Introduction to OKRs

Introduction to OKRs

Popular goal management frameworks

Let’s first get some background about from where they come from.

Management by objectives (MBO)

Resultado de imagen de Management by objectives (MBO)

Is the process of defining specific objectives within an organization that management can convey to organization members, then deciding on how to achieve each objective in sequence.

First you set objectives

Cascade them to every employee

Monitor(Monitor performance)

Rewarded that will set you back to setting objectives.

SMART Criteria

Letter Most Common Alternative
S Specific Strategic and Specific
M Measurable Motivating
A Achievable Agreed, Attainable, Action-oriented, Ambitious, Aligned with corporate goals
R Relevant Realistic, Resourced, Reasonable,  Results-based
T Time-bound Trackable, Time-based, Time limited, Time/cost limited, Timely, Time-sensitive, Timeframe

SMART is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives.  

The letters S and M usually mean specific and measurable.

The other letters might have a different meaning.

Key Performance Indicators(KPIs)

Resultado de imagen de Key Performance Indicators(KPIs)

This is all about identifying key metrics for a project, for employees… KPIs evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity in which it engages.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution(4DX)

Imagen relacionada

The 4 Disciplines exist for one reason: to execute on a plan in the middle of an storm of distractions.

  • Focus on the wildly important
    • Identifying the key goals that if we achieve are the game changers.
  • Act on the lead measures.
  • Reviewing goal process and reviewing the goals themselves we are in a position to move forward.
  • Identifying the metrics that should be right in front the people who are performing the work.
  • Lead Measures
    • Things that are measurable, things we can do.
  • Lag measures.
    • Is the outcome, the staff that happens when it happens.
  • Example: If you want to lose some weight in this case lead measures would be the activities you are going to do(diet, exercise, etc), for instance lag measures in this case would be the result of losing weight.
  • Keep a compelling scoreboard.
  • Create a cadence of accountability

According to wikipedia, the definition OKR is:

OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a framework of defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes.

Its main goal is to define company and team “objectives” along with the measurable “key results” that define achievement of each objective.

Resultado de imagen de the goal without a plan is just a wish

Fundamentals of OKRs


The objective is a qualitative goal, is set for period of time, usually a quarter. The key Results are quantitative metrics used to measure if the objective has been met by the end of the period.

You might think… we already have TODOs to list what we want to do right?

OKRs differ from productivity tools like TODO‘s (list of things to do) because the second are actions, while the OKRs are the results obtained by these actions.

If I show you the following, what do you think what they are? Objectives, or Key Results?

Context: Big corporaton

  • Improve internal employee engagement.

Yes, Objectives!

Objectives are the result of what we want to achieve they are like mission statements.

  • Desired results.
  • Lag Measures(referring to the 4DX model example, we want to lose weight) .

So they are…

Qualitative and Inspirational.

Time Bound

Actionable by the Team Independently

Key Results

Key Results are about doing things that will lead to achieve the objectives.

  • Lead measures(referring to the 4DX model example, train twice per week, follow a diet)
  • How the desired result are going to be achieved.

Ask yourself “How would we know if we met our Objective?”

They are based in anything you can measure (Growth, Engagement, Revenue, Performance, Quality, etc)

They are actually the KPIs.


  • “Improve internal employee engagement.”

Key Results

  • Average weekly satisfaction score of at least 4.8
  • Conduct weekly fun Fridays all-hands meetings with at least 1 external speaker.
  • Implement OKRs in all teams and departments by the end of Q2

They should be difficult, not impossible, OKRs are always stretch goals, a great way to do this is to set a confidence level of 10.

By confidence level of 5 out 10 I mean “I have confidence I only have a 50/50 shot of making this goal”, a confidence level of 1 means “Never gonna happen my friend”, a level of 10 “yeah we are gonna kill it” it also means they might be too low.


How to represent them?

Priorities this week OKR confidence
P1 Your first priority for the week.
P1 Your secomd priority for the week.
P2 A priority that would be nice if you do.
ObjectiveImprove internal employee engagement.

KRAverage weekly satisfaction score of at least 4.8 5/10
KR: Conduct weekly fun Fridays all-hands meetings with at least 1 external speaker. 5/10KR: Implement OKRs in all teams and departments by the end of Q2 5/10
Red when < 3Yellow when > 3 and < 7Green when > 7
Next 4 weeks – Projects Health
Where are we going to be the next month?.  

List here things you don’t want to forget while moving forward your OKRs

Why we can’t get things done?

One: We haven’t prioritized our goals.

“If everything is important, nothing is important”

Two: We haven’t communicated the goal obsessively and comprehensively.

“When you are tired of saying it, people are starting to hear it”

  • Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linkedin

Three: We don’t have plan to get things done.

“Do we think that willpower is enough to have things done?”

Four: We haven’t made time for what matters.

“What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important”

Five: We give up instead of iterate.

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”


A path to Success

“We start our journey to our dreams by wanting, be we arrive by focusing , planning and learning, otherwise they will be just wishes”

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