Your Ultimate Guide to OKRs
OnStrategy is here to help your team with everything OKR—from software, consulting, and DIY templates and guides. Tap into our best-of-the-best content to help your organization build, implement, and refresh your plan with Objectives and Key Results.
What are Key Results?
Key Results are the “hows” to achieve an objective. Key Results create the actions and deliverables that will achieve your company goals desired output (Objective). Key Results describe deliverables or results, not activities.
Key Results: Performance Measures
These are Key Results that can be measured with quantifiable results. You can also make these Key Results your Key Performance Indicators!
Key Results: Strategic Initiatives
These are project-type Key Results. Deliverables measure the achievement of these Key Results.
Great Key Results should:
- Start with a verb.
- Be owned by a department manager at the department level.
- Be owned by an individual at the individual level.
- Be aspirational – a stretch goal. Or the Key Result is committed–-a realistic key result that is achievable.
3 OKR Pitfalls to Avoid
OKRs are an amazing tool to focus your organization and keep everyone engaged on what matters most. But, there are a few pitfalls you should be aware of if you choose to adopt an OKR plan format in your organization.
You can check out a full detailed analysis on fixing agile planning and OKR pitfalls in our free Fix Your Agile Plan Guide here.
The OKR Implementation Cycle
The power in OKRs is that they help create a consistent quarterly focus for your team to adapt and refresh your plan. It’s why OKRs help create agility in the organizations that use them.
But where do you start? How do you adopt an agile planning process?
We always recommend using a StrategySprint™ cycle to connect your long-term vision, OKRs, and weekly activities.
In each 90-day period, your team sets quarterly focus, reviews OKRs monthly, then reviews and refreshes your plan at the end of each cycle. Adapt and change while still staying aligned to your long-term vision.
OnStrategy’s OKR Software to Align Teams & Contributors
OnStrategy is the only OKR software that connects long-term business strategy with your OKRs to help your organization thrive. Our OKR software makes it easy for your teams and individual contributors to create, manage, and track their OKRs.
OKR Consulting & Coaching
Our OKR Consulting Services put an expert on your team to help build an agile plan. We can coach you through the entire planning process, or we can facilitate your planning sessions and build a complete agile strategic plan for you.
Transform Your OKRs from Good to Great
OKR vs. KPI: What’s the Difference Between the Two?
The acronym OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. OKRs consist of Objectives, the “what” must be achieved, supported by 3 to 5 Key Results, which describe “how” we will achieve the Objective.
Key Performance Indicators track the core performance of your business. Key Results can also be Key Performance Indicators. Read the full post on OKRs vs KPIs.
An OKR model is a framework for setting objectives that are achieved through a set of quarterly key results. We recommend organization or department objectives be annual in nature. Key results that support those annual objectives are created and refreshed quarterly.
Objectives and Key Results in business is a framework to create a set of unambiguous outcomes that are achieved through inputs our deliverables in quarterly increments. In other words, objectives are “what” your business wants to achieve, and Key Results are “how” you’ll achieve those outcomes.
First, start with writing annual objectives that support your organization’s long-term vision of success. Great objectives:
- Are a short, one sentence phrase.
- Start with a verb.
- Have impact—stating what you need to achieve and why.
- Are annual in nature.
After your objectives have been written, we recommend creating 3-4 Key Results to support the achievement of that outcome. Great Key Results:
- Start with a verb
- Are championed by a manager at the department level, or owned by an individual at the individual level.
- Are aspirational – a stretch goal. Or, the Key Result is committed–a realistic key result that is achievable.
- Articulate a deliverable or have a quantifiable measure of success.
There are many reasons OKRs fail; three common reasons include OKRs are not connected to your long-term vision, not using a dedicated OKR software app, and not reviewing or refreshing OKRs at least quarterly.