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The Art of the OKR

Key Results

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?”

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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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Key Ideas

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.”

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. 

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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. 
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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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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