OKR Sessions: What Are OKRs? Objectives and Key Results Basics (VIDEO)

The basics of the OKR goal-setting method.

Play this video on YouTube

Coach Ryan Panchadsaram, a co-founder of WhatMatters.com, says the way for an organization to make significant progress when goal setting is put to paper what their Objective and Key Results (OKRs) are.

“OKRs are a way to capture the ambitions of the team you work on,” Panchadsaram adds. “They are a way to articulate the mission, vision, the objective of what you’re trying to do, and then the path of how you get there.” No matter what your goal is or what field it’s in, OKRs work to answer the “whats” and the “hows” for all goals, whether they are output and customer service-related, to more existential, input questions, like how to build a company culture of collaboration.

The formula to write an OKR is simple: an Objective is what is to be achieved. By definition, Objectives are significant, concrete, and action oriented. In the video, Coach Ryan adds that Objectives should also be inspirational, poetic, and concise — something people can easily remember. Tying an Objective to a company mission can help with all of these. For example, Google published this mission statement as it moves into the hardware sector:

“At Google, we strive to build sustainability into everything we do. And now that our business includes building hardware, our commitment remains the same. Our ambition is that every product we build will leave people, the planet, and our communities better than we found them. We are at the start of a journey of reimagining how even better hardware and hardware experiences are created.”

Alongside it, Google shared this OKR:

Be the neighbor everyone wants in the communities in which we operate.
100% of device orders shipping to and from Google customers will be carbon neutral by 2020.
We require the highest ethical standards throughout our supply chain and are working to promote meaningful improvements in the communities in which we operate.

This high-level OKR easily encapsulates Google’s stated mission. Find out how to discover and draft your company’s “why” your company’s “why”.

In the video, Coach Ryan also highlights the Key Results aspect of OKRs, which should be specific and time-bound, aggressive yet realistic, and measurable and verifiable. Key Results benchmark and monitor how we get to the Objective.

To hear the entire interview with Coach Ryan check it out above, or find how to get an OKR coach.

If you’re interested in starting our OKRs 101 course, click here.

Ryan Panchadsaram co-creator of WhatMatters.com, Ryan Panchadsaram okrs, Ryan Panchadsaram

Up Next

The OKR Origin Story

A closer look at the man who invented OKRs.

andy grove at intel