Why choose OKRs for your engineering team
OKRs or Objectives and Key Results are a collaborative goal-setting tool used by engineering teams to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. OKRs are how you track progress, create alignment, and encourage engagement around measurable goals.
OKRs can be a superpower for creating an environment where employees are able to work with purpose. Companies like Intel, LinkedIn and Airbnb have achieved amazing results with OKRs, but less often discussed is the fact that deploying a goal framework in the right way can create a vastly better working environment.
The OKR methodology is very simple, and when used properly, OKRs can help your engineering team create things like high output management, team alignment and increased communication in all your business goals.
Writing and implementing OKRs for your engineering team
When it comes to creating and writing incredible OKRs consider the following formula:
Designed to fit the needs of any organization size, department or industry, OKRs work the same for setting goals throughout many company levels. They can also be used by individuals or small teams to achieve results.
Objectives need to be clear, actionable and (ideally) inspiring, while also actionable and time-bound.
Key results determine whether an Objective has succeeded or failed. They are quantifiable, measurable and time-bound, so that it's easy for the team to gauge progress. Contributors on the KRs should measure progress regularly (ideally weekly), and then at the end of the OKR period (typically a quarter), there’s a regular grading of the KR and retrospective.
When it comes to writing and setting OKRs, it's a good idea to make it collaborative. By conducting a brainstorming session, it engages your engineering team, gives your team a level of ownership and drives accountability for those results.
Ultimately, you want to create a process where teams feel empowered to create their OKRs and then challenge teams across the business to ensure they’re focused on the right priorities at the right time. This process encourages creative thinking and informed risk-taking, all to push your engineering team forward.
Engineering OKRs: Best practices and examples
When getting started with engineering OKRs, we get common questions like “how do I write a good engineering team OKR?” or “can you give me a good example of an engineering QA OKR?” To answer these questions, we created a list of example engineering OKRs so you can have some inspiration as you begin to write your own company, department, and team OKRs.
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
ORKS 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
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
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.