What makes billion-dollar companies as successful as they are?
Is it the number of resources they have or could it be the proper management and efficient work model?
And if we do know how to become successful, what is the ultimate secret ingredient to measure success and manage goals?
One piece of the success puzzle is OKR.
OKR is a proven framework of goal management that has helped startups and billion-dollar industries in reaching their goals with efficient objective management.
It relies on the simple concept that today’s work is tomorrow’s success where day-by-day goals are managed to project a successful big picture.
Whether you are a successful company or an individual startup stuck with setting the right OKRs, the process can be initially intimidating and a little tricky to navigate.
In this guide article, we have illustrated everything OKRs with proven OKR examples to make this important concept easy to understand.
OK(R), let’s get started 😉
What Are OKRs?
OKRs is an approach for goal setting and management within a company’s framework. It is a methodology to assess and measure key pointers to achieving your set goals. It is also an efficient program to achieve the full potential of your workforce.
OKRs are crucial to projected success and achieving longer and sustained prosperity over a period of time. Setting the right goals and objectives is important and OKRs aid in setting the right goals and moving your company in the right direction toward achieving the set goals and measuring the end results.
OKRs are essentially made of two components:
- O – Objectives
- KR – Key results
Here is a breakdown of the O and its KRs 🙂
What Are the Objectives?
The objectives in OKR are the direction of focus within certain key parameters set by your organization.
Think of the objectives as the Captain of the ship, the ship being your company and the destination being your final goal.
Just as how the captain motivates the crewmen to drive the ship forward and in the right direction, objectives should encourage growth, push for clarity and act as a guide toward achieving the end goal.
Objectives are not defined by a numeric value and are measured in a periodic manner, usually for each quarter. They are qualitative rather than quantitative.
What Are the Key Results?
Key results are the quantifiable measure of your objectives. Just like how the objectives are the captain of the ship, key results are the GPS tracking that tells the captain how far they have come along roads to the destination/goal.
Key results are generally a combination of 3-5 parameters that are predetermined that help you identify whether you are on the right track to achieving your objectives and ultimately your end goal.
By a general thumb rule, key results should be updated periodically, say every week, to ensure you are right on track.
Every company has different guiding factors and work culture and the OKRs may vary depending on various facets within an organization. In order to get started there are certain guidelines that are commonly followed theme across various industries.
We have compiled these guidelines for your understanding along with tested OKR examples of different typologies that can help you move in the right direction.
The following sections cover the above-mentioned information for the successful implementation of OKRs.
Let’s jump in!
The major work in setting the right OKRs lies in defining objectives and key factors.
While the intent may vary depending on various factors of consideration, here is a breakdown of the basics of designing each segment.
Defining objectives is easy once you know what outcome it is you want.
The basic question of ‘what is the issue and what is the best way to tackle it on an immediate basis?’ is the golden way to define an objective.
Objectives can be team-based or company based and should establish an attainable intent. Motivation is another important factor of an objective.
A good objective should be actionable, align with the company goals and provide a clear direction for the company as a whole.
Points to remember:
- Is the objective crystal clear and drives the team toward the focus area (key results)?
- Is the goal definitive and geared toward what you wish to accomplish?
By answering these two simple questions, you will be able to assess for yourself if the objective is defined well.
Formulating Key Results
Key results provide guidelines on how to achieve the objective. They are essentially measurable means to calculate how far along your team has come in achieving a certain objective.
For instance, 20% growth in customer engagement in the last quarter, is a key result definition.
Key results need to be defined with a numerical and measurable value. It is good practice to include words such as participate, continue, strive and maintain, etc., to drive motivation and ensure all team members are active participants in achieving the end goals.
Key results are supported by evidence of results or completion of a certain goal. This is how success is measured.
Key points to remember:
- What is the deliverable to achieving the key results?
- What are the pre-determined metrics to measure the success of the objective?
30+ Comprehensive OKR Examples
Now that we have covered the basics, it is time to look at some good examples.
We have compiled a series of practical OKR examples across 15 categories. Each category has two OKR examples, so there are about 30 examples in this section.
