A tool or a book will hardly replace good coaches, but a well-written guide can get you started.
What is an OKR?
OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is an effective goal-setting system.
It is used by many organizations worldwide, such as Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Intel, Spotify, and Dropbox, followed by thousands of others. Far from being used only by digital giants, it has been launched in banks, retail chains, newspaper companies, and other industries.
OKRs promote the focus, consistency, and involvement of all employees.
Objectives are short qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve. Goals should be inspiring and motivating. A goal must motivate and challenge the team.
Key Results are indicators that measure your progress towards the goal. For each goal, you need to have enough of them so that together they form a cohesive story.
Improve recruiting process
Reduce Average Time to Fill Job Vacancy from 3 weeks to 7 days.
Increase the number of competency Interview Questions by 10%.
Decrease Cost per Hire from $1,100 to $850.
Why use goal-based leadership? Can we achieve more?
Goals drive us forward
Motivation is one of the key factors of satisfaction. The goals we set together drive development and innovation.
Goals lead to accountability
Agreed objectives and, above all, the key results we strive to deliver put us in a position of responsibility.
Goals define success
Without objectives, how would we know if we are successful in our work?
Goals are the basis for taking action
Action is not about sanctions but what we have learned from success or failure and making data-driven decisions.
Goals communicate the purpose
Transparently set objectives, visible to all teams and individuals, communicate the focus and content of the teams' work over a given period.
Monitoring and identifying progress
Setting a goal is already an important event, but regularly monitoring progress is a mandatory practice that must become part of the company culture.
Goals set out the priorities
Too many tasks on time is a recipe for poor performance and burnout and is generally an indicator of disorganized management.
Goals contribute to better morale
It's not just successful events where targets are met that can improve morale - the very event of setting team goals is a good motivator.
The history of OKRs
What are the types of OKR?
When Andy Grove initially created the OKR methodology, he intended it to act as a stretch business exercise. The Goals should only have a 50-50 chance of achieving them. In his words: "Output will tend to be greater when everybody strives for a level of achievement beyond his immediate grasp, even though trying means failure half the time." Those OKRs would be called Aspirational, Moonshots, or Stretched Goals.
There are different approaches to "classify" OKRs by type. All of them are the product of learning when implementing OKRs at organizations in past decades. Some OKR practitioners also prefer to use another type - Learning OKRs. Then again, all Goals should be set and used to learn!
Another common term for OKR type is Committed. The main difference is that the accountable person for any given Key Result or Objective is expected to achieve it 100% by the end of the observed period. Arguably, this was not in Andy's initial vision, but the reality after so many years of using OKRs in the field in so many culturally different countries and companies, that the Committed type is here to stay.
You can also classify not the Objective but every Key Result. You can easily decide that not all Key Results are so hard to achieve to be called a Moonshot but rather Committed.