What is an OKR? Please define it for me.

What is an OKR? Please define it for me.

by Ryan Panchadsaram


Published on 12.26.2018

The definition of “OKRs” is “Objectives and Key Results.” It is a goal setting tool used by teams to reach for their most audacious goals.

Objectives are what you want your team to accomplish. Key results describe how you will do it. Objectives are significant and action-oriented. Key results are specific and measurable.

For example, let’s set an objective: “to build the world’s tallest building.” The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, so to achieve our objective, the building we are constructing needs to be taller. Our first key result would be: “building has more than 163 floors and is taller than 2,436 feet.” To ensure our project moves on time, we add more key results: “plans to be complete by November 2018”, “environmental review complete by March 2019”, “construction begins by December 2019”, and “building opens by January 2022”.

When written out, our OKR would look something like this:

O: To build the world’s tallest building

  • KR: Building has more than 163 floors and is taller than 2,436 feet
  • KR: Plans to be complete by November 2018
  • KR: Environmental review complete by March 2019
  • KR: Construction begins by December 2019
  • KR: Building opens by January 2022

This system is deceptively simple, but when used properly, OKRs will equip your organization with superpowers. Learn more about OKRs by reading Measure What Matters or exploring more stories and resources right here on WhatMatters.com.


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FAQ

OKRs are about way more than just having goals. Objectives and key results help you define and articulate how you're going to achieve them. Learn more here.

FAQ

What is a good number of OKRs to have? When it comes to objectives and key results, what to focus on can seem like an objective itself. Here’s the answer.

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