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How to Write a Good OKR- Everything You Need to Know

OKR management tool
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OKR (Objectives and Key Results)

Objective and Key Results is a goal-setting framework that helps in strategy execution. OKR (Objectives & Key Results) is a simple yet powerful goal-setting tool that can be used by any organization or for any purpose.

Objective – It is what we want to achieve within a specific timeline.

Example: Increase brand awareness by Q4

Key Result – is a metric and quantitative by which we can measure the progress towards the objective set.

There are plenty of traditional planning methods, but OKRs are incredibly unique and agile, and they are frequently set, tracked, and re-evaluated, usually quarterly. OKRs are a simple, fast-cadence process that engages each team’s perspective and creativity. OKR exists to create alignment and to set the cadence for the organization.

History of OKRs

The history of OKRs travels back to 1954 and with Peter Ducker, the father of management. In his book “the practice of management, ” he writes about how important aspirational objectives are to the organization.

Later, Andy Grove from Intel who was also a visionary in Intel’s shift from memory chips to microprocessors wanted to implement a framework that creates accountability and ownership among team members. He implemented a framework called iMBO which is the current OKRs. Andy Grove ensured that the OKRs in Intel can mix both top-down and bottom-up involvement.

Grove says: “A successful iMBO system needs only to answer two questions:

  • Where do I want to go? (The answer provides the Objective)
  • How will I pace myself to see if I am getting there?  (This gives milestones / key results)

John Doerr joined Intel in 1974, where he practically worked along with Ducker and with OKRs Later he introduced OKR to Google’s founders, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, and they implemented OKRs at Google. Today, most organizations follow OKRs to ensure strategy execution, OKRs are the Swiss army knives suited for all-purpose and cultures.


Creating Objectives

Objectives are the directions to the goal, and they must be well thought out before writing it down. Well-drafted objectives will answer how it will solve the “Why” and what it is trying to achieve.

Objectives must be simple yet communicated powerfully and they must be understood across all levels. Keep it aspirational yet achievable. Having said that, before we draft objectives, there should have a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve. Well-written OKRs help in achieving the long-term goal and connects the team.