Setting Objectives and Achieving Key Results

Setting objectives and key results (OKRs) is a collaborative goal-setting methodology used by teams and individuals to set ambitious and challenging goals with measurable results. OKRs are the way to track progress, create alignment, and encourage participation around measurable goals. It typically contains three to five high-level objectives, with another three to five key measurable outcomes for each objective. Even in the largest organizations, it's never recommended to have more than five OKRs at a time.

For smaller teams and organizations, you'll want to keep it at three. When setting objectives, it is important to focus on goals that you know you can achieve in a given time frame. Break down key results into smaller goals that are easier to measure. Leadership must explain and clarify direction at the company level so that teams have enough information to write their OKRs for a quarter. Once the OKR drafts are ready, each team must present them to the rest of the company and answer any questions that may arise.

Objectives should not be technical and should not contain a metric, so that everyone understands where to go. In Weekdone, you can use the only lens detail page that gives you a bird's-eye view of a particular lens. Along with the objectives and their key results, employees should consider recurring activities that will help them get closer to accomplishments. Group objectives should always align with company objectives and support the ultimate goal of your organization. Linking company and team objectives to key results helps team members understand how their daily work contributes to the big picture and what to focus on to drive improvements. Each OKR set must incorporate feedback from the organization and undergo multiple checks and drafts.

Koan makes it easy to configure OKRs and their owners, and the weekly reflections feature is great for keeping the team engaged and aware of their progress. When assessing your OKRs, ask yourself if your goals were ambitious enough, if key outcomes were measurable, if OKRs were ignored, if they remained aligned with business strategy, and if the organization felt invested in OKRs. It is important to remember that key results should reflect a big change, something that, if you reach 70-80% of your goal, the rest of your organization will notice. 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. This helps you quickly identify what is working and what isn't, allowing you to change course in a new cycle if your group's objectives don't contribute to your company's OKRs.