The Easy Guide to Get Started With OKRs: Objectives and Key Results

Did you know that 77% of small business owners don’t reach their goals? And on top of that 80% say they aren’t tracking their goals. We believe the two are intricately related.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to set and track your goals, because you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn how objectives and key results, (OKRs), are the missing link between you and reaching your business goals this year. 

OKR 101: What Is OKR? 

Objectives and key results are a form of goal setting for teams and businesses that want to set ambitious goals and meticulously track them with metrics. From nonprofits to software startups, teams everywhere are turning to OKR’s to help them meet their goals and grow their organization. 

For many teams, the OKR meaning might seem too simplistic. But the simplicity of this system is what gives it the flexibility to adapt to many different types of teams and organizations. To create your own goal using OKRs, fill in this sentence: 

I will accomplish (objective) by (date) through attaining and achieving the following metrics (key results). 

The objective can be any goal you want to reach such as increase your lead generation by 5% or improve employee morale by fiscal year-end. And the key results are the vital metrics you need to track to ensure that you do reach your goals by the date specified.

For example, to increase lead generation you will follow the number of visitors that you drive to your landing page each month as well as your conversion rates. 

SpaceX OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)
SpaceX OKRs

Now that we are on the same page when it comes to the OKR definition, let’s jump into how you can get started.

What Is the OKR Framework?

While OKRs are flexible, it is better to follow a certain framework to ensure you achieve the best results possible. First, you want to establish the OKR cycle that you and your team will follow. When John Doerr originally presented OKRs to Google, he suggested a three-month cycle. 

Using a 90-day format is an ideal cycle length as it gives you time to work towards each goal without giving you too much time to forget your goals. Once you have your timeline planned you will schedule a planning session before your next cycle begins. 

In your planning session, you will review your company mission and current company-wide goals. Then determine what personal goals you and your team will set to help your organization move towards the overall goals. Finally, you will break down your goals into weekly action steps. 

Next, you’ll schedule a weekly check-in to spend 15 minutes reviewing your OKR and where you are with your weekly action steps. Finally, at the end of your OKR cycle, you’ll review how you did, whether you met your goals, and what your new goals will be for the following cycle. 

Following this OKR model will give you a solid process so that you know you’re always working towards your personal goals. And you know that you’re contributing to helping your company reach its goals as well. 

When you use the OKR process that includes a planning session, weekly check-ins, and quarterly reviews, you’ll know that you’re on the right track to reach your goals. This important OKR format is key to the success of your goal-setting process. 

How to Write Good OKR Goals

Following the objective key results pattern within the framework will help you reach more goals than ever before. However, for the framework to work you need to ensure that you’re setting good goals. But, what does that mean and how can you be sure you’re not setting bad goals? 

First, your OKR must be specific this is not the time to use murky or ambiguous language. Your goals need to be crystal clear to you and anyone else who is helping you reach them. 

Some good OKR examples include: 

  1. Design and launch 3 new products that are sustainably sourced by Q4
  2. Generate 25% more leads this quarter
  3. Improve customer satisfaction this month

Looking at these objectives you can break each one down into key results you will measure along the way. Considering the last objective your key results might look something like this: 

  • Research current customer wait times 
  • Generate and receive 1,000 surveys from current customers
  • Present a plan of action to the customer service team based on research

Each of your key results includes action steps you can take and have numbers you can measure. Again, clarity and specificity are key when writing your OKR’s. 

How to Track Objectives and Key Results

Tracking the right OKR metrics is imperative to reaching your goals. If your goal is to increase lead generation and you’re tracking the number of followers you have on social media, then you’re climbing the wrong wall. Social media followers are not new leads. 

You need to know how many of those followers you’re driving to your website. And of the number of visitors to your website, how many are you converting to your email list. This is what will increase your lead generation and improve sales over time. 

Additionally, you’ll want to use the right tools to help you track your actions as well as your results. After all, a tracked number grows, and you don’t want to risk forgetting about the important goals you’ve set for yourself and your team.  

Follow This Practical Guide to OKRs

Now that you’ve had OKRs explained, and how you can create good OKRs that will help you and your team reach your goals, you’re ready to tackle them yourself. Use objectives and key results to help you take your business to the next level and reach those goals you’ve always dreamed of. 

OKR goal setting is an important component of scaling your business. But you don’t have to go it alone. Work with an expert who can ensure that you’re following the framework properly so you can experience the ultimate results. 

If you’re ready to get started, then schedule your free 15 minutes call with our team and we can help you set up the right OKRs to reach your goals.

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