Everyone has general goals, but the noise of day-to-day life can cause you to lose focus on those goals. OKR help you keep these goals in mind so you can meet them.

John Doerr explains the OKR methodology in his book Measure What Matters, a book we recommend everyone to read. The Spanish version of the book is available as well.

Like we said in our previous post, in today’s post, we will summarize the most important points Doerr talks about. Summarizing the book in just one article is quite complicated so we have left some relevant points out. 

That’s why we recommend reading the whole book to go deeper into the methodology and see examples of companies like Google that have been implementing it for some time.

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

What is OKR?

The term OKR is made up of two parts. The first, O stands for Objective, and the second, KR for Key Result. The OKR methodology is used to set objectives and carry them out in a more efficient way.

To summarize it simply, the objectives are the “what” or where we want to aim and get to; and the key results are the “how” we are going to achieve these objectives.

OKRs are like a map, the objective is the destination and the key results are the directions you need to take to get to your destination.

How does it work?

Basically, it consists of having a big objective and breaking it down into smaller objectives, which are the key results. This allows an objective that at first might seem overwhelming to be segmented to give greater clarity and focus on the central objective.

However, there are two very important points to consider about OKRs: 

  • The first is that they must be in our control to meet. You cannot set objectives that even if you do everything possible to achieve them, there are external factors that prevent you from achieving them. 
  • The second is that they have to be measurable. Measuring these OKRs is what will allow us to see our development and if the objectives are being met.

In addition, there are a number of premises to keep in mind when setting these OKRs:

OKR Rules

If you have taken 5 minutes to define the OKRs, it’s very likely that 97% of them will be useless. You need to think for a few days or weeks, do some general brainstorming, but you need to do it for sure, brainstorming, brainstorming, brainstorming, did you get it? The purpose of all of this is to get the most out of this methodology.

They have to be simple and concise. It has to be a sentence that everyone in the company can understand and that everyone knows what the main objective is and what the key results of each one are. 

They have to be ambitious objectives. The book states that if you try to improve 10% of what you are doing, you are doing the same as everyone else. So it explains that you have to look for objectives that contribute x10 to your current situation. Conversely, another thing that is discussed in the book is that if you achieve 100% of your key results it means you are doing it wrong. You are not being ambitious enough so it’s not the right progress either.

okr aim for the moon. if you miss, you may hit a star
W. Clement Stone Quote

Everyone should have this quote in mind while thinking about ambitious objectives: “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.

And finally, it’s important to remember that we are looking for results, where we want to get to. It’s not a to do list.

How do I go about it?

The author recommends defining annual, quarterly and monthly OKRs. Here it will depend on one’s personal situation or the company, but the operation remains exactly the same.

Then, usually 3 general objectives are needed, although they can be less, and between 4 and 5 key results.

The company has certain objectives with certain key results. It is then a matter of each team member to think about objectives and key results that have a direct impact on the company’s key results. 

In addition, depending on the OKRs that have been defined, whether annual, quarterly or monthly, then every X amount of time the team meets to update everyone’s key results and see where the company stands.

An OKR Example

An example for someone in the Marketing department of a company could be:

Objective: When you listen (idea), you think (brand).

KR1: Grow blog subscribers to 5,000

KR2: Get the brand published on 5 other brands’ websites, blogs, or social networks.

KR3: Increase social media followers by 50%.

You can use a name for the objective that motivates you! The key results are simple and concise, easily measurable, and as it’s an example and the numbers are fictitious we will say that they are also ambitious 😉

Conclusions

As you can see, the OKR system helps to have structure and focus on the overall objectives set. In addition, there is a follow-up to see the progress of each one, which means a better measurement.

Besides, it gives visibility of what each member is doing and is a great motivator because we know that all objectives are interspersed with the others, so no one wants to be a hindrance to others.

So much for today’s post! We hope it has inspired you to start using the OKR methodology. 

Thank you very much as always for reading us! 

See you in the next post 🙂

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1 thought on “OKR”

  1. How can I set OKRs in my company if 60% of the employees are shop vendors? And can quarterly bonus depends on their OKRs performance?
    Thanks

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