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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Bullock

Focus your efforts effectively with OKRs

If you haven’t heard of OKRs, where have you been? OKRs – objectives and key results – are a strategic goal-setting tool used by several leading tech enterprises.

You use OKRs to set a quarterly goal (the objective) that will move your organisation towards its long-term strategic objectives. The key results are what needs to be done to achieve the objective.

I've been setting my own OKRs for years. Quarter after quarter, they have proven themselves to be a strong framework, leading to high productivity. Here's what I've learnt over the years about how to use OKRs effectively.

Keep them challenging. Your objectives should not be either too easy or unattainable, but they should be ambitious. OKRs are meant to move you and the organisation towards your strategic goals.

Key results should be quantifiable. Not only should the outcome of each key result be measurable, but it should be possible to measure gradients of success as either a percentage or a decimal. If you are fully achieving your key results every quarter, they are probably not challenging enough.

Don’t keep them a secret. OKRs should be public across the organisation. This applies not only to the actual objectives and key results, but your progress towards them and the outcomes as well.

I have found OKRs, when used correctly, to be the most effective tool for focusing your energy on achieving the company’s goals. However, when you start to adopt OKRs, expect it to take a few cycles before you are using the tool effectively. It takes time to get them right and set the whole company on the same path.

TAKEAWAY: If this is the first time you've heard of OKRs, or you've been procrastinating about setting them up, take this post as your sign to start implementing them!


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