What does the OKR method involve?

by Roger Longden | Feb 08, 2021

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In this guide, we’re taking a deep dive into the OKR method and looking at how businesses use it fuel their growth.

If you’re new to the world of OKRs, you may not know where to start. However, the OKR method is so popular because it’s clear and easy to understand. This means that all businesses can use the OKR framework to their advantage and reap the rewards.

In this guide, we’re taking a deep dive into the OKR method and looking at how businesses use it fuel their growth.

Where did the OKR method come from?

It is thought that the concept of OKRs dates back to the 1950s.

Renowned management consultant and author, Peter Drucker, developed MBO (Management by Objectives) around this time. However, this was used as the basis for the OKR framework that many businesses utilise today.

What does OKR stand for?

The term OKR stands for objectives and key results; each objective is attached to 3 to 5 key results.

However, it’s not enough to simply outline the OKRs for your business. Successfully implementation of your OKRs requires participation from all members of the organisation.

You can also set OKRs on a team or individual basis, however, all of these smaller, secondary goals should help the business reach it’s overarching company objectives.

The OKR process

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to setting OKRs, as each business has different needs and requirements. However, if you want to create and implement OKRs successfully, it’s likely you’ll need to carry out the following tasks:

  • Outline the problems within your company e.g. what’s hindering your growth?
  • Set your objectives and explain these to your team
  • Define your key results
  • Go over your OKRs every week, and update them on a quarterly basis
  • Plan your activities based on your OKRs
  • Carry out regular OKR reviews to track progress

How to set great objectives

In order to achieve OKR success, it’s important to ensure you’re setting the right objectives for yourself, teammates and the organisation on the whole. As a guide, your objectives should:

  • Be inspiring
  • Help to achieve wider company goals
  • Provide business value
  • Be realistic
  • Not be too easy

It’s important to remember that you’re striving for growth and success, therefore, your objectives should reflect this. Don’t shy away from setting ambitious objectives for your team, however, make sure that they’re realistic so that they don’t intimidate your staff.

How to decide on the right key results

Setting the right key results is just as important as nailing your business objectives. Both components work in tandem, therefore, it’s crucial to set key results that work well for your business.

Key results should be numerical and specific, so there’s no room for interpretation. Here’s an example:

  • Increase monthly email sign-ups from 100 to 150 by the end of the quarter

On the other hand, a bad key result would look like the following:

  • Get more email sign-ups

Why use the OKR goal-setting method?

There are a whole host of different benefits of implementing the OKR framework, including:

  • Better strategic alignment: All members of a business, from managers to entry-level employees, align their efforts and work towards achieving the wider company goals
  • Minimise wasted time and resources: With OKRs in place, your team will only focus their efforts the activities that provide biggest business impact
  • Improving workplace culture: You can encourage a more collaborative, positive workplace culture by implementing the OKR method
  • Improving employee engagement: Employees work better when they’re engaged with a purpose

Which businesses use the OKR method?

One of the most well-known examples of OKR success is Google. The OKR method was introduced to Google’s founders in its early stages, and the organisation still uses the framework to this day.

Some of the other successful organisations utilising the OKR process includes:

  • Adobe
  • Amazon
  • Spotify
  • Yahoo
  • Slack
  • Twitter

And your organisation could be next! Get in touch with one of our giants today to see how we can help you set and implement great OKRs.