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The Art of the OKR

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

The Objective is qualitative, and the KR’s (most often three) are quantitative.

They are used to focus a group or individual around a bold goal. The objective sets a goal for a set period of time, usually a quarter. The key results tell you if the objective has been met by the end of the time.

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The Art of the OKR

The Art of the OKR

http://eleganthack.com/the-art-of-the-okr/

eleganthack.com

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Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

The Objective is qualitative, and the KR’s (most often three) are quantitative.

They are used to focus a group or individual around a bold goal. The objective sets a goal for a set period of time, usually a quarter. The key results tell you if the objective has been met by the end of the time.

Objectives

Your objective defined in a single sentence should be:

  • Qualitative and inspirational. The objective is designed to get people jumping out of bed in the morning with excitement.
  • Time-bound. You want it to be a clear sprint toward a goal, doable in a month or a quarter.
  • Actionable by the team independently. Your Objective has to be truly yours, and you can’t have the excuse of “marketing didn’t market it.”

Key Results

Key results take all that inspirational language and quantifies it.

You create them by asking a simple question “how would we know if we met our objective?”

KRs Should be Difficult, not Impossible

You are looking for a sweet spot where you are pushing yourself and your team to do bigger things, and where you have a 50/50 shot of failing.

OKRs Cascade

Much of the value in OKRs comes from the conversations on what matters, how it will be measured and what it means for the teams who are used to working from their own standards, apart from the business goals.


Individual OKRs are about becoming better at your job, as well as helping your product get better.

OKRs Part of Your Regular Rhythm

Often people fail ...

...because they set OKRs at the beginning of the quarter, and then forget about them until the end of the quarter.

Don't Change OKRs...

...halfway through your bounded time period.

Changing them dilutes focus, and keeping teams focused is the entire point of the OKR.

Get Ready to Fail

OKRs aren’t just about hitting targets but about learning what you are really capable of. When missing a KR you've learned a ton about what works and what doesn't. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Setting work goals
  • Set goals at regular intervals and give yourself enough time.
  • When you think you might not meet a goal, take a step back to asses the situation.
  • Be transparen...
Goals should be aspirational

If you fail to meet them, you probably set difficult ones for yourself.
Goals should inspire you to stretch yourself. If you hit all of your goals every time, they might not be ambitious enough.

Personal Objective Key Results - OKR
Personal Objective Key Results - OKR

OKRs take big lofty goals, segment them into objectives, and then tie each of those objectives to actionable Key Results.

The Objective is the point on the...

Setting your personal OKR
  • Decide on your mission for your quarter.
  • Break mission down into objectives. 
  • Draft your Key Results. Key Results are specific, timely and measurable indicators of your progress.
  • Consider the purpose of each KR.
  • Find an accountability partner
  • Check in every 2–4 weeks with your partner. 
Setting priorities
Properly setting priorities is an essential skill for business success. 

Take a long-term view when setting priorities and you’ll have a much greater chance of achieving your objectives....

Identify Your Goals

Start by taking a bird’s eye view of your life and slowly nail down more specific goals.

Identify your big goal. Then get more granular and identify specific goals along the way.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Each goal you set should be S.M.A.R.T. — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

  • Specific: The more specific your goals are, the better chance you have of achieving them.
  • Measurable: Can you identify milestones to hit along your way to success?
  • Attainable: Are you willing and able to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve your goal?
  • Relevant: A goal that you care about.
  • Timely: Make sure every goal you set is time-bound.

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Goals should get measured

Two-thirds of senior managers can’t name their firms’ top priorities and more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals.

So the problem is that while comp...

Own your goals

Once you’ve written down a company or a team goal, two questions arise. Who is responsible for the goal (accountability), and how do you review the results (performance review)?

These goals are designed to try new things, experiment and break old habits. It’s reaching for the moon and landing among the stars.

Tracking goals with meetings

Track your progress towards said goal week by week. This is called continuous performance review. 

