Learn How Companies Like Intel Grade OKRs

Jul 27, 2021

When you connect people to company goals, something special happens; they contribute, know what they’re accountable for, and play a huge role in the growth of your organization.

In our last newsletter, we established the fundamentals of OKRs and how they can help you achieve the individual contributor connection craved in the strategic management process. Here’s a quick, baseline recap of OKRs we outlined:

  • (O) Objectives are goals, telling you where to go.
  • (KR) Key Results are the results of each objective. These tell you how you’re going to achieve your objectives.

Set annually and quarterly by your organization during open session, OKRs are designed to challenge your organization to define and reach objectives by using company, team, and individual key results. It cascades responsibility through your organization and drives results with measurable success.

But, how do you know if your organization is using the OKR approach to its full potential? How do you know if you’re on par with the big players like Intel and Google? You’d actually be surprised at how easy it is. Here’s the step-by-step process on how to begin grading your OKRs:

  • You only grade your key results. Why? Objective grades are simply the average of its Key Results.
  • Scores are given on a scale from 0-1. So, if you are hitting 70% of the Key Results measure, you would have a .7 score.
  • Assign scores to all of your Key Results.

With your scores calculated, you can begin to evaluate and learn from your performance. It is important to remember that you should do this evaluation at the beginning of each quarter so you can learn from your performance and make adjustments accordingly.

Scores under .6 indicate poor performance or unrealistic Key Results. Whether you need to make internal adjustments to hit your Key Results or simply adjust each to be more achievable and realistic, poor scores are a red flag that something isn’t right.

Scores of .7-.8 indicate you are performing well and using OKRs to your advantage. The top players use this score as the benchmark because it indicates you are driving results while still being challenged. The key here is to understand that reaching a score of 1 for a Key Result should be challenging.

Consistent scores of 1 indicate you aren’t challenging yourselves enough. It’s ok to have a rogue score of 1, but always hitting 100% means it’s too easy.

The most important part of the OKR grading process is to remember to learn from it. If you fail to evaluate your performance, you’ll never know how you’re truly performing. At least quarterly, tune in to what your numbers are telling you. Do that and you’ll have the foresight you need to make smarter, more informed business decisions.

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