Generic OKR Examples
#1. OKR examples for top management and CEOs
Objective 1: Generate $4 million in revenue
- Close 200 deals worth $4 million in this quarter
- Reduce churn rate and expand customer base by 20%
Objective 2: Enhance the working environment
- Boost employee satisfaction with perks and benefits and maintain a score of 8 and above
- Create a monthly company retreat program by the end of Q2
#2. OKR examples for company
Objective 1: Boost customer satisfaction
- Ensure 50 customer feedbacks are received every month
- Achieve customer engagement per product of 80% and above per quarter
Objective 2: Expand the business globally
- Create brand awareness in 20 countries outside the present net
- Reach a target 95% annual sales growth in EMEA and Asia geography
- Increase global sales target to 20 million by the last quarter
#3. OKR examples for Marketing (General)
Objective 1: Generate 1,000 qualified leads for this quarter
- Create an account-based marketing strategy and generate 200 qualified leads from this channel
- Increase the marketing funnel by implementing two new channels (email and Ad words)
Objective 2: Improve customer acquisition
- Test and try new marketing automation process
- Measure the percentage of customer retention and work to reduce the churn rate
- Reduce the customer acquisition cost by 15% at the end of each quarter
#4. OKR examples for Online Marketing
Objective 1: Boost our online presence through various channels
- Improve customer engagement by 10% in Q2
- Improve lead conversion through landing pages by 15%
Objective 2: Optimize SEO
- Create 10 new inbound links per blog post on our webpages
- Optimize website loading time
#5. OKR examples for Product Marketing
Objective 1: Launch new product by Q2
- Test the product with 10 trial accounts before the launch
- Finalize product website with the latest updates and features
- Send out a memo with the product launch date to customers and partners
Objective 2: Build a strong in-house product team
- Hire 50 top-class UX/UI developers by the end of the quarter
- Create and deploy a mentorship program with industry leaders on a monthly basis
Department-wise OKR examples
#6. OKR examples for the Finance department
Objective 1: Ensure account records are up-to-date
- Aim to upload all account-related documents to the cloud and online resources
- Maintain accurate records with minimal backtracking for all audits
- Aim to implement all purchase requests via software by next quarter
Objective 2: Boost individual performance
- Offer certified finance-related courses and training programs for team members
- Offer incentives to team members who perform the best in the form of bonuses each quarter
#7. OKR examples for HR
Objective 1: Improve the quality of the hiring process
- Create HR training programs for team members to improve their communication skills
- Ensure the majority (50%) of the hiring process is automated by an Ai or top-end hiring software
Objective 2: Boost employee retention scores
- Conduct weekly surveys and the monthly team meets for each department to gather feedback from employees and improve the overall work loop
- Install a 24/7 employee helpline for grievances and reports
- Quarterly assess if the salaries match the market rate for each tier
#8. OKR examples for IT
Objective 1: Optimize and update software each quarter
- Perform software performance audits each month to assess software usage and backlogs
- Improve software efficiency from 60%-80%
Objective 2: Invoke a mobile-friendly work environment
- Implement mobile-friendly cloud software for all operational purposes within the next quarter
- Ensure the software available are mobile optimized from the get-go
#9. OKR examples for Sales
Objective 1: Improve sales in the South Pacific region in the first quarter
- Source 50 highly qualified leads from this region
- Collect 30 customer feedbacks from this region
- Hire 30 skilled employers on the south pacific sales team
Objective 2: Boost customer interaction
- Increase one-on-one customer-sales rep sessions from 5 per day to 10 per day
- Increase signups and free demo sessions from 20% to 40% in the next quarter
#10. OKR examples for PR
Objective 1: Broaden brand awareness
- Have 20 PR conferences promoting new product launches by the end of the first quarter
- Tie up with 15 key industry influencers to promote the brand and new product line
- Aim for ‘best company of the industry’s annual award
Objective 2: Form a highly capable PR team
- Hire 5 new skilled team leads from various nooks of the industry
- Participate as a team in 5 industry conferences every quarter
- Introduce special skills improvements and training programs for team members
#11. OKR examples for Social Media
Objective 1: Improve the content on Facebook
