What is OKR?

A goal setting framework for thinking big

Organizations striving for business agility and talent alignment are increasingly adopting a different approach for goal setting, created in Silicon Valley.

Made famous by John Doerr, it has been successfully adopted by great companies such as Google, Spotify, LinkedIn and Reliance.

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What does it really mean?

In a nutshell OKRs are a simple but powerful goal-setting methodology. They describe a limited set of ambitious objectives and key results, in order to set hyper-focus for the company and individual teams for each 90-day cycle.

O = objectives

  • Motivating
  • It’s the big idea. “Where are we going?”
  • It’s always ambitious, even a tad uncomfortable.
  • It’s easy to remember.

KR = key results

  • Specific & Measurable path to objectives.
  • It’s the GPS. “How are we getting there?”
  • It’s quantifiable. It’s not a Key Result unless it has a number.
  • It results in objective grading.

Anatomy of an OKR

Objectives Identify & communicate 3-5 things you want to achieve this quarter or year The big idea. Where are we headed? Inspire & motivate team with a sense of purpose Example: Provide awesome customer experience
Key Result 3-5 best possible results for each objective How are we getting there? Numbers quantifying an end state Example: NPS 80 by end of Q3
Tasks/ Initiatives Projects, sprints & deliverables Unique action items owned by different team members that will get you to the result May support one or more OKRs Example: Conduct use case training for all CX teams
  1. Identify & communicate 3-5 things you want to achieve this quarter or year
  2. The big idea & why?
  3. Inspire & motivate team with a sense of purpose
  4. Example: Provide awesome customer experience
  1. 3-5 best possible results for each objective
  2. Numbers quantifying an end state
  3. Where will you focus efforts to create most value
  4. Example: NPS 80 by end of Q3
  1. Projects, sprints & deliverables
  2. Unique action items owned by different team members that will get you to the result
  3. May support one or more OKRs
  4. Example: Conduct use case training for all CX teams

OKRs deliver two sets of valuable results

How do you measure?​

A3 to scale

How do OKRs Work?​

Not surprisingly, there are several different interpretations of OKRs out there and not all result in successful adoption. I have developed a straightforward method that is easy to follow and agile.

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