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.
Let's discuss some good practices for writing OKRs and share some industry-specific OKR examples to get you started.
What Is the OKR Format?
The structure of the OKR model consists of 2 main components - Objectives and Key Results.
- 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.
The OKR formula
Good Practices to Structure Effective OKRs
When it comes to writing effective OKRs, be sure to clearly define and distinguish the Objective from the Key Results. Remember, Objectives describe “What you want to achieve”, whilst Key Results describe “How are you going to measure if you’re achieving the objective?”.
Asking the right questions is great for setting your objectives and key results.
Use the following questions when setting your Objectives:
- 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?
Remember, you need transparent OKRs to better communicate your business priorities across the organization.
Cascading objectives and key results
Your Key Results statements should provide an answer to some of the following questions:
- How to quantify the objective?
- How to track and measure the progress?
- What are the indicators that the goal is achieved?
Even though the ultimate number of Key Results that can support an Objective is up to 5, typically, 2 or 3 statements are enough to measure your objective's success and keep your team's focus on the most critical deliverables.
There is no doubt that setting your first OKR examples will take some rewriting and adjusting, at least in the beginning. A good starting point is using the OKR formula, checking some best practices for writing your first OKRs, or using industry examples.
Let’s explore some specific OKRs examples that employ the goal-setting technique on a team and organizational level.
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.
Company OKRs 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 a product 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: Make our UI the most user-friendly on the market.
- 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 efficiency.
- 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 performance.
- Migrate service to a cloud environment.
- Reduce service downtime by 30%.
- Reduce the number of vulnerabilities by 50%.
Support OKR Example
Objective: Create a customer knowledge base/help center second to none.
- 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: Encourage users to be more actively engaged with the product.
- 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: Double the number of marketing qualified leads (MQS) by the next quarter.
- 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.
Sales OKR Example
Objective: Drive Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) by 15% for Q4.
- Increase our subscription size from 20k to 30k per month.
- Increase sales completion quotes by 30%.
- Generate 20% more SQLs.
HR OKR Example
Objective: Ensure faster and better onboarding of new employees.
- Interview the last 10 hired team members to identify issues with the onboarding process.
- Create an onboarding improvement plan to increase the satisfaction rate by 10%.
- Reduce internal onboarding process time from 14 days to 10 days.
Customer Success OKR Example
Objective: Provide first-class support to new paying customers.
- Increase the number of product -onboarding sessions per customer from 2 to 5 in the first week of the subscription.
- Increase the number of follow-up meetings by 10% per month.
- Conduct an anonymous survey after the onboarding process to improve the CSAT from “Satisfied” to “Very satisfied”.