Dear Andy,

I’m looking for some help on my OKRs. Do you have any advice? I have one for my business and one for a personal goal.

(I’m a fertility nutrition coach.)
O1: Partner with all three fertility clinics to become their go-to nutrition referral for all patients.
KR1: Get 1 referral per month by Q2.
KR2: Get 5 referrals per month by Q3.
KR3: Get 10 referrals per month by end of year.

O2: Learn Portuguese.
KR1: Sign up for Mango app (language learning app).
KR2: Complete 2 lessons per week.

I really appreciate any feedback you can provide. Thanks so much. I know this framework really can be helpful if I can just wrap my head around it.

Sincerely,
Rashida

dear-andy-spacer-2

Hi Rashida!
Thanks so much for writing in. Always love to see folks using OKRs in both their personal and professional lives. Let’s get into it!

You have a good Objective in O1, it just needs paring down. When it comes to writing Objectives, less is definitely more. Instead of ‘partner with all three fertility clinics to become their go-to nutrition referral for all patients,’ consider simplifying it to ‘be the go-to nutrition fertility coach.’ You want your Objectives to be as concise as possible, and the fewer words you can say it in, the better.

As far as your KRs go, referrals will work great as one KR—now it’s time to think of a few more. What metrics would you use to define ‘go-to’? What are the signs of a go-to fertility coach? Returning clients? Income? Awards?

To help define the numerical portion of your KRs, I’d recommend specifying the scale of your ambition a bit more. Do you want to be the go-to fertility coach in your city? State? Country? The world?! (cue evil laugh). Once you define this, you can simply look at the go-to fertility coach on that level and use their metrics as inspiration for your KRs. For example: how many referrals per month do they get?

Given all that, here’s what an OKR could look like:

o
Be The Go-To Nutrition Fertility Coach In My Region.
kr1
Be the top choice referral for the top 3 fertility clinics in my region.
kr2
Get at least 5 referrals per quarter from partners.
kr3
Grow number from referrals by 30% each quarter.
kr4
Get at least 5 referrals per quarter from customers.

By organizing your OKR this way, you can now focus on strategies to make partners consider you the best. How will you know you’re making progress? If you are the first choice referral for the top 3 clinics. There you have it: an Objective and Measurable Key Results.

Now let’s look at OKR 2.

I think you can get a little more specific with your objective ‘Learn Portuguese’. ‘Learn’ is difficult to define. Perhaps something like ‘Become Conversational in Portuguese’ might be stronger?

Similarly, let’s take your KRs a bit further. OKRs ask you to measure success by progress, not by effort. You wouldn’t measure competency in a forgeign language by how many apps you sign up for or how many lessons you complete. In fact, you could complete all the lessons you want, but if you don’t do well on them, you wouldn’t be much closer to learning Portuguese than when you started out.

Instead, consider metrics of growth or change. How will you know when you’ve become conversational in Portuguese? Is there a certain grade or percent you want to achieve on the app’s quizzes? Maybe it’s reading an entire Portuguese article without having to look up a single word? Compliments from native Portuguese speakers? Whatever you choose, just make sure they’re numerically measurable.

o
Become Conversational In Portuguese.
kr1
90% average on all Mango App quizzes.
kr2
Read entire article without consulting Portuguese dictionary.
kr3
Complete 5 conversations with native speakers without switching to English.

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

Sincerely,

Billy from the What Matters Team