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How to write OKRs with examples

How to write OKRs with examples
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All businesses have objectives. These can occasionally be internal, like creating a fantastic culture. Sometimes they are internal objectives, like providing a wonderful experience for your customers. But achieving those goals takes more than putting your intentions out into the universe — you need a plan.

You need to understand how to write OKRs and if you’re wondering how to write OKRs that work, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll take you through:

  • The format of an OKR
  • What are good OKRs and bad ones
  • How to draft useful OKRs

So let's dive straight in!!

What are OKRs

OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, is a goal-setting framework used by organizations to define and track their objectives and the outcomes they aim to achieve. OKRs provide a structured approach for setting and measuring goals, fostering alignment, transparency, and accountability within teams and across the organization.

OKRs ensure that an organization's leaders, teams, departments, and individual contributors are on the same page. Every stakeholder can prioritize tasks and projects and understand how their daily work contributes to the same overarching goals thanks to the OKR goal-setting framework.

Few tips to get started

  1. Start small to test the framework.
  2. Involve leaders and key stakeholders for support.
  3. Provide training and resources for teams.
  4. Focus on a limited number of objectives.
  5. Craft specific and measurable key results.
  6. Empower teams to set their own OKRs.
  7. Schedule regular check-in meetings to review progress.
  8. Celebrate achievements to motivate teams.

How do you set an OKR?

OKRs are among the easiest tools for almost every type of business when it comes to goal-setting frameworks.

Writing an OKR that works starts with an objective statement that is time-bound, goal-oriented, and actionable.

For example:

How do you set an OKR?

Then, as you work toward the goal, use key results to gauge your progress.

It's important to keep your key results concise, quantifiable, and actionable when writing them. There isn't a set formula for how many key outcomes an objective must have, but a good guideline is to aim for 3 to 5. 

Here is an illustration of 3 important outcomes for the final goal mentioned above:

How do you set an OKR?

It doesn't necessarily mean you're tracking better if you add more key results. In terms of key results, less is more. 3 to 5 key results will keep your team on track and moving forward as a unit.

How to write OKRs with examples

How To Write A Good OKR?

Writing effective Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) involves creating clear and actionable goals that guide your team or organization toward success. Here are five points to consider when crafting good OKRs:

  1. Clear and Specific Objective (O):

Start with a concise and specific objective that outlines what you want to achieve. It should be inspiring, motivating, and easy to understand for everyone involved. Make sure it's aligned with your company's or team's overall mission and strategic goals.

  1. Measurable and Achievable Key Results (KR):

Key Results are the measurable outcomes that determine whether you've achieved your objective. They should be specific, quantifiable, and realistic. Ensure that each Key Result is something you can track and measure objectively, as this will help you gauge progress and success accurately.

  1. Ambitious yet Attainable:

While your Key Results should challenge your team to strive for excellence, they should also be attainable. Setting goals that are too easy won't drive innovation and growth, but setting goals that are too ambitious can lead to frustration and burnout. Find a balance between pushing boundaries and ensuring feasibility.

”Datalligence

  1. Alignment and Relevance:

Your OKRs should be aligned with the larger goals of your organization or team. Ensure that they contribute directly to your overall mission and strategy. This alignment ensures that everyone is working toward the same vision and prevents misdirection of effort and resources.

  1. Regular Tracking and Review:

OKRs are not static; they require continuous monitoring and adjustment. Set up regular check-ins to review progress, discuss any challenges, and adapt your strategies if needed. Transparency in tracking and sharing progress encourages accountability and collaboration.

What are the different types of OKRs

3 types of OKRs

The three types of OKRs —Committed, Aspirational, and Learning—are variations in how objectives and key results are approached. Here's a breakdown of each type with examples:

Committed OKR

Committed OKRs are the core goals that an organization or team is fully committed to achieving within a specific time frame. These are the objectives that are essential for the organization's success and have a high degree of confidence in achieving.

Example:

Objective: Increase monthly revenue for Q3 2023.

  • KR 1: Achieve $1.5 million in revenue by the end of Q3.
  • KR 2:Increase the average transaction value by 15% compared to last quarter.
  • KR 3:Acquire 500 new customers by the end of Q3.

