Here is a really simple, everyday life example to explain OKRs

Let’s say you’re unwell, you have fever and have lost some weight. What do you do? – You go to the doctor (no, not Dr. Google, a real doctor)

What does the doctor do? – well, he asks you about your symptoms, he takes your temperature, looks at your tongue (gives you a candy).

He then gives you prescription medicines which you have to take twice a day after meals, asks you to drink lots of water, and get good rest (no computers). Most importantly, he asks you to take your temperature every few hours and to come back and see him if the temperature does not go below 99.6°F

What are your Doctor’s OKRs?

Objective:
Improve and restore your health

Key Results:
– Get Body temperature below 99.6°F
– Bring weight back 70 Kgs

Initiatives:
– Eat healthy, especially lots of fresh fruits and drink water
– Take medicines after meals
– Get enough rest

Did that make sense?
Yes, that made sense
No, lets try another one

OKRs answer 3 key questions

  1. Where do we want to go or what do we want to achieve?
    1. Improve and restore your health
  2. How do we know we are getting there
    1. Bring body temperature below 99.6°F
    2. Bring weight back 70 Kgs
  3. What are we doing to get there
    1. Eat healthy, especially fresh fruits and drink lots of water
    2. Take medicines after every meal
    3. Get a enough rest

5 Benefits of OKRs

Output vs outcomes

Most team and company goals today exists in power points discussed maybe once at the start of the year. If you were to ask anyone in your team – what are your teams top 3 goals? What are your companies most important goal? Do you think they’d be able to answer it?

People often get in to the rut of every day tasks without really knowing what goal s do these tasks represent. Leaders often forget the bigger picture too.

Research shows that committing to goals can help improve people performance

Align teams

Do your teams feel that they are all working toward a common goal? Do they all see each other pulling the rope in the direction? OKRs help teams see how every person, department or team is working toward the same goal.

Today most teams work in an execution mode. Managers are obsessed with output, not outcome. They live in task management systems like Jira and Trello. They do weekly meeting on tasks completed and pending todos.

Engage teams with purpose

One of the best stories on people people having a sense of purpose is the time when John F. Kennedy visited the NASA space center. He saw a janitor carrying a broom and walked over and asked him what he was doing. The janitor responded: ‘Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon 🌒“

When you ask your team what they coming in to work and do everyday. How do they answer?

do they describe their work in terms of daily tasks Or in terms of goals? Here’s another KR most commonly told.

A man walking past three people who were busy working. He asked the first man what he was doing and the man said he was laying bricks. He asked the second man the same question and he said he was putting up a wall. When he turned to the third man and asked what he was doing he said he was building a temple.

Bring Focus on important goals
Progress

When done right, measurable key results give teams a sense of progress toward their goal. Celebrating small wins and milestones along the way to a larger goal is a great way to keep teams motivated.

OKR Timelines


Back to Top