What are Key Objectives and Outcomes (OKRs)?

OKRs, or Key Objectives and Outcomes, is a collaborative goal-setting methodology used by teams and individuals to set ambitious and challenging goals with measurable results. This method is increasingly gaining traction among companies and SMEs, as it helps track progress, create alignment, and encourage participation around measurable goals. An OKR can be defined as a rigorous method of targeting and monitoring invented by Andrew Grove and used at Intel since its early years. It consists of an inspirational, high-level goal statement and measurable key results.

Companies should not define more than 3 to 5 OKRs per team, department, or level, and fewer than 5 key outcomes per objective. Key results measure progress toward the goal as an indicator that shows how close you are to your goal. They should primarily reflect results (outcomes) rather than production (amount of work delivered). Additionally, they should reflect the most important areas to achieve measurable progress rather than trying to reflect everything you do.

At the start of a quarter, you will not only assess the possibility of achieving your goal measured by key results, but you will also plan your OKRs. Keeping group goals within a short and strict time frame encourages concentration and allows you to review them in cycles. Along with the objectives and their key results, employees should consider recurring activities that will help them get closer to accomplishments. The key is to ensure that during the definition of OKRs, all teams and individuals can already participate, so that alignment can be achieved within these 2 to 3 weeks of priority coordination. Key results don't necessarily have to be measured with a KPI, but they are useful for measuring progress.