Objective-Key Result (OKR) is a goal-setting framework that originated at Google. It's a method for defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes. Your objective is where you want to go, and the key results are the steps that will get you there. But implementing OKRs isn't always smooth sailing. In this post, we share our journey, the lessons we learned, and how OKRs can change your company.
What Makes a Good OKR?
Let's start by defining what a good OKR looks like:
- Objective: Increase engagement with new customers
- Key Result 1: Triple communication open rate in-product from 6% to 18%
- Key Result 2: Triple follow-up meetings booked per week to 24
- Key Result 3: Achieve a service quality rating of 9.5 or higher
- Key Result 4: Reduce response time by 300%
Our Journey to Implementing OKRs
Implementing OKRs can be challenging, and we made mistakes in our first iteration. We created too many OKRs that sometimes overlapped and felt isolated from each other. Communication among the team was lacking, and most of the OKRs weren't achieved. But despite the setbacks, we saw an upward trajectory in our organization.
The adoption of OKRs made people accountable for their day-to-day tasks and aligned them with higher strategic goals. This provided motivation and a sense of purpose. As we iterated on the process, we improved.
Takeaways from Our OKR Journey
Based on our experience, here are some takeaways that can help you better implement OKRs:
Limit Your OKRs
Tackle no more than 3 to 5 OKRs per cycle. Having too many can lead to overlap and confusion.
Assign Appropriate KRs
Assign only 3 to 5 KRs to each objective. This keeps your focus narrow and targeted.
Be Specific with KRs
Ensure that your KRs are specific and actionable. Ambiguous KRs can be difficult to measure.
Set Ambitious Goals
It's okay to set big goals that push your limits. OKRs are designed to stretch your capabilities.
Review and Reflect
Take time to review what went well and what went wrong after each cycle. Reflect on your progress and adjust as necessary.
Your OKR process should be iterative. Learn from your mistakes and continually improve your approach.
The Benefits of OKRs
Whether or not you choose to adopt OKRs, achieving goals requires time and planning. OKRs are an excellent framework for goal-setting and execution. They can provide clarity, alignment, and focus, driving your organization towards its strategic objectives.
For a deeper dive into OKRs, we recommend the book "Measure What Matters" by John Doerr. It's a comprehensive resource that explores the power of OKRs in transforming organizations.
Implementing OKRs can change your company by creating a culture of accountability, alignment, and purpose. It's not always easy, but with the right approach and continuous improvement, OKRs can become a valuable tool for achieving your strategic goals.