Why choose OKRs for your engineering team
OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a collaborative management methodology for setting challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. They’re helpful to the whole organization because they drive alignment, enhance focus, and inherently promote transparency.
Learn more about what OKRs are and how to use them
When it comes to engineering, your team can benefit greatly from the OKR framework. Engineering OKRs improve the effectiveness and integrity of your product, service, or the engineering team itself by breaking down silos and streamlining data management processes.
By positioning “why” statements at the core, OKRs help center goals around the wants and needs of the customer since engineering teams are responsible for implementing features and making product improvements to solve their specific problems.
How OKRs solve engineering team challenges
As a product or service scales, it becomes more complex. Complexity can lead to complications and the siloing of critical information needed to do the job. OKRs align engineers by making data accessible and promoting visibility of desired outcomes.
Another challenge engineering teams face is typical for output-oriented teams — measuring impact. To help solve this problem, use function specific OKRs.By doing this, each function’s data is transparent and accessible through OKRs, creating department-wide awareness of who is doing what and how the team’s performance looks in real-time.
With data management’s time drain reduced by OKRs, engineers can focus on executing the tasks that drive impact. While OKRs don’t traditionally focus on the day-to-day responsibilities, they help engineers uncover the impact of each task or output beyond face value.
This impact is demonstrated in key result progress — connecting the “why” to the “what” is the superpower OKRs bring to engineering teams.
Setting OKRs for the engineering team
The size of your organization will have a direct impact on the type of engineering OKRs you create. Startups may be better suited to focus on developing the product or service while enterprises can focus on optimizing processes, services, or products because of their maturity.
For most engineering teams, top down OKRs are more common. Because engineering talent is strongly connected to product output, engineering leaders at the VP or C-level largely assume the role of crafting OKRs and providing the vision for the teams. Combined with the right OKR platform, OKRs ensure maximum efficiency in your engineering team process.
In contrast to common OKR advice, task-based key results are well-suited to engineering teams. As long as the key results are connected to a clear outcome-focused objective, task-based engineering OKRs can still connect outputs to impact.
Engineering OKR focus areas
Engineering teams can focus their high output development process through function-specific OKRs:
- Quality assurance
- Engineering/Developer Community
Check out all our engineering OKR examples below.
Engineering OKR examples
Engineering OKRs for product
Objective: Improve the quality of our product
Key result 1: Reduce the average number of new bug reports from 72 per month to 60 per month
Key result 2: Increase the crash-free ratio from 96% to 99% for the new release
Key result 3: Reduce average QA rejections per-feature from 1.7 to 1.0
Key result 4: Increase code coverage from 35% to 50%
Engineering OKRs for performance
Objective: Accelerate the development team speed
Key result 1: Increase sprint velocity from 42 to 60 points
Key result 2: Reduce the average number of bugs per feature from 1.7 to 1
Key result 3: Reduce average code review time by 30%
Key result 4: Reduce "design-blocked" flag to <2% of planned features
Objective: Increase the automation of the deployment
Key result 1: Set up and implement automatic CI and CD with CloudBees
Key result 2: 100% of logged errors reported to Sentry
Key result 3: Reduce Travis build times <5m for all projects
Key result 4: Reduce "design-blocked" flag to <2% of planned features
Objective: Improve the quality of the development process
Key result 1: 100% of projects use standard style and linting rules
Key result 2: 100% of pull requests are reviewed and explicitly approved
Key result 3: Research and implement single code-style for all the engineering teams
Key result 4: Set up automatic CI and CD with Jenkins
Objective: Refactor old reporting CRM module
Key result 1: Create the refactoring plan
Key result 2: 80% of components ported from AngularJS to React
Key result 3: 100% of reporting routes (/api) migrated to new paths
Key result 4: Reduce the response time for old APIs from 890 ms to 300 ms (on average)
Engineering OKRs for quality assurance
Objective: Drive quality for features in our new release
Key result 1: Proactively find >20 bugs
Key result 2: Implement the new QA automation tool and run new process on 50% of code base
Key result 3: Reduce critical bugs reported from 5 to 2
Objective: Maintain an agile process
Key result 1: Implement workflow graph for 75% of existing processes
Key result 2: Certify 100% of team members on migrated database
Key result 3: Create 25 knowledge base articles
Engineering OKRs for education
Objective: Continuously improve and grow as a team
Key result 1: Competency matrix covers all existing roles (3)
Key result 2: "A player" job descriptions cover existing and planned roles (4)
Key result 3: 10K views of blog articles sharing our recent performance testing and insights
Key result 4: Speak on the local JS meetup
Objective: Boost team members career development
Key result 1: Increase the promotion rate by 20% this year
Key result 2: Career roadmaps exist for 5 most popular positions
Key result 3: Increase the 1-on-1s satisfaction for the "career development" question from 7.3 to 9.0
Objective: Launch internal education camp
Key result 1: Conduct 6 interview with tech leads to figure out the most critical educational needs
Key result 2: Roadmap outlines monthly educational events/activities (12)
Key result 3: Conduct the first EduCamp for engineering team on the security topic
Key result 4: Achieve 9.0 satisfaction and effectiveness score of the first module
Engineering OKRs for security
Objective: Achieve SOC 2 compliance
Key result 1: Document process to resolve security issues
Key result 2: Successfully train 5 Engineers on security compliance
Key result 3: Complete Pen testing with fewer than 3 vulnerabilities found
Objective: Increase data security
Key result 1: Decrease data breach incidents from 2 to 0
Key result 2: Increase data recovery rate from 93% to 100%
Key result 3: Decrease backup time by 75%
Engineering OKRs for UX/UI
Objective: Create a Feature Prototype by Q1 start
Key result 1: Prepare checklist of necessary elements
Key result 2: Confirm our design toolbox is up-to-date
Key result 3: 100% completion on weekly feedback and reports
Key result 4: Maintain a process log for changes and development
Objective: Improve design team performance
Key result 1: Host 10 total training sessions for all members
Key result 2: Reduce design time by 5%
Key result 3: Document a public record of design bottlenecks
OKRs for engineering/developer community
Objective: Become a socially responsible organization
Key result 1: 10K views of blog articles on educational engineering
Key result 2: 5 of our team members volunteer in the local tree-planting event
Key result 3: Hire 2 juniors for the summer internship
Objective: Contribute to the open-source community
Key result 1: Open-source our Image processing library and receive 100 stars on Github
Key result 2: Merge 10 pull-requests to the public repositories
Key result 3: Release and achieve 5,000 views on our guide on security testing
How Gtmhub simplifies OKRs for engineering teams
At Gtmhub, we’re committed to helping you bridge the gap between strategy and execution. Inspired by the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology, our platform is designed to help you align your teams, improve focus and foster transparency.
Quick-start your OKR journey with ready-to-go OKR templates from our Marketplace or connect with 160+ Integrations to update your OKRs and KPIs automatically to easily make data-driven decisions with our customizable Insights and Dashboards.