You need bass and we're here for it. We answer some of the most common questions about OKRs in a language you can actually understand.

What are OKRs?

DISTRICTstands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a goal setting methodology designed to guide your team towards your most important goals and to help you monitor your progress toward achieving those goals.

Pamper yourself while we pamper you quicklyhistory class. The origin of OKRs has its roots in the "Management by Objectives" system established by consultant and author Peter Drucker.

Andrew Grove, former Intel CEO, has simplified the system into a simpler form that answers two key questions:

  • Where am I going?
  • How will I control myself to get there?

An investor and venture capitalist named John Doerr, who absorbed much of Grove's knowledge, introduced this system to Google's co-founders, who are often credited withPopularizing OKRS. Since then, they have become common in many small and large organizations.

Where am I going?
How will I control myself to get there?

So what is a goal?

As the name suggests, OKRs are divided into two main parts: goals and key results. Let's talk about the goals part first.

To keep it simple, think of the goal as the goal you set for yourself.

with your team, youBrainstormingGoals by asking, "What are the key needles we need to move this quarter?" Yes, that's a hint: OKRs are usually set quarterly.

Remember that goals should be high-level, qualitative statements that are ambitious, not granular tasks or deliverables.

OBJECTIVE EXAMPLE:Launch a new employee portal by the end of the quarter.

(Video) OKR template in Google Sheets [Track Objectives & Key Results automatically]

And the main results?

OKRs themselves may not be inherently measurable. That is the job of your key results, measurable results that show that you have achieved your goal.

Don't make the mistake of confusing best results with assignments and assignments. It's about identifying outcomes, not things your team needs to achieve. So make sure you're always looking for a measurable result.

EXAMPLE OF IMPORTANT RESULTS:Submitting through the portal increases employee feedback scores by 25%.

Why use OKR?

This is not a popularity contest. But if it were, the OKRs would win. You may have heard a ton of this alreadyrenowned companies— including Google, Netflix, Ahnheuser-Busch, Adobe, Samsung, and even we at Atlassian — use them to define goals.

But if naming names isn't enough to convince you, there are many other reasons to use OKRs, including:

  • Main Lineup:Everyone is on the same page in terms of goals and success metrics.
  • Improved flexibility:Because OKRs are set quarterly, these shorter goal cycles allow for more leeway
  • Increased Responsibility:Everyone knows exactly how success is measured and who is responsible for it.
  • main focus:OKRs are thoughtful and clearly defined, increasing focus on the goals that really matter

Given these incredible benefits, it's easy to see why so many successful and fast-growing organizations love OKRs.

How do I configure OKRs?

OKR: objectives and main results | the workflow (2)

They want to join the teams and companies that work tirelessly to achieve their goals (because who wouldn't?). Here's how to do it.

First, organize a brainstorming session with your team to figure out what you most want to achieve.

There will likely be tons of ideas floating around and probably some discussion about what your goals should be. This is a case where more is not better. We recommend distilling themno more than three to fiveQuarterly Goals. Also, you shouldn't assign more than three key results to each objective to avoid confusion.

Also remember that OKRs are better suited to higher, longer-term goals. You're not going to use this system to complete a task on your daily to-do list or a team project that's due tomorrow. That would be too complicated.

With those basics in mind, let's quickly review the steps you and your team will take to establish OKRs.

Step #1: Share the basics

If you are using OKR for the first time, a lot will be new for you and your team members. Save some time early on to educate your team on the process and terminology so they can contribute constructively to the conversation.

(Video) Objectives & Key Results with PeopleGoal

Step #2: Define your goals

Step 3: Identify your key deliverables

You have your goals, so now it's time for the team to think about what results you would see and measure if you actually achieved that goal. These should be your most important results. Remember that you don't need more than three for each objective.

EXAMPLE OF KEY RESULT #1:Infographics improve user time on page by 10%.
EXAMPLE OF KEY RESULT #2:Infographics are each pinned at least 100 times on Pinterest.

Step #4: Convince yourself

The footwork is done, now it's time for a gut check. Review the goals and key results you've achieved. Are they unrealistic? Or are they too easy? do you have too much Or is it not enough? This is your chance to make some changes before completing them.

Step 5: Plan your monthly checkpoints

Like any other goal setting method, OKRs are not set and forgotten. You should meet with your team monthly to review how you are approaching your goal and give each key result an expected score at the end of the quarter. OKRs are scored on a sliding scale of 0 to 1, indicating whether you missed, met, or achieved your goal for the main result. For example, if you just improved the average user time for a single blog post by 3%, you would rate this key result as 0.3.

How do you maintain your OKRs?

Oops! Your OKRs are set. The hard work is over, isn't it? Not quite. Now you and your team really need to meet them.

