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Cascading vs. Aligning OKRs – Which is Better?

Cascading OKRs vs. aligning OKRs
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In the era of digitalization and AI, organizations both large and small, are constantly seeking ways to maximize productivity, improve performance, and achieve their desired outcomes. 

Two popular approaches that have emerged for goal-setting and alignment are Cascading OKRs and Aligning OKRs. These methodologies offer distinct perspectives on how companies can drive performance, but which path should your organization take? Should they cascade OKRs or focus on aligning goals across the company? 

Let’s delve into both approaches to better understand the benefits and challenges of each.

What Are Cascading OKRs?

Cascading OKRs is a strategic framework used by organizations to align and coordinate goals across different levels and departments within the organization. 

It involves breaking down high-level objectives which are set by the top management into more specific objectives and key results that can be tracked at various levels of the organization. This ensures that everyone is working towards a common vision and that their efforts are synchronized to achieve overall company goals.

What Are Aligning OKRs?

Aligning OKRs refers to the process of ensuring that the goals and metrics set within an organization are interconnected and supportive of each other.  The goal of aligning OKRs is to produce a transparent and integrated structure of goals that cascades down from the organizational level to the team and individual levels. Because of this alignment, everyone is guaranteed to be working towards the same aims and to make a positive impact on the larger organizational objectives.

How Cascading OKRs Looks Like

cascading OKR


Objective: Grow annual revenue to increase the valuation

  • KR 1: Grow ARR by 35%
  • KR 2: Expand business in the NA


Head of Sales

Objective: Grow ARR by 35%

  • KR 1: Increase revenue from expansion by 15%
  • KR 2: Increase revenue from new and old deals by 30%


Regional sales head

Objective:  Increase revenue from expansion by 10%

  • KR 1: Successfully onboard and train new NA sales team
  • KR 2: Collaborate with marketing to generate leads in the NA Market

The above OKRs give us a prime example of How OKRs Cascade. The top-level Management (CEO) sets their OKRs, and then it is cascaded by the department head and then to the individuals. This ensures that everyone is working towards the same vision and goal.