Businesses live and die by hitting their targets, and OKRs (objectives and key results) is one way that Silicon Valley companies are trying to ensure that happens in a simple, straightforward and transparent way.
Invented by Intel, popularized by venture capitalist John Doerr, and now adopted by companies including Zynga and Google, the idea is that the company, department, team and employees set not just their objectives, but identify the key results for hitting those objectives. It means goals are clear and measurable, and there is alignment company-wide.
- It disciplines thinking (the major goals will surface)
- Communicates accurately (lets everyone know what is important)
- Establishes indicators for measuring progress
(shows how far along we are)
- Focuses effort (keeps organization in step with each other)
How to implement OKRs?
Firstly, set your Objectives; these should be significant, should communicate action and should be supported by the organization as a whole.
Secondly, for each Objective, write down your Key Results, which is how you’re going to accomplish the goals. These few key points should be aggressive yet realistic, measurable, and time related.
Increase sales by 25% in the next quarter
- Hire 2 great new sales people
- Introduce new more effective sales collateral
- Increase conversion rate on visits to website by 10%
- Maximum of 5 objectives per company, department, team and person.
- Maximum of 4 Key Results per Objective
- OKRs must be mutually agreed upon by managers and employees
- OKRs should be a “stretch” – managers should expect a score of 60-70% completion. (100% indicates the OKRs were too easy in the first place).
- Review regularly, and carry forward only those Key Results which are still relevant.
- Objectives should be supporting the company as a whole.
- Key Results should be outcome based not task based.
Software to track OKRs?
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