This is where that magical spirit would really come in handy...

But if it's not showing up, here are some strategies you can employ to increase buy-in and engagement towards these goals:

  • Involve your team in the process:If the steps above didn't give you a clue, setting your OKRs should be a collaborative process with your team. These goals should not be inherited from above.
  • Assign owner:An owner should be assigned to each key result so that everyone knows who is responsible for what. It creates clarity and increases accountability.
  • Don't skip your logging sessions:Things get hectic and you'd rather spend your time working toward those goals than setting them. Resist this temptation! These logging sessions are important for proactive troubleshooting and monitoring your progress.
  • Be patient:Your OKRs may not be perfect the first time. The good news is that you set them up on a quarterly basis, so you can refine the process on the fly.

What are OKR examples?

OKR: objectives and main results | the workflow (3)

Sometimes there is nothing more inspiring than an example. You were lucky! Below are some examples of OKRs that apply to four different types of devices.

OKR example for HR teams

GOAL:Improve employee engagement.

KEY RESULT #1:Increase attendance at monthly company social events by 30%.

KEY RESULT #2:Increase employee feedback survey results by 15%.

(Video) When is the best time of year to implement OKR?

OKR example for sales teams

GOAL:Increase our recurring revenue.

KEY RESULT #1:Reduce our customer churn rate to less than 5%.

KEY RESULT #2:Increase free account upgrades by 40% on premium accounts.

OKR example for customer service teams

GOAL:Improving customer satisfaction.

KEY RESULT #1:Reduce the wait time for customer support tickets to 24 hours.

KEY RESULT #2:Improvement of the feedback values ​​in our customer surveys to an average rating of four stars.

OKR example for product management teams

GOAL:Provide an updated version of our core product.

KEY RESULT #1:Get 2,000 new product registrations.

KEY RESULT #2:Receive product reviews published on the top 10 industry websites.

What makes OKR different from other goal setting frameworks?

Let's be honest: we're big fans of OKRs. They are popular because they are effective.

But that doesn't mean they're the only way to set goals. So let's round out the goal setting showdown by comparing OKRs to two other popular goal setting methods: KPIs and SMART goals.

(Video) OKRs: A Travel Log of Objectives + Key Results in Action by Marc Duerr


They share cute initials, which is why OKRs and KPIs are often confused. However, the two are really very different.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) require you to assign a measurable goal to an existing project or process (unlike OKRs, where setting a new goal is the first step).

KPI EXAMPLE:Imagine you're already working on improving the effectiveness of your customer service team and you're not sure when to mark that goal as complete. You can assign a KPI of 45 customer tickets solved per week.

OKR versus metas SMART

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. When setting goals with this system, you need to tick all of those boxes to ensure it sets you up for success.

It is also important to note that withSMART goalAll criteria are captured in a single statement. There are no two separate parts like OKRs.

EXAMPLE OF SMART TARGET:This month, resolve 45 customer support tickets per week to improve the effectiveness of our customer support team.

follow goals

You want your team to get closer to their goals. But so far he has not found an extra generous spirit or wishing well that offers guarantees.

Luckily, achieving your goals doesn't have to be left to chance. OKRs are just what your team needs to set ambitious goals and clearly define what success looks like.

More wins with less frustration. That sounds like child's play to us.

Ready to get started with your own OKRs? We think so.This template can help.


How do you frame Objectives and Key Results? ›

7 OKR Best Practices
  1. Keep it Simple. Focus on objectives you know you can achieve in the given timeframe. ...
  2. Be Specific. ...
  3. Cascade Your Objectives. ...
  4. Make it Measurable. ...
  5. Don't Worry About Stretch Goals. ...
  6. Break Key Results into Smaller Goals. ...
  7. Celebrate and Recognize.
Oct 6, 2022

What matters OKR Definition & Examples of Objectives & key results? ›

What is an OKR? Definition and Examples. OKRs stand for Objectives and Key Results, a collaborative goal-setting methodology used by teams and individuals to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. OKRs are how you track progress, create alignment, and encourage engagement around measurable goals.

What is the difference between OKRs and Objectives? ›

Objectives and key results (OKRs) is a tool to focus, align, prioritize and measure the work of an organization in order to accomplish their mission and achieve their vision. Objectives are goals you want achieved. They are meaningful, specific, action-oriented and aspirational.

What are the sample Objectives of OKR? ›

Top company objectives—OKR examples

Hit company global sales target of $100 Million in Sales. Achieve 100% year-to-year sales growth in the EMEA geography. Increase the company average deal size by 30% (with upsells) Reduce churn to less than 5% annually (via Customer Success)

What are the five 5 criteria for setting of objectives? ›

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives is a good way to plan the steps to meet the long-term goals in your grant. It helps you take your grant from ideas to action.

