Great OKR examples including how they work in practice and where you can see how you can increase the likelihood of success and grow your business.
OKRs (objectives and key results) help a business pinpoint its desired outcomes and implement measurable ways to know it’s on track.
Google started using them in 1999 and is a great example of their success, but even they had to learn how to get the most out of them.
Useful questions that will help you embed OKRs into your business are:
- Where do I want to go?
- How will I know that I’m getting there?
Good OKR examples of ‘Where you may want to go’ for a magazine company, for instance, would be to ‘increase recurring revenue’. The key results linked to that would be to ‘increase the monthly subscription by 75%’ or ‘increase the average subscription size by at least £250 per month.’
Or if the objective was to ‘improve internal employee engagement’ a key result could be to ‘increase the weekly individual satisfaction score of at least 4.8 points’ or ‘obtain feedback scores of 5-6 on the value employees gained from weekly Fun Fridays with an external speaker.’
The good thing about OKRs is that they are public and transparent. Everyone can see what everyone else is working on and how their tasks fit in to the overall picture.
OKRs also work at different levels. Not only do they work well for setting specific goals across the company but they also give each team something to contribute to. This increases motivation and encouragement as everyone is focused on activities that will make a difference to the overall goal with a clearly defined timeframe.
So how do they work in practice?
If you were the CEO of a company that sold fitness club franchises, for good OKR examples, you might set the following objectives:
- To increase the number of clubs by 25%
- To increase profit by 12%
These both answer the question of ‘Where do you want to go?’
But to really know if you are getting towards your goal, you would need to look at more than just how many clubs had been opened.
Key results would allow you to drill down in much more detail with specific objectives so, for example, Objective 1 could be broken down as:
- Select 45 new franchise candidates by March
- Train 35 of them before June
- Sign contracts with 30 of them before September
- Open 25 stores before December
It suddenly seems much easier to keep track of your progress.
Objective 2, focusing on profit could be broken down as:
- Implement a supplier review to save 10% on equipment for the clubs
- Outsource more of the trainers and reduce costs by 25%
- Launch seasonal campaigns eg New Year campaigns to increase membership and double the revenue from the past year.
Your employees would know exactly what they have to do to achieve the goals and how to track progress.
The overarching OKRs could be further broken down for each team so, under Objective 1, the HR team’s objective ‘To select 45 new franchise candidates by March’, could have the following Key Results:
- Receive 500 CVs before January
- Select 65 interview candidates by February
- Choose 45 of the interviewees before March
You could do the same for your Training, Legal, Operations or Finance Teams for the other objectives sitting under Objective 1. It makes it clear to everyone what needs to be done and how their results will be measured, which makes it easier to manage teams.
As for Objective 2, ‘to increase profit by 12%’, if we focus on the objective ‘to launch seasonal campaigns at New Year to increase membership and double revenue compared with past years, you could have the following Key Results:
- Define a briefing for agencies and submit it by October
- Analyse campaigns by mid Feb
- Operate on the above-mentioned timescale
By defining and completing 3 or 5 key result metrics for each objective, you can see how you can increase the likelihood of success and grow your business.
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