Weekly status meetings are used in most companies. But you have to be careful with them as they can become pointless very easily if you haven’t set clear goals first.

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Goal setting gives focus

Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. 

Setting goals provides long-term vision in our lives.

Practical goal setting
  • Evaluate and reflect. Regularly write down where you are right now, and if you are happy with your current level of satisfaction.
  • Define your dreams and goals. What do you want? Schedule some quiet “dream time” and think about what really thrills you. Then prioritise those dreams.
  • Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive)
  • Have accountability. Find someone to hold you accountable to your goals.
SMART goal-setting framework

Set goals that are:

  • Specific: It will be easier to see what you need to accomplish.
  • Measurable: How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?
  • Attaina...
Locke and Latham’s 5 Principles of Goal-Setting
  1. Clarity: clear goals help with understanding the task at hand.
  2. Challenge: the goal should be challenging enough to prove motivating, but not impossible to achieve. 
  3. Commitment: involve your team in the goal-setting process.
  4. Feedback: measure your progress and seek advice.
  5. Task complexity: be careful in adding too much complexity to your goals as it can impact morale, productivity, and motivation.
Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) framework for goal setting
  • Objectives – This is what you hope to accomplish. Objectives usually take the form of broad goals that are not measurable (that’s what the Key Results section is for).
  • Key Results – Based on objectives, the key results are almost always defined with a specific number.

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Objectives For A Hackathon

The reasons to host a hackathon generally fall into two categories of objectives: participant-focused (Community Creation, Developer Engagement and Recruiting), or output-focused (In...

Community Creation

Hackathons can activate a tech-savvy community to rally around a cause and help. It often fosters the desire in the participants to keep working on the projects after the hackathon is over to see their projects implemented.

Developer Engagement

Hackathons can expose a community of developers to new technologies while the technology providers get in-depth feedback and the knowledge of watching how their tech is used “in the wild.”

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Hackathon

A hackathon is an intensive, often software-centric, ideation, prototyping and presentation challenge on known or unknown problems or opportunities.

It is a design sprint-li...

Some Benefits Of A Hackathon
  • Hackathons generate actionable ideas, strategic product concepts and process improvements.
  • Internal hackathons –organized within a company — provide a great way to inspire teams and promote creativity, collaboration, and innovative thinking.
  • If run properly, hackathons can establish a stream of valuable ideas.
  • The gamification layer on top of hackathons can further motivate and reward employees for being innovative while staying aligned with the strategy of the corporation.
The Importance Of The Award

The most important though from a developer’s point of view is resources and sponsorship to drive the product/idea to the next stage. This could be the most inspiring award of all — the winners ability to use specialized resources (developers, equipment, software, services) — according to a suitable plan — and get prepared for a formal presentation of the outcome to the senior stakeholders, leaders and decision makers. 

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Remote-first Mindset

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...
Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any period.
  • A great culture happens with intentional design and influence. It's the reason you should make your company's mission, vision, values, operating principles, standards, and agreements visible. 
  • Culture is experienced through emotions, including how your employees feel about the company, you, other leaders, and peers. That feeling is developed through human interaction at the water cooler, kitchen, or hallway conversations.
Your leadership presence

Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms that can include weekly video meetings, periodic company-wide emails, or presence in public channels.
  • Err on the side of more communication rather than less.

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Personal & Individual OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)
Personal OKRs are for your personal life, individual OKRs are for performance tracking at work.
Why Use Personal OKRs?
We all want things from life, but life wants things from us too.
  • How do you accomplish the things that are important to you, but aren’t urgent? 
  • How do you move forward when life is screaming at you to focus on now?
From Goal setting to Goal achieving.

  • First, Close Out the Last Quarter with Learning. Take the last week of the quarter to grade last quarter’s OKR set. Reflection is the key to accelerated learning.
  • Will you Explore or Exploit Next Quarter?How much time should you spend exploring new possibilities, and how much exploiting ones you have proven work?
  • Focus on Won’t Get Done. OKRs for things you’re worried you’re NOT going to do, not for tracking things you will.

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