What are the five steps to create objectives? ›

5 Steps to Writing Clear and Measurable Learning Objectives
  • Identify the Level of Knowledge Necessary to Achieve Your Objective. ...
  • Select an Action Verb. ...
  • Create Your Very Own Objective. ...
  • Check Your Objective. ...
  • Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
Jun 5, 2022

What are the three important elements of OKRs? ›

Both KPIs and OKRs have three elements i.e. goals, metrics and targets that aid functioning.

What is the difference between Key Results and initiatives in OKR? ›

Objectives, Key Results, and Initiatives

An OKR consists of an Objective, which tells you where to go, and a set of Key Results, which are the measurable results you need to achieve to reach your Objective. Initiatives are the different projects and tasks that will ensure you achieve your Key Results.

What is OKR structure? ›

An OKR consists of an Objective, which tells you where to go, and several Key Results, which are the results you need to achieve to get to your Objective. Initiatives are all the projects and tasks that will help you achieve your Key Results.

How many Objectives should OKRs have? ›

While the answer is the same across the board, there may be some nuances depending on an organization's size. Simplicity is always key. To capture the ambitions of your organization, you should have a maximum of three Objectives, each with 3-5 Key Results.

What are OKRs and smart Objectives? ›

SMART goals provoke the question “what is the goal?” Yet OKRs ask “what is the goal and how do we get there? Objectives and key results should connect like puzzle pieces, with the intent being that if the objective were to be reached, the key results must also be achieved.

What is the difference between Objectives and results? ›

Objectives are intended results or consequences of instruction, curricula, programs, or activities. Outcomes are achieved results or consequences of what was learned; i.e., evidence that learning took place.

What are the 5 objectives? ›

The five key business performance objectives for any organization include quality, speed, dependability, flexibility, and cost. When it comes to business performance objectives you're likely aware that efficiency and productivity are crucial. But how do you successfully achieve these?

What are good Key Results for OKRs? ›

Remember, good Key Results have several basic characteristics:
  • They are specific and time-bound.
  • They are aggressive, yet realistic.
  • They are measurable and verifiable.

What are the 4 levels of objectives? ›

Four levels of Goals and Objectives
  • Define high-level ambitions.
  • Identify change objectives.
  • Discuss experience objectives.
  • Clarify practical constraints.
May 9, 2017

What are the 4 types of objectives? ›

In summary,
  • Cognitive objectives emphasize THINKING,
  • Affective objectives emphasize FEELING and.
  • Psychomotor objectives emphasize ACTING.
Sep 11, 2018

What are the 6 W's of specific goals? ›

This is a mission statement for your goal rather than a list. Think about the 6 W's (Who, What, When Where, Which, Why) and identify how this goal will be accomplished.

What are the 4 components of an objective summary? ›

They include times, dates, statistics, and events that are true. When you write an objective summary, these are the types of details you write about.

What are the 6 characteristics of good objectives? ›

SMART is an acronym used to identify the characteristics of good objectives. SMART objectives identify who should do what, under what conditions, according to which standards. SMART objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

How do you sequence objectives? ›

There are seven sequencing methods: Job performance order, chronological order, critical sequence, simple to complex order, comparative sequence, relationships between objectives, and part to whole. You may use one method or a combination of methods to sequence the learning objectives in a logical teaching order.

What are the 5 elements of OKR? ›

Five Key Elements of OKR Success
  • OKRS Require Strategic Direction. OKRs are a great means to align an organisation towards a set of ambitious common objectives. ...
  • OKRs Need to be Bidirectional. ...
  • OKRs Require Defined Cadences. ...
  • Key Results Must not be Binary. ...
  • Outcomes Need a Feedback Loop.
Jul 4, 2019

What common mistakes you should avoid when making OKRs? ›

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing OKRs
  • Too many Objectives. ...
  • Everyday To-Do's as OKRs. ...
  • Set and Forget approach. ...
  • Objectives set are not aspirational enough. ...
  • Creating OKRs in silos. ...
  • Breaking OKRs linked to compensation.

What are Objectives and Key Results areas? ›

Definition of Objectives And Key Results (OKR)

Objectives and Key Results, also known as OKR, is a goal-setting framework used in businesses to align individual performance with overall goals in a measurable way. Ensuring that all team members are pulling in the same direction is no small task.

How many Key Results should a well framed OKR include? ›

Key results: are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the objective. For each objective, you should have a set of two to five key results. More than that and no one will remember them.

What are the different types of Key Results? ›

3 Types of Key Results

Your Key Results will usually fit into one of three categories: Inputs, Outputs and Outcomes. One technique we've found helpful is to be able to think of Key Results in each of these ways, then select the best one for your current needs.

