• Jonathan Bullock

6 key tips to help your business make the most of OKRs



OKRs – objectives and key results – are well known for having a positive impact on aligning a company’s strategic direction. They are extensively used in larger tech companies and businesses that are scaling up.


Let's look at how start-ups can use OKRs, with a few adjustments to suit the stage of your business:


1. Use the concept, not the details. Start-ups move very quickly and a quarter can be a lifetime. Consider shortening the duration of your OKRs as well as reducing the number of key results. This will work better for smaller teams and the agile methodology of your start-up.


2. Simplify your metrics. Identify the one metric that matters most to your business and build your OKRs around this.


3. Be customer-focused. Your OKRs should be from the perspective of your customers, not your team. As they are objectives, they should be end states, not tasks.


4. Make them measurable. Your key results should be quantitative; keep them as numbers. Each quarter, your OKRs should focus on improving those numbers.


5. Keep it agile. A well-crafted OKR can be easily broken down into a start-up’s agile sprints. With multiple sprints occurring in the OKR period, your key results can then become your sprint goals over time.


6. Allow time for planning. Spend time planning your OKRs every four to six weeks. This may make some of your employees groan, but it will be time well spent aligning your company with a common cause.


TAKEAWAY: When combined with a start-up’s agile methodology, OKRs become an even more effective objective management framework. The tips I've provided above will help you to successfully implement OKRs into your start-up.


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