Setting yearly, ambitious Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has been the traditional strategy used to pursue a long-term vision. In the present dynamic landscape, transitioning from yearly to quarterly goal planning can provide the flexibility needed to accommodate changes effectively.
What functions better for OKRs: Annual vs. Quarterly?
While having annual OKR goals is crucial, you also need to set quarterly OKRs. Why? Because it aids in maintaining focus, raising employee engagement, and fostering improvements every three months, one month, and one week for you and your team.
In this blog post, we will explore the top three differences between annual and quarterly OKRs, highlighting their advantages and considerations for implementing each approach.
What are OKRs
OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a goal-setting framework widely used in organizations to set and track goals clearly and measurably. There are two primary elements comprising them: objectives and key results.
- Objectives are the high-level goals that an individual or team wants to achieve. They should be ambitious, qualitative, and inspirational. Objectives answer an important question, “What are you trying to accomplish?”
- Key Results, on the other hand, are specific and measurable outcomes that indicate progress toward the objectives. They are quantifiable and help in defining success. Key results define, “How do we achieve our objectives?”
The combination of objectives and key results creates a powerful framework for setting goals and tracking progress. OKRs are typically set for a specific period, such as a quarter or a year, and are regularly reviewed and updated.
To help implement and manage OKRs effectively, there are goal-setting software and performance management tools available. These tools provide a platform for creating and tracking OKRs, enabling teams and individuals to align their goals, monitor progress, and collaborate on achieving their objectives.
What are Quarterly OKR and Annual OKR
An annual OKR Cycle is a set of goals and key results that are defined for an entire year. It outlines the objectives that the organization wants to achieve over the year, along with the specific key results that will measure progress toward those objectives. Annual OKRs provide a high-level roadmap for the organization and serve as a guide for setting priorities and making strategic decisions throughout the year.
A quarterly OKR is a set of goals and key results that are defined for a specific quarter within the year. It breaks down the annual objectives into shorter-term objectives that can be achieved within a three-month timeframe. Quarterly OKRs allow for more frequent check-ins, progress tracking, and adjustments to ensure that the organization stays on track to achieve its annual objectives. They provide a more agile and adaptable approach to goal-setting, enabling teams to focus on immediate priorities and respond to changing circumstances more effectively.
How Often Should OKRs Be Set?
When deciding between annual and quarterly OKRs, keep in mind that while annual strategic goals are crucial, it is wiser to link particular quarterly OKRs to annual goals.
Your annual OKRs should ideally be linked to your quarterly goals because it will be clear what you need to do each quarter to carry out your annual plan. It deconstructs goals into action plans that detail what must be done to succeed as well as the effects of immediate actions on long-term goals.
Here is a quick procedure you can use to establish quarterly OKR: