Dear Andy

Our company is reviewing the way we use OKRs and trying to create a strong OKR culture among our co-workers. However, we are not sure of how we can track our progress on these efforts. Do you have any suggestion of how we can measure how successful we are at using OKRs?


We're sharing reader questions, answered by the team. Named in the honor of Andy Grove, the creator of OKRs.

Hi Rafael!

Thanks for writing in and for your great question. To answer it, I think we first need to define some key elements of a strong OKR culture. Here are a few things to look out for:


Strong OKR culture starts with strong OKRs, and you won’t succeed in creating it unless you’ve got the basics down first. Are your Objectives significant, concrete, action-oriented, and inspirational – clearly connected to broader company priorities? Were you able to whittle down your Key Results to 3-5 per Objective? Are the KRs all numerically measurable increments of change/growth rather than a work plan full of action items? And finally, did team members report an increased clarity of priorities than before OKR adoption from cycle to cycle?


A strong OKR culture is evident when team members willingly engage – whether OKRs are mandatory or not. The initial reception of OKRs provides insight: Did the team embrace them eagerly or show hesitancy? Active participation and enthusiasm during OKR sessions indicate a robust culture. An even stronger sign is when individuals extend the use of OKRs beyond prescribed levels, crafting personal goals or additional OKRs beyond the company cascade. To track overall OKR sentiment among team members, a company-wide survey would provide great insight.

Degree of Stretch

OKRs push companies beyond their perceived limits, prompting them to aim higher. Assess whether your team is truly reaching for ambitious goals with OKRs or opting for easily achievable targets. An indicator of this is the overall success rate: If all OKRs are consistently green (indicating 100% success), it suggests that the goals may not be sufficiently challenging, hindering potential growth. Though it may seem counterintuitive, teams with a balanced mix of green, yellow, and red OKRs actually exhibit the strongest OKR culture. This mix signifies a comprehensive understanding that occasional “failure” is an integral part of the process and contributes to a more robust and ambitious goal-setting approach.

If you’re looking for a way to numerically track the effectiveness of your OKR you could always – wait for it – use OKRs! You’ve already got your Objective in place (create a strong OKR culture), now you just need to determine what success looks like and translate those into measurable and time-bound KRs.

You could create an OKR that looks something like this:

Create a strong OKR Culture
80% of employees surveyed found OKRs beneficial
100% of KRs written are high quality (as defined by…)
3/4 OKRs are legitimate stretch goals
More people cheer than complain when OKRs come up

Thanks for writing in, Rafael, and best of luck to you on your OKR journey.


Billy from the What Matters Team

We're sharing reader questions, answered by the team. Named in the honor of Andy Grove, the creator of OKRs.