OKR

Posted by Ivan Osmak
on March 23, 2018

The hyper-condensed explanation of OKRs.

What is OKRs?

OKRs or Objectives & Key Results is a goal setting and management methodology for businesses and organizations.

Who uses OKRs?

OKRs were invented at Intel and later made popular at Google.

Today, numerous organizations use OKRs: Accenture, Amazon, Box, Deloitte, Dropbox, Facebook, Gap, GE, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, Panasonic, Siemens, Slack, Viacom, Zendesk, Zynga…

Why use OKRs?

There are four main benefits of OKRs:

  • alignment – everyone pushing in the same direction
  • focus – do the most important work
  • transparency – know what others are working on
  • engagement – own your results

When to use OKRs?

Two main occasions: businesses experiencing high-growth or undergoing a lot of changes.

OKR examples

  • Objective: Improve sales process
    • Key Result 1: Win deals on average in 40 days
    • Key Result 2: Lost deals on average in 60 days
    • Key Result 3: Win 30 new deals
    • Key Result 4: Give on average less than 30% discount

What is an objective?

A qualitative statement of what one wants to achieve.

example: Speed up product development

What is a key result?

A quantitative definition of what success looks like.

example: Increase sprint velocity to 20

Why OKRs fail?

Because people stop using them. Managing OKRs at scale is notoriously hard.

OKR alternatives?

MBO, Balanced Scorecard, 4DX, EOS…

What not to confuse OKRs with?

KPIs, task management, project management, performance appraisals…

OKRs software

  • Free:
    • Google Sheets, Trello
  • Entry level:
    • Weekdone, Perdoo, Atiim
  • Enterprise level:
    • Gtmhub, BetterWorks, Workboard