Setting the right goals and paving the way to achieving them is critical for realizing long-term plans and following the laid-out strategic path of organizations. Goal-setting techniques such as the OKR framework provide an in-depth look into company plans and offer a way to monitor and measure completion in a very intuitive manner.
Learning from the experience of others, different approaches, and industry OKR examples can give you insights and good directions from where to start.
What Is the OKR Format?
To create your objectives and key results, you need good guidelines or to learn from best practices to write OKRs. You also need to gain transparency into your OKRs to communicate business priorities across the organization better. Let’s focus on the most important attributes of the OKR format.
OKRs consist of two things:
- The Objective is a concise, inspirational, and ambitious statement representing your goal.
- Key Results are a few quantitative, measurable, and specific actions to help you track the completion of the Objective.
Cascading objectives and key results
Asking the right questions is great for setting your objectives and key results.
The questions to ask when setting your Objectives can be:
- What is the priority for the organization or team?
- What are the goals we should set to support the long-term company vision?
- What strategic, team, or individual targets should we aim for?
Your Key Results statements should provide an answer to questions of the following kind:
- How to quantify the objective?
- How to track and measure the progress?
- What are the indicators that the goal is achieved?
Team and Company OKRs
OKRs are set on a company-or departmental-, team level, or individually. Let’s look at the difference between the most prominent ones – team and company OKRs.
Organizational OKRs represent the strategic direction of the company. Usually, companies define 3-4 ambitious goals for everyone to work towards achieving. Company OKRs can be set up on a quarterly or yearly basis. What’s more important is to review them regularly. Let’s look at an example.
Objective: Expand market reach in Asia.
Key Result 1: Increase partnerships in key locations by 10 more.
Key Result 2: Increase monthly revenue of $100K.
Key Result 3: Gain 10 brand mentions in top Asian outlets.
Visualizing company OKRs in Kanbanize
A team or department's OKRs are meant to support long-term organizational goals. Team OKRs indicate the actions a team will execute and the required results of those activities, so they can really impact the strategic level. Department OKRs are usually set and reviewed quarterly; however, dynamic markets may require monthly OKR reviews. Let’s illustrate with marketing team OKRs.
Objective: Improve the analytics functionalities of our product.
Key Result 1: Increase the available measurement filters by 8 more.
Key Result 2: Limit malfunctions/bugs in the backlog to 20.
Key Result 3: Decrease loading time of features under 2 seconds.
Visualizing Team OKRs in Kanbanize
Industry OKR Examples
The following industry OKR examples can help you build a good understanding of what the goals of your team should look like and how to measure their progress. Ensure that goal-setting is not an isolated activity performed by C-level managers, or project leaders, but rather a result of collective observations and input.
Product OKR Example
Objective: Improve the UI of the product.
- Conduct 10 usability testing experiments with customers.
- Get feedback from 40% of our customer base about different UI improvements.
- Achieve a Net Promoter Score of at least 9.0 before releasing the new user interface.
Project Management OKR Example
Objective: Improve the reporting process.
- Create 3 ready-to-use templates to report directly to stakeholders.
- Reduce the number of reporting meetings.
- Use a centralized system for reporting.
IT Operations OKR Example
Objective: Improve service infrastructure.
- Migrate service to a cloud environment.
- Reduce service downtime by 30%.
- Reduce the number of vulnerabilities by 50%.
Support OKR Example
Objective: Improve customer knowledge base/help center.
- Reduce article re-works by 30%.
- Create guidelines for graphic content representation.
- Create video tutorials for illustrating the most frequently asked questions.
Engineering OKR Example
Objective: Improve the predictability of software releases.
- Decrease the number of patches to 1 per month.
- Reduce the amount of blocked user stories by 40% to improve their flow.
- Improve release frequency to every 30 days.
Partnership OKR Example
Objective: Expand strategic partnerships.
- Generate X revenue from partners.
- Establish 10 new partners by the end of Q4.
- Expand the Partnerships Acquisition team with 2 associates.
Product Marketing OKR Example
Objective: Improve activation of users in the product. Improve marketing qualified leads
- Produce 10 onboarding videos.
- Create 10 “How To” tutorials for advanced users.
- Re-create all existing video tutorials to include the new product functionalities.
Marketing OKR Example
Objective: Improve marketing qualified leads (MQS).
- Produce 100 MQS from organic search.
- Produce 100 MQS from social media campaign.
- Produce 100 MQS from email marketing.
Finance OKR Example
Objective: Improve expense management reporting.
- Identify the most frequent expense types and create expense categories for everyone to use.
- Create expense templates and share them with everyone.
- Reduce the operational time required for expense reporting.