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OKR - Objectives & Key Results

OKR is a goal setting approach that is increasingly popular at innovative and high growth companies and has been adopted by leading companies like Google, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

We created this repository of curated content to educate people about OKRs. The OKR content is organized into three sections - Beginner's Guide to OKRs, Implementing OKRs and Ensuring Success with OKRs. Whether you are using google spreadsheets or another OKR tool or not, we hope that you will find the OKR content here valuable.

If you have a good OKR article, drop us a note at okrs [at] talentcove [dot] com. We will review and add all quality contributions to this page with acknowledgments.

Beginner's Guide to OKRs

If you heard about OKRs, but not sure what they are or whether they can help your organization, this section will provide an introductory primer. You can learn how OKRs are defined, their benefits and how OKRs compare with other goal-based management approaches like KPIs and MBOs. Also checkout a case study about Google’s implementation of OKRs, including a video by Rick Klau from Google Ventures Startup Lab.

What are OKRs

What are OKRs?

Objectives are what you and your organization want to accomplish. Objectives are aspirational and qualitative in nature. Key Results describe how you will accomplish these objectives, and measure whether you successfully accomplished the objective. Key Results are specific, measurable, time-bound goals with a clearly accountable owner...read more »

OKRs vs KPIs vs MBOs

OKRs vs KPIs vs MBOs

Setting of goals and objectives has been around in organizations for several decades. MBOs were introduced by Peter Drucker in the late 60’s. In the early 80’s, the concept of SMART goals started to gain ground, followed by KPIs in the mid 80s. Compared to MBOs and KPIs, OKRs are primarily different in two ways - Linking to individual compensation and transparency of goals in the organization...read more »

Benefits of OKRs

Benefits of OKRs

OKRs enable organizations to focus employees on the right business goals, align the workforce to accomplish those goals and finally, drive tranparency of execution. The structure of OKRs ensures that the team members' goals and work is aligned with the team and company objectives. Focus on key results enables the team to execute on the right things and avoid "busy work"...read more »

Google OKRs

OKR Implementation - Google case study

Google has been using OKRs since 1999. At Google, the Objectives are ambitious and are difficult to achieve 100%. Typical objective achievement is in the 60-70% range. Key Results are measurable. At Google, each key result is graded on a 0 - 1.0 scale at the end of each quarter. All the key results are averaged to determine the OKR grade. All OKRs are visible across the organization...read more »

Getting Started with OKRs

Now that you have learned the basics of OKRs, you may want to know more about making OKRs a reality in your organization. In this section, we discuss setting good objectives and key results, provide examples of good OKRs in various departments and outline success factors for teams and organizations as they implement OKRs. There are numerous tools available for OKR implementation and we also discuss the key criteria in deciding what tools may be right for your organization.

Implementing-okrs

Implementing OKRs - 101

Teams and organizations can sometime get hung up on trying to follow some “prescribed” methodology that defines a "correct" OKR implementation. We speak with companies everyday and OKRs are implemented slightly differently in many of them, depending on size and culture of the organization. Most organizations set OKRs at the company or team level but not at an individual level...read more »

OKR examples

OKR Examples - Setting them Right

The key to setting good OKRs is to keep the Objectives aspirational and qualitative. The Key results have to be specific, tangible and time bound so that it is easy for teams to execute toward them. Depending on type of function (e.g., Sales, Marketing, Finance), the key results vary and we haved provided you a set of OKR examples that will help you come up...read more »

OKR Tool Requirements

OKR Software - Factors to Consider

Many organizations start with excel sheets to track OKRs and it does work in some instances. To get the most from OKRs requires objectives cascading, history of progress on key results and ability to provide feedback. Hence, over the last year, there have been several OKR-specific tools have hit the market and several generic goal manageent vendors marketing themselves as OKR software...read more »

Success with OKRs

Once you have implemented OKRs, you need a predictable process to review, reset and evaluate OKRs for have long-term success. In addition to mastering how to set good stretch goals, you should leverage best practices of leading OKR implementions. Best practices provide you important benchmarks and lessons on how to do the things the right way for your work culture. In this section, we have included a growing FAQs from our customers and others resources that we believe would be helpful for organizations looking to succeed with OKRs.

okr-best-practices

OKR Best Practices - Implementation Lessons

Setting the right team level OKRs is an important factor in getting value from OKRS for any organization. Although Company-level OKRs give the right overall direction and context, execution occurs at the team level and hence, team-level OKRs are key. Individual OKRs are typicaly derived from team OKRs. To ensure focus of your employees, we recommend only 3-5 objectives at any given time...read more »

OKR FAQs

FAQs about OKRs

As we onboard hundreds of organizations and teams in implementing OKRs, there are set of questions that come up again and again. We hae started gathering some of these frequently asked questions (FAQs) in this section. If you have other questions, drop us a note to okrs [at] talentcove [dot] com and we would happy to answer it and add it to this section... read more »

OKR Case Studies

OKR Case Studies & Resources

OKRs have been extremely popular over the last couple of years and we are beginning to see some good OKR case studies. This page is a collection of links that we found valuable for understanding and implementing OKRs. As we said before, there isn't a single way to implement OKRs, but these links will provide you ideas on what might work best for your organization...read more »