- Upload 50 blog posts/articles in this quarter
- Increase the amount of video content from 20-50 videos per quarter
- Aim to receive 20 honest audience feedback and product reviews in the first quarter
Objective 2: Boost customer engagement on Instagram
- Introduce 5 live sessions with a key influencer every month
- Maintain 5 regular and 2 Reel posts per week on the brand page
- Encourage customer feedback by introducing incentives in posts
OKR examples for maintaining the quality of service
#12. OKR examples for Customer Support
Objective 1: Introduce a new customer support channel exclusive to customer feedback
- Increase customer satisfaction score from 6.9-8.0 by the end of the quarter
- Build a robust feedback loop across different levels of management to ensure everyone is aware
Objective 2: Maintain a highly qualified customer support team
- Train team members to handle all kinds of situations and customers with grace
- Define a core guideline to follow aligning with the companies ideals and goals
- Introduce a certified leadership management program for top performers as an incentive
#13. OKR examples for Quality Assurance
Objective 1: Maintain High product quality throughout Q2
- Identify and eliminate bugs while running tests for the product
- Constantly conduct performance reviews to assess the team and product quality
- Automate the testing process from 50% to 100% in Q3
Objective 2: Improve the feasibility of the QA team
- Reduce the number of team meetings from 10 to 5 every week
- Introduce a bi-weekly meeting with the team lead to communicate effectively the work in progress
- Implement software for team members to upload and update their work at the end of each day
#14. OKR examples for Operations or Store Management
Objective 1: Improve the friendliness of the staff
- Introduce an employee training program for staff members to improve their soft skills and mannerisms
- Implement a dress code for staff members especially the front of the house
Objective 2: Reduce Lead time on a weekly basis
- Increase the inventory from 60%-80% by the end of the quarter
- Automate manual repetitive tasks with an optimal software program
#15. OKR examples for partners
Objective 1: Connect and onboard new qualified partners
- Aim to publish 10 white papers focussed on partners in Q2
- Invite 5 new partners to visit the company and understand the process
- Conduct 2 conferences focussed on educating partners each quarter
Objective 2: Strengthen relationships with existing partners
- Keep partners in the loop with 5 newsletters on new products and progress every month
- Invite 5 partners every month for a congressional event to learn about the status of the company
OKRs vs KPIs — What’s the Difference?
The most common notion in the marketing world is how different are OKRs from KPIs and if both of these terms denote the same. The short answer is yes, but no.
OKRs can be incorporated with KPIs but the reverse is not necessarily effective. In some cases, KPIs become a default while setting the OKRs.
A little confused?
Here are the definitions for some more clarity:
OKRs are a goal-setting methodology to attain certain targets. These are objectives usually combined with a metric to have an evident and actionable plan in hand.
KPIs are factors that determine the success of a task or the organization as a whole.
In short, OKRs are composed of KPIs and are a cohesive framework to achieve objectives.
Final Cues to Remember
Regardless of the industry, you might be in, OKRs provide a great cushion to manage and achieve your goals no matter how small or big they might be.
Writing effective OKRs is just half the part of the journey. The second half is measuring how far along you are and if the set target is to be achieved within the stipulated time.
Before we wrap up here are some crucial points to bear in mind for crystal clear clarify before preparing your OKRs:
- Take it slow. Do not overload your team with more than 5 objectives per quarter. Setting 3-5 clear objectives is the right amount to tackle each quarter
- The nominal amount for key results is within 3 or maxim 5. Don’t go overboard with n number of key results as this will only lead to confusion and vagueness
- Communicate and set goals along with the team members. Ensure every team member is involved while setting the OKRs
- Use basic, understandable terms while setting the parameters for effectiveness and clarity
- And lastly, use a project management tool to help ease the process. Project management software can help in the proper handling of different goals and typologies as well.
And we are done!
We hope this comprehensive guide gives you some clarity on OKRs and how to go about them.
Do let us know in the comments which example or tip was the most useful in your OKR journey!