The Difference Between Objectives and Key Results

A common misconception is that key results are the same as tasks. This is not the case. OKR is not a to-do list, and setting tasks as key results prevents you from truly measuring the things that influence your success. It also prevents you from focusing on what really matters to drive progress.

Objectives are goals that you want to achieve. They are significant, specific, action-oriented and aspirational. The outcome of the initiatives should be a key result, such as getting coverage in 20 media outlets. Key results are the measurable results that represent a valuable change in the business, indicating how close you are to achieving the goal.

At the beginning of the quarter, you'll not only assess the viability of your goal based on key results, but you'll also plan your OKRs. Key activity-based results usually begin with verbs such as launch, create, develop, deliver, build, implement, define, release, test, prepare and plan. When teams start with value-based OKRs, it's common for them to get stuck on including activities as key outcomes. This encourages a more bottom-up approach to goal setting, since by giving teams ownership of the company's key results, they will contribute to the company's objective as they advance their own OKRs during the quarter.

Once teams establish their clear objectives and key results, individual team members will decide how to achieve their OKRs. Projects are not results in themselves, but rather the work that the company must do to obtain the key results or maximize its chances of achieving them. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results; it is an objective management methodology that encourages companies to define areas for improvement and drive changes. With Weekdone's OKR software, you can easily establish connections between company and team objectives and add key results that indicate if you've achieved your goals.

As the quarter progresses, people should keep track and measure the progress of key results each week with their team through weekly discussions and checks.