What is an OKR roadmap? ›

OKRs are a framework for setting and measuring objectives, which as we already covered earlier in this guide, are a key ingredient in your lean roadmap. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, and it's these two elements that help give your roadmap structure and purpose.

What is OKR goal template? ›

OKR (Objectives and Key Results) templates work as a performance management system to provide a framework for setting team objectives and tracking results. Whether you're a small or large organization, it pays to clearly understand your company objectives so everyone is working toward the same goals.

What is OKR mapping? ›

OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal system used by Google and others. It is a simple tool to create alignment and engagement around measurable goals.

How do you frame an Objective? ›

There are five elements to this framework:
  1. Specific. Make sure your project objective statement clearly covers the project your team is currently working on. ...
  2. Measurable. At the end of your project, you need a way to clearly look back and determine if your project was a success. ...
  3. Achievable. ...
  4. Realistic. ...
  5. Time-bound.
Oct 24, 2020

How do you frame goals and objectives? ›

Keep the following in mind when preparing your objectives:
  1. State your objectives in quantifiable terms.
  2. State your objectives in terms of outcomes, not process.
  3. Objectives should specify the result of an activity.
  4. Objectives should identify the target audience or community being served.

How do you frame a research Objective? ›

How to write research objectives
  1. Pinpoint the major focus of your research. ...
  2. Break down your research focus into research objectives. ...
  3. Write your research objectives in the SMART format. ...
  4. Keep your number of objectives limited. ...
  5. Use action verbs.
Jun 29, 2021

How do you write outcomes and objectives? ›

Directions: Write your goal and objectives for each goal in the space provide below. Include: (a) who is involved, (b) what the desired outcomes are, (c) how progress will be measured, (d) when the outcome will occur and (e) the proficiency level. Then, put the pieces together into a sentence.

What are the 3 parts of an objective? ›

It should be specific, concise, and, most importantly, observable or measurable. Objective statements contain three parts: behavior, conditions, and criteria.

What are the four parts of an objective? ›

Objectives will include 4 distinct components: Audience, Behavior, Condition and Degree. Objectives must be both observable and measurable to be effective.

What are the 4 steps to writing an objective? ›

A well-written objective will have four parts, it will state the audience (students), provide a measurable and observable behavior, and describe the circumstances, and describe the degree in which students will perform.

What are the 5 smart objectives? ›

What are the 5 SMART goals? SMART goals stands for an acronym outlines a strategy for reaching any objective. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame.

Do you set goals or objectives first? ›

Once a core goal is set, setting business objectives is the next step towards fostering a clear understanding of how to reach the desired outcome. The main difference between objectives and goals is that objectives are precise actions or measurable steps individuals and groups take to move closer to the goal.

How do you write objectives and targets? ›

Tips and tricks for writing goals and Objectives
  1. Always write down your goals. First things first: always write down your goals and Objectives. ...
  2. Make sure your goals are measurable. You need to make sure your goals are measurable. ...
  3. Set a deadline. ...
  4. Keep your focus. ...
  5. Do not set goals alone. ...
  6. Use Objectives and Key Results.

What is SMART format objectives? ›

A SMART objective is one that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. SMART objectives provide the details for how a group or organization will achieve a goal.

How many research objectives should you have? ›

Normally at least two or three research objectives will be stated. It is good practice to put these in a numbered list so they can be clearly identified later in a proposal or report.

What are specific objectives? ›

Specific objectives are often developed at the beginning of a research or study project to expand on the general objective, define the scope of the project, and to steer the focus of data collection and reporting.

What are outcomes and objectives examples? ›

For example, let's talk about pie. Let's say the goal is to make a blueberry pie. The first objective could be to make the crust from scratch for the pie. The outcome might be perfection or a not quite burnt crust.

What comes first objective or outcome? ›

This is where objectives and outcomes come into play. An objective is a desired outcome that we want to achieve. To identify an outcome, first, identify what it is you want to achieve and secondly determine how best to achieve that goal.

Should Okr objectives be measurable? ›

OKRs at a glance:

Objectives are ambitious and may feel somewhat uncomfortable. Key results are measurable and should be easy to grade with a number (Google uses a scale of 0 – 1.0) OKRs are public so that everyone in the organization can see what others are working on.


1. OKR template Excel (plan and track Objectives & Key Results)
2. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) with ServiceNow Goal Framework
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3. OKR/Goals Assistant-Executive Alignment Workshop
4. How to implement Objectives and Key Results with monday.com
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5. KPI vs. OKR: What's the difference for small business?
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6. How to Set Business Objectives and Measure Key Results - Silence is Golden #wpelevation
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