What are OKRs and Why are They Important?
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a popular goal setting framework for teams or organizations to define measurable goals and track the progress and success of the work towards achieving those goals.
OKRs are broken down into a formula: We will _____ (Objective; what is to be achieved) as measured by ____ (Key Result; benchmark and monitor how we achieve the Objective).
Objectives should be written clearly, be action-oriented, and inspirational. They can be organization-wide or team-wide. Key Results are specific, time-bound and measurable.
Translation: There shouldn’t be any question if you met your Key Results, it should be simply achieved or not.
Key Results are most commonly set on a quarterly basis. As a rule of thumb, you typically write three Key Results for each Objective, with a maximum of five.
So why are OKRs important? OKRs often times provide much needed clarity and focus, outlining a set of priorities with clear goals to achieve those priorities that are connected to your organization’s high-level strategy.
Because OKRs align a team or organization around priorities or goals, they inherently gain commitment from the individuals tied to the priorities. They provide accountability from a team or organization because one can clearly see if the goals and objectives are on target and also help identify if a change of course is needed. OKRs create transparency into how a team or organization is performing based on the objectives set forth. At an individual associate level, OKR’s can help define what the company’s priorities are and show a path to how their role fits into those priorities.