OKRs vs SMART goals

What are OKRs(Objectives and Key Results)?

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a practical way of setting goals for your company. They provide a clear idea of what success looks like, which in turn makes them easier to achieve.

OKRs were first developed by Intel in the 1980s, and it has since become more widespread in organizations that follow this management approach.

An Objective is a goal for achieving a certain result. A Key Result is a specific measure of progress towards an Objective.

OKRs Benefits & What It Means to Your Business?

OKRs are measurable and objective. They help you to set goals for the future and work towards them.

OKRs provide specific, measurable, challenging, and time-bound goals that allow you to track progress in a finite timeline. It’s easy to visualize your progress in an OKR setting because it gives clarity on what needs to be done next.

In a nutshell, OKRs is a management system that sets company-wide objectives that lead to company-wide success. Here are a few benefits of OKRs

  • Clear understanding of what the business needs to do
  • Better alignment between departments
  • Improved performance measurement across teams

What are SMART Goals?

“SMART” is an acronym for “specific, measurable, assignable, relevant and time-bound”. It’s a framework that describes the best strategy to create, measure progress and achieve your goals.

Unlike other frameworks, which cover strategies, organizational hierarchy, and performance management, SMART is a straightforward method for goal creation and measurement

In theory, the SMART criteria and OKRs can complement each other, with each being more suitable for different situations.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound
S.M.A.R.T Goals

If you look at these criteria separately, you can think about how they work together to give you the best chance of success.

How SMART Goals work?


A good goal is one that is specific, clear, and understandable to everyone contributing to it.

For example: We close more SMB customers in the UK.

This goal is focused on achieving success for the UK SMB customer. Success metrics are unclear, while the time horizon and business benefits of this goal aren’t meaningful either.


Before a goal can be reached, it must be clear how you’ll know when it’s been achieved. Including a metric would help and the objective should meet your targets.

For example: We close 1,00,000 SMB customers in the UK.

Once we have 1,00,000 SMB customers in the UK, then the goal will be considered successful.


A goal seems achievable if it is within your capability and you have access to the resources necessary to complete it.

Remember that you don’t need to have everything perfectly planned out.

Taking the previous example, since we can’t reach 1,00,000 customers then it makes sense to change the goal.

For example: We close 7,500 SMB customers in the UK.

This goal is great but It is not clear why this goal matters though.


A goal is relevant when it’s consistent with and contributes to company goals.

For example: We close 750 SMB customers in the UK to expand our market share.

This goal is linked to the company’s broader general objective of expanding its market share. The only thing missing now is a time limit.


A time-bound goal can have an arbitrary date for completion. When this arbitrary date expires, the goal is reviewed, in order to determine if it’s a success or not.

For example: In 2021 we close 750 enterprise customers in the UK to extend our global footprint.

The goal now has a scope, duration, and thus SMART

What does OKRs and SMART goals have in common?

OKRs and SMARTs both share a lot of similarities. They’re both open source.

Employees who are given OKRs and SMART goals will have a better chance of succeeding in their work.

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. The goal is to set company-wide objectives with specific targets and timelines. Employees are then able to measure their progress, which helps them to stay motivated and feel like they’re making an impact on the company.

The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. SMART goals help employees focus on what they can control personally rather than just the outcome of a project.

How are SMART goals different from OKRs?

SMART goals are a way of setting objectives that are realistic, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. It is a goal-setting method that is designed to help you prioritize the most important aspects of your work.

OKRs (Objectives and Key results) is a strategic planning technique that helps individuals and organizations focus their efforts on the things that really matter. It does so by tying individual goals to team objectives.

OKR is a simple goal setting method which doesn’t treat goals in isolation. Add a tree view hierarchy(Use tesla OKRs)

OKRs vs. SMART Goals: Which One to Choose?

SMART goals and OKRs are two different forms of goal setting and objectives. A SMART goal is a measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound goal. OKRs are an objective with key results.

We should go for the SMART goals if we want to set smaller-scale goals as it gives us more control over our work and enables us to keep track of our progress.

The OKRs should be used when we have a larger project with multiple deliverables or specific objectives that need to be met at the same time.

Irrespective of the type of goals you are trying to accomplish – personal, professional, or organizational, working on them within the perspective of Objectives and Key Results is going to make the process more practical and achievable because OKRs let you focus on what matters the most and pave the path for goal execution. In addition to this, organizational OKRs bring alignment between teams and the organization, laying the foundation for High-performance culture. 

To learn more about how OKRs methodology can benefit your organization and how you can transition your team to OKR methodology seamlessly, schedule a call today.

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