In the above example, the objective is to increase revenue, and the key results are specific, measurable outcomes that directly contribute to achieving that objective. These goals are considered committed because the organization is fully dedicated to achieving them.

Aspirational OKR:

Aspirational OKRs are more ambitious and challenging goals that an organization or team aims for, even if they aren't entirely sure they can achieve them. These goals push the boundaries and inspire teams to strive for greatness.

Example:

Objective: Become a market leader in sustainable fashion by Q4 2023.

  • KR 1:Increase brand awareness by achieving 30 media features and interviews.
  • KR 2:Launch an innovative eco-friendly clothing line with at least 20,000 units sold.
  • KR 3:Partner with three major environmental NGOs to promote sustainable fashion.

In this example, the objective is aspirational, as becoming a market leader in a specific industry requires substantial effort and may involve some degree of uncertainty.

Learning OKR:

Learning OKRs focus on acquiring new knowledge, exploring new opportunities, or experimenting with new approaches. They are about learning and growing rather than solely achieving outcomes.

Example:

Objective: Explore the potential of AI integration for customer service enhancement.

  • KR 1:Conduct a comprehensive survey of AI solutions in the customer service sector.
  • KR 2:Run pilot tests of AI-powered chatbots in handling customer inquiries for two months.
  • KR 3:Analyze customer feedback and derive insights to improve AI integration strategy.

In this case, the objective is centered around learning and experimentation to understand the potential benefits and challenges of implementing AI in customer service. The emphasis is on gaining insights rather than guaranteed results.

How To Track OKRs

Tracking OKRs is a critical step in ensuring that progress is being made toward achieving the desired outcomes. 

Set clear and measurable objectives

The first step in tracking your OKRs is to ensure that your objectives are clear, specific, and measurable. Each objective should have one or more key results that define how progress toward the objective will be measured. Without clear and measurable objectives, it will be difficult to track progress and determine whether you are on track to achieve your desired outcomes.

Use OKR software or goal-setting software

There are several OKR software or goal-setting software tools available that can help you track your OKRs. Some popular examples include:

  • Datalligence: A popular OKR software that helps teams set and track their goals. It allows you to set up cascading OKRs, which means that you can align your team’s objectives with those of the organization. Datalligence provides a range of features that can help you track your OKRs, including progress tracking, automated reminders, and reports.
”Datalligence

Review progress regularly

Once you have set your objectives and started tracking your progress, it is important to review your progress regularly. This will help you identify any areas where you are falling behind and make adjustments to your strategy as needed. Ideally, you should review your progress at least once a month, but it can be more frequent depending on the nature of your objectives.

Make adjustments as needed

Finally, if you find that you are not making progress toward your objectives, it may be necessary to make adjustments to your strategy. This could involve changing your key results, adjusting your timelines, or revising your objectives altogether. 

Regular reviews will help you identify any areas where adjustments are needed.

How to Draft Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

Start with the “Objective”

The objective is a qualitative statement that defines what you want to achieve. It should be concise and clear and should describe the desired outcome. The objective should be aligned with the company’s mission and vision. 

Examples of good objectives are

  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Improve product quality
  • Expand market share

Define “Key Results”

Key results are specific, measurable, and time-bound targets that indicate progress toward achieving the objective. They should be achievable and aligned with the objective. 

Key results should answer the question, “How will we know if we’ve achieved the objective?”

Examples of good key results are:

  • Increase customer satisfaction score from 80 to 90
  • Reduce product defects by 50%
  • Increase market share by 10%

Ensure “Measurability”

It’s important to ensure that your key results are measurable. This means that you should be able to track progress and measure success. Make sure that your key results are quantifiable and have clear metrics. Examples of measurable key results are:

  • Increase customer satisfaction score from 80 to 90 through surveys
  • Reduce product defects by 50% through quality control measures
  • Increase market share by 10% by tracking sales data
”Datalligence

Focus on “Achievability”

Your key results should be achievable. This means that they should be challenging but not impossible. Make sure that you have the necessary resources and capabilities to achieve your key results. 

Examples of achievable key results are:

  • Increase customer satisfaction score from 80 to 90 by improving customer service
  • Reduce product defects by 50% by implementing a new quality control process
  • Increase market share by 10% by launching a new marketing campaign

Keep “Relevance”

Your key results should be relevant to the objective. This means that they should be directly linked to the desired outcome. Make sure that your key results are aligned with the objective and contribute to achieving it. 

