What are OKRs and why are they important?
Objectives and Key Results keep WFH and distributed teams connected, aligned, and moving toward results. Employees work in a variety of ways – around products, functions, and journeys – and we need to be aligned within and across teams to achieve our priorities as an organization. We’ve seen the speed of change in the media and technology landscape accelerate, and the ability to more quickly iterate and align on strategic priorities is key to sustaining our leadership.
OKRs provide a common vocabulary and quarterly process for teams to articulate and align what they want to achieve, focus efforts on measurable outcomes, and iteratively learn with data over time. OKRs are a way of defining and achieving our best possible outcomes as teams and as an organization; they are not a way to measure an individual's performance.
Anatomy of an OKR
The anatomy of an OKR provides a common language for teams to align on a shared intention and a set of outcomes – making it easier to make value-driving decisions every day. For some examples of great OKRs, click here.
Objectives: Clarity on intent and direction
- Communicate 3-5 things you want to accomplish and why they matter
- Inspire and motivate people with sense of purpose so they want to be on board
- May be long or short time span
What does your team want to accomplish and why is it important?
Key Results: How success this quarter is measured
- For each objective, 4-6 specific, measurable quarter outcomes
- The best possible results – not most probable – so likely won’t hit 100% on all key results
- Numbers quantifying an end state or outcome, not action items or opinions
What would be great team outcomes this quarter?
Principles of OKRs
- ASPIRE & INSPIRE: Teams establish their best possible results in a given quarter, focus efforts on great outcomes, and use retros to learn and iterate.
- GLOBAL + LOCAL: Teams localize OKRs into their nouns, verbs and numbers and enrich them with the team’s expertise and insight.
- OUTCOME FOCUS: Quarterly key results provide radical clarity on where value is created. This helps teams and the organization drive business impacts faster.
- TRANSPARENT: OKRs, alignment and progress are transparent to everyone so it’s easier to collaborate and we make good decisions faster.