Goal setting methods have increased in number and relevance over the past couple of years.
This is largely due to the emergence of new companies and organizations pushing to thrive in this competitive world.
That’s why it’s crucial to find new ways to measure your work on a regular basis.
Objectives and Key Results or OKRs is a popular approach in setting goals, implementing plans of action, and monitoring output.
OKRs apply widely to individuals (employees), teams, and companies.
This framework is governed by a number of rules and strategies and has been effectively used by companies, particularly, in organizing employees to achieving their shared goals.
OKRs is a favorite tool for setting expectations and measuring results at organizations. Over the years, its process has now been more or less standardized.
So, what are OKRs? In a nutshell:
An Objective is a description of a goal to be achieved in the future. It sets a clear direction and provides motivation. It’s similar to a destination on a map.
A Key Result is a metric with a starting value and a target value that measures progress towards an Objective.
A Key Result is like a signpost with a distance that shows how close you are to your Objective.
The Objective is qualitative, and the Key Results are quantitative.
The Objective sets a goal for a period of time, for example, a quarter.
The Key Results then measure if the Objective has been met at the end of the time frame.
OKRs date back to 1954 during the invention of Management by Objectives (MBO) by Peter Drucker, which was later on adopted by several companies like Intel, Google, and Twitter.
To this day, both companies, among other famous ones and startups, have been using OKRs as a goal-setting method.
And it has consistently yielded favorable results.
Benefits of OKRs
The main benefit of OKRs is that it creates an organized dissemination of the companies’ goals to its employees. It connects the higher management to its employees, enabling teamwork across the board.
This kind of transparency improves the employees’ focus, determination, and helps them assess their own work and align it with the company’s mission and vision.
OKRs also enables employees to have a sense of pride and responsibility, knowing that they are part of something huge. In effect, leaders and movers are able to effectively supervise the direction the company is heading to.
Lastly, OKRs aren’t time-consuming to implement and follow through. For a couple of hours each quarter, you are able to check your performance and assess your progress. So, it’s very easy to use.
- Creates an organized dissemination of the companies’ goals to its employees.
- Connects the higher management to its employees, enabling teamwork across the board.
- Improves the employees’ focus, determination, and helps them assess their own work and align it with the company’s mission and vision.
- Allows employees to have a sense of pride and responsibility, knowing that they are part of something huge.
- Isn’t time-consuming to implement and follow through.
- Very easy to use.
What is an Objective
An Objective describes the goal you need to achieve within a target date. It can be a personal goal, a team target, or a company’s vision and mission. Essentially, it jumpstarts the direction you are taking.
What are Key Results
Key results take all that inspirational language and quantify it. You set them by asking simple questions like, “How do we know if we have met our objective?”
More than usual, OKRs are interchanged with several goal-setting frameworks which are alike in a lot of ways.
A detailed comparison of OKR (Objectives and Key Results) and Goals. See all the differences here.
Here are all the differences between OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Learn about the difference between OKR (Objectives and Key Results) and BSC (Balanced Scrorecard).
Here is everything that is required to make a good objective.
Everything you need to know about what makes a good key result.
Learn how you can combine Objects and Key Results and have effective OKR.