Examples of relevant key results are:

  • Increase customer satisfaction score from 80 to 90 to improve customer loyalty and retention
  • Reduce product defects by 50% to improve product quality and customer satisfaction
  • Increase market share by 10% to increase revenue and profitability

OKR Examples

OKR example

HR OKR Examples

Objective 1: Improve Employee Retention

  • KR 1: Reduce employee turnover rate by 20% in the next quarter by conducting employee engagement surveys and addressing the concerns of the employees.
  • KR 2: Increase employee satisfaction score by 15% in the next quarter by introducing employee recognition and reward programs.

Objective 2: Enhance the Recruitment Process

  • KR 1: Decrease time-to-hire by 30% in the next quarter by leveraging new recruitment technologies and optimizing the recruitment process.
  • KR 2: Increase diversity in hiring by 25% in the next quarter by implementing unconscious bias training, expanding the candidate pool, and partnering with diversity-focused organizations.

Objective 3: Develop Employee Skills and Knowledge

  • KR 1: Increase employee training participation by 20% in the next quarter by developing new training programs and promoting the value of continuous learning.
  • KR 2: Improve employee performance by 10% in the next quarter by implementing performance management systems, providing timely feedback, and creating career development plans.

To learn more about HR OKRs, Visit our blog 10 Best HR OKR Examples, and gain more insights.

Marketing OKR Examples:

Objective 1: Increase brand awareness

  • KR 1: Achieve 1 million impressions on social media platforms by the end of the quarter.
  • KR 2: Increase website traffic by 20% within the first month of the quarter through targeted ad campaigns.

Objective 2: Generate more leads

  • KR 1: Increase lead generation by 30% within the first quarter through email marketing campaigns.
  • KR 2: Achieve a 15% increase in the conversion rate of website visitors to leads by the end of the quarter through website optimization.

Objective 3: Improve customer engagement

  • KR 1: Increase social media engagement by 25% within the first quarter through interactive content creation.
  • KR 2: Achieve a 10% increase in customer satisfaction score by the end of the quarter through better customer support services.

To learn more about Marketing OKRs, Visit our blog 10 Best OKR Examples for Digital Marketing, and gain more insights.

IT OKR Examples

Objective 1: Improve system uptime

  • KR 1: Increase uptime to 99.9% over the next quarter
  • KR 2: Reduce mean time to repair (MTTR) by 50% in the event of a system failure over the next quarter.

Objective 2: Increase efficiency of IT operations

  • KR 1: Reduce the time required to provision a new server by 25% over the next quarter
  • KR 2: Automate at least 50% of routine IT tasks over the next quarter, resulting in a 10% reduction in labor hours

Objective 3: Enhance cybersecurity

  • KR 1: Conduct a thorough security audit and address all identified vulnerabilities within the next month
  • KR 2: Implement a comprehensive employee cybersecurity training program and achieve 100% participation within the next quarter.

To learn more about Marketing OKRs, Visit our blog 10 Best OKR Examples for Software Engineers, and gain more insights.

Sales OKR Examples

Objective: Increase Quarterly Revenue for Q3 2023.

  • KR 1: Achieve $2.5 million in revenue by the end of Q3.
  • KR 2: Close 20 new enterprise-level deals with an average contract value of $100,000.

Objective: Improve Sales Team Efficiency and Effectiveness.

  • KR 1: Reduce the average sales cycle duration from 60 days to 45 days.
  • KR 2: Increase the win rate from 30% to 35% for the current quarter.

Objective: Expand Market Share in a New Geographic Region.

  • KR 1: Open a new office in the target region and hire a local sales team within the next three months.
  • KR 2: Secure partnerships with at least three key local distributors.

Curious about Customer Success OKRs, Product, or Finance OKRs? Well, Visit our OKR Example page for all your answers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, creating effective OKRs is all about defining specific key results, prioritizing them, and regularly reviewing and improving them. You can create OKRs that will assist your team or organization in achieving its objectives by following these instructions and using the provided examples. For more information, speak with our experts and coaches or test-drive Datalligence for free.

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