Objectives and key results (OKRs) is a framework used to define and track objectives and their outcomes, over a specific period of time.
Companies from Google to Adobe have rolled out OKRs to accelerate growth and drive innovation by helping teams see how their work fits into the overall company’s objectives.
The OKR methodology is a collaborative, goal-setting framework that helps teams and organisations reach their goals through identifiable and measurable results.
Consider the following structure to write an objective and link it to key results:
We will (Objective) as measured by (these Key Results).
A KR is measurable and verifiable; there’s always a black and white answer as to whether it’s been achieved.
Remember, OKRs are meant to be written, rewritten and even scrapped if they’re not working for you. So while beginning from scratch can be daunting, it’s all just part of an ongoing process. Let’s begin!
Objectives come from, and are inspired by, your mission. The mission is usually the big, pie-in-the-sky thing that everyone is working together to achieve. Objectives are the most important things you need to do to achieve that mission. They’re the rallying cries for your team for the next cycle. So take the time to think about your team’s North Star and write it down.
Let’s zero in on the things that are most pressing for the next 30-90 days by asking the following questions:
Brainstorm a list of possible objectives. Then narrow it down to the most important three for now.
See if you can confidently say these statements about all the objectives you wrote down:
1. My objective describes meaningful change from where we are now.
Not quite there? Try stretching beyond “business as usual” for your team. An objective should be audacious enough to describe real growth without being totally unrealistic.
2. My objective is concise and uses simple language. It will inspire my team.
Not quite there? Try shedding some words and boiling down the sentence to the most essential parts. Memorable objectives are inspiring objectives!
KRs determine whether an objective has succeeded or failed.
A leading indicator is a predictive measurement, for example; the percentage of people wearing hard hats on a building site is a leading safety indicator.
A lagging indicator is an output measurement, for example; the number of accidents on a building site is a lagging safety indicator.
Most teams need to consider including both as part of their Key Results. Lagging indicators are only records of the past, they cannot influence or cause any positive change in the future. Leading indicators have a future orientation and make good key results to track.
The performance of a business is measured by taking measurements of both lagging indicators and leading indicators.
Lagging indicators are those measurements that focus on the output
Leading indicators, on the other hand