• Jonathan Bullock

What to avoid when doing your OKRs



The time to review and prepare your OKRs tends to sneak up on you. It can feel like only yesterday when you were last defining them. Nevertheless, they need to be done every quarter if they are to be effective.


While you may be tempted to just get them done it is important to make sure you are doing them right. Here is what you need to avoid doing concerning your OKRs.


Drift Over Time

Over the OKR period you may find that your goals have changed and what you and your leadership are working towards or focusing on has changed. Basically, the OKR you set at the start of the quarter may no longer be relevant. If this happens it may be worthwhile looking at your OKR review processes. Your OKRs and progress towards them should be regularly reviewed during the period not as an afterthought at the end.


Oversized Objectives

Avoid objectives that are impossibly large to complete. Large objectives that feel impossible will discourage people from trying to complete them or encourage negative behaviours to just get across the line. If your objectives can be broken down or made more specific then they should be.


Always Achieving

You want to avoid always achieving your OKRs 100%. You may think that this is what you should aspire to and it is. Although it is something you should only aspire to and never achieve. If you are achieving your OKRs 100% consistently then it demonstrates that they aren’t challenging enough. If your teams are not being challenged then they aren’t reaching their full potential.


Poorly Defined Objectives

Objectives should be related to a specific desired business improvement. Objectives that are too vague or too high level serve no one. Equally, objectives that are full of technical jargon or more resembling a key result should also be avoided.


TAKEAWAY: Taking the time to set the right objectives is the key to successfully using OKRs. So, keep your OKRs on track by avoiding these pitfalls.


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