What are OKRs?

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a critical thinking framework and goal setting methodology that helps companies to align goals and ensure everyone is working collaboratively on goals that really matter. OKRs can be implemented using spreadsheets, or more commonly, with an OKR software. OKR methodology differs from other goal-setting methodologies such as balanced scorecards, and KPIs, which you can learn more about here.

The OKR methodology is a simple process of setting and aligning company, team, and personal goals (Objectives) and connecting each Objective with 3-5 measurable results (Key Results) to measure progress. Key Results can be measured on a 0-100% scale or any numerical unit (ex: dollar amount, %, items, etc.).

As progress is made on each Key Result, progress on the Objective moves forward on a 0-100% scale. Objectives are also supported by your weekly activities and initiatives (Plans) that you’ll take to drive forward the progress of an Objective. Plans should be created on a weekly basis and be linked to your Objectives.

Objectives
Key Results
Plans
  • Aspirational
  • Qualitative
  • Time Bound
  • Measurable
  • Quantitative
  • Difficult
  • Actions/Initiatives
  • High level
  • Important

Example OKR

Shown as simplified version of product structure below:

Objectives: Successfully implement the weekly newsletter

Key Results:

  • Grow subscriber base at least 15% for Q1
  • Increase the CTR% to above industry average of 3.5%
  • Finalize the content strategy, key messages, and topic structure for the next 6 months (0 – 100%)

Plans:

  • Prepare outline for January Newsletter
  • Decided on list of key topics to cover in first quarter
  • Send drafts of blog posts for copy editing