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Kate Devyatkina

CEO at 100pcnt

August 12, 2019OKR

What is OKR? How do you deal with it?

In this article, I’m going to explain what an OKR is. OKR is the most popular goal setting system.

As companies are getting bigger and their numbers are growing every day, it becomes more difficult to make teams work cohesively. Here, we have an OKR system which allows for setting all-level of goals for a company, departments, teams, and individuals. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. Initially created by John Deer, OKR gained popularity among such successful companies like Google, Amazon, Dell, etc. Its main goal is to involve all employees in step-by-step goal achievement that will yield great results.
OKR's main philosophy is transparency and simplicity. Objectives are set for defining the goal to be achieved. The key results, in return, measure progress of an objective. If you have to gain unbelievable results, you have to set stretch goals. Ambitious OKR's will bring you success even if only 60-70% is done, while completing them is considered an extraordinary performance level.
Google's OKR objective key result can be set annually or quarterly. According to y experience, it’s better to set top-level (company) objectives on a yearly basis because global goals are usually unchangeable. However, departmental, team, and personal OKR's should be set quarterly. 
It’s crucial for these key results (within the Google OKR system) to be specific and clear, in order to allow for the team to begin planning tactics and take action to achieve results. Further, key results should be flexible. Key results are to contain measurable benchmarks to easily quantify whether they have been achieved or not during the OKR scoring quarterly review.
If your key results are poorly developed, you will not be able to include measurable outcomes. This can be a result of a defocusing of a team and can lead to difficulties with measuring time spent on the objective. Google's OKR system implies choosing and calculating correct metrics that should be thoroughly set to avoid skewed incentives and unintended consequences.

  • OKR setup

    Below, I’d like to show you the way the right OKR should be set up. Simplicity and transparency of an OKR defines the way it is used. It’s crucial when you decide what you’d like to achieve in the next year that everyone in your company has an opportunity to contribute.

    What is OKR? How do you deal with it? - 1 - Photo

  • Stretch objectives examples:

    Stretch goals are the goals that challenge you, make you do more than you expect from yourself. Let’s pretend your company has already won in one particular market and, in further perspective, wants to gain more. Your stretch goal, according to the OKR goal management system, will be to obtain a new market until the end of this year. 

    What is OKR? How do you deal with it? - 2 - Photo

    Ask yourself:
    - Do you know how you can manage to do this?
    - Does it seem impossible?
    - Does it require changes?
    - What will be the result?
    These questions will help you define your OKR for all levels, from overall organization to departmental, team, and individual goals.

    HR OKR examples:
    Improve overall recruiting process
    Key results:
    - Increase competency of interview questions by 10%
    - Reduce average time to fill in job vacancy by 7 days
    - Decrease cost per hire by 9%

    OKR examples for operations:
    To increase efficiency for all processes
    Key results:
    - Introduce new techniques and tools
    - Conduct training sessions for new techniques and tools
    - Increase overall organisational productivity by 45%

    These OKR examples for operations will help you to set your own OKR goals for the company you run or work for.

    This article explains what an OKR is, how to set them up, and why it is considered as one of the best management tools for organizations.
    No matter how your ultimate goals sound, to guide your people in the right direction or to drive performance, make changes or to implement a new process, OKR Google ventures will benefit your company for sure.

    The OKR system is easily implemented. It should be flexible to accommodate changes. Once properly implemented, it can be the most powerful driver of continued success and growth of your company. No wonder that it was picked up by John Doer. OKR won the business world.

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