Refining Your Objectives
Put Your Objectives to the Test
We’re close to having our final Objectives! Let’s run them through 5 key questions to make sure they’re the best they can be.
But first, remember that one of the best checks you can do is to share your Objectives with others. Your peers, colleagues and leaders are invaluable resources when it comes to defining growth.
1. Does your Objective ask for an incremental change, a leap or a discovery?
- Incremental Change: Is your change an increment away from the status quo? By how much? Incorporate this into your phrasing.
- A Leap: Are you asking your team to think outside the box? Use inspirational language to help them get there.
- Make a Discovery: Are you trying to learn something about your business? Phrase the Objective like a hypothesis that needs proving.
2. Can you make your Objective more specific?
Vague goals are weak goals. Specific goals are tangible and concrete. They make it clear what the priorities are and what tradeoffs should be made.
3. Do you need to make your Objective more action-oriented?
The language you use is very important. Rather than describing a state, describe what you need to do to achieve that state. Consider the difference between Improve our Customer Service vs. Own Our Customer’s Issues and Fix Them.
4. Can you say the same Objective in a simpler, more concise way?
You will have an easier time with rallying your team if your Objectives are poetic and inspiring. If you’ve written a paragraph, you might need to boil your Objective down to the essential thing that must be accomplished.
5. How can you make your Objective more memorable? Can you tie it to your culture?
You stand for something. Your organization stands for something. When crafting your Objective, tie it to your values. It’ll make them even more meaningful.
TO DO: For each of your draft Objectives, check them against each of these 5 refining questions.
Additional Resources & Further Reading
- Article: Questing for the Magic Metric: How Superhuman Discovered a Galvanizing OKR
- Article: Making OKRs Work Better
- Resource: Google’s OKR Playbook
The Science of Key Results