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  OKRs (Objective and Key Results)

OKR is an abbreviation for Objective & Key Result. The concept was invented at the Intel Corporation and is widely used amongst the biggest technology companies in the world including Google and Zynga.

OKRs are meant to set strategy and goals over a specified amount of time for an organization and teams. At the end of a work period, your OKRs provide a reference to evaluate how well you did in executing your objectives.

Spending a concerted effort in identifying your company strategy and laying it out in a digestible way with OKRs can truly help your employees see how they are contributing to the big picture and align with other teams.

Objective

What do I want to get done.

The goal of setting an objective is to write out what you hope to accomplish such that at a later time you can easily tell if you have reached, or have a clear path to reaching, that objective.

Great objectives are:

  • Qualitative and inspiring
  • Time bound
  • Actionable by me

Key results

How you know if you met your objective

Key Results are numerically-based expressions of success or progress towards an Objective.

The important element here is measuring success. It’s not good enough to make broad statements about improvement (that are subjectively evaluated). We need to know how well you are succeeding. Qualitative goals tend to under-represent our capabilities because the solution tends to be the lowest common denominator.

Great Key Results are:

  • Metrics
  • Quantity/quality balance
  • Difficult, not impossible

Conclusions

How many OKRs should I have?

The idea is not quantity, but quality of OKRs. Think about the key things you need to do to further your business, goals, or ideas and put the focus there. Also, not all Key Results are created equal. In more sophisticated OKR sets they can range from ‘must have’ to ‘nice to have.’

OKRs are meant to help you communicate with your company on how to move forward and win. The better you understand your goals and how to get there the more effective and precise your objectives will be — and same with your outcomes.

Example

Objective: Increase Quorum user base

Key Results:

  • Increase per day views to 1,000
  • Total monthly uniques 45,000

Objective: Get validation that Quorum is useful from users

Key Results:

  • Increase upgrade conversion rate to 10%
  • Increase MAU (assumed to be flawed) to 30% using our analytics
  • 70% of newly acquired users answer questions at least 100 times

Objective: Improve infrastructure

Key Results:

  • Automate builds using hubot-like functionality
  • Reduce latency on requests by 50%

Objective: Improve question matching technology
Key Results:

  • Attempt 5 major algorithm improvements
  • Build an algorithm accuracy measurement tool and achieve 80% positively matched question results

Objective: Refresh Quorum App UX & Design

Key Results:

  • Make a new, awesome, version of Quorum with 100% team approval
  • 90% of current monthly active user base agrees this is an improvement from current iteration
  • Launch new logo & app icon on app, website, social media, blog
  • Refresh app store screenshots & copy

Links

Final assessment

In case you haven’t written narratives for every module, please write a bigger one now to reflect on the all the learned material. You can find more information here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReMo/Coaching/Training#Write_a_narrative.


Credit: material is adapted from here.