OKR (or Objectives and Key Results) is a goal-setting system designed to help people set and achieve their goals – on a company, team, or personal level. Adopted by agile giants like Google, Amazon, and Atlassian, OKRs have become a popular option for those looking to keep people working towards the same direction.
But it’s not so easy to get started.
OKRs start with an overarching objective that outlines one goal. This objective is subsequently supported by key results that break that big goal into smaller, more manageable targets. But how do you know you are setting the right goals to begin with?
Here are four tips on how to set effective OKRs.
Write your OKRs together. If you’re setting team goals, it’s important to include your team in the writing process. By making them feel part of the process, they will be more engaged and invested, and it also helps you set OKRs that are right for them.
OKRs are about collaboration – discussing your goals as a team will help break down barriers and get everyone engaged and working towards the same direction.
Don’t set easy goals. OKRs are meant to challenge your team to do their best. If you’re just starting out, set “roofshot objectives”, goals that are hard but achievable. Aim for a 100% success rate. As you get more accustomed to OKRs and want to really challenge your team, graduate to “moonshot objectives” or stretch goals that are beyond what’s deemed possible. The ideal grade for moonshot OKRs is between 60-70%.
Here’s an extra tip: Consistently scoring lower or higher means your OKRs are either unclear or not ambitious enough. Try adjusting your goal difficulty accordingly.
Think about alignment. The best OKRs are aligned with the company’s vision and mission. This means unifying your company at every level and linking daily work with the company’s strategic direction.
That’s why we recommend bi-directional alignment, where management sets the big, strategic OKRs which are then broken into tactical OKRs by teams.
Don’t be afraid to change things up. Setting the right OKRs for your team takes practice. OKRs aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of deal; in fact, they work best when customized to your team's preferences. So, if something isn’t working, change it. And don’t wait for the end of the cycle to make changes either. Hold regular check-ins with your team and keep an eye out for blockers that might be preventing progress. You might be surprised at how quickly things can improve if issues are discovered and corrected right away.
Setting the right goals is only the first step. How you implement OKRs and manage them is just as important.
Learn more on implementing and managing OKRs and save your seat for our free webinar on 21 September 2022 at 3:00pm GMT / 5:00pm CEST . We’ll be sharing some tips, tricks, and tools on effective OKR management and answering some burning questions you might have on OKRs.
We’ll be covering:
Why agile teams should be using OKRs
How to set effective OKRs (and stick to them)
How to get started with a simple 5-step roll-out plan
How to tell if the OKRs are working
Interested? Sign up here to save your spot for the webinar today.