What is OKR?
Objectives & Key Results or OKR, is a proven method to meet and exceed your goals.
Too often companies and individuals alike phrase their goals in ways that are abstract and not measurable. We learn to do this at a very young age – students will set a goal to study more this week, for example. But that’s not a quantifiable goal – at what point can that student cross that item off of his to-do list? The objective, concrete way to phrase that goal would be to say, Add one hour of study on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. This is indeed measurable, is something that can be decidedly crossed off a list as complete, and something that the student can work into his regular studying routine.
OKR is essentially that methodology but applied on a much larger scale for businesses.
In its current form, OKR was created in the 70s and made popularized by an early Google investor. OKR is a method by which businesses and companies can set realistic, attainable goals on small and large scales and track their progress in real-time. Major companies even today employ the use of this method to create objectives for their businesses and come up with realistic plans of actions to get them done.
The Two Primary Factors in OKR are Objectives and Key Results:
- Objective: This is the term for the goal itself, for what you want to accomplish on whatever scale and timeline.
- Key results: This term refers to the actionable steps that form the plan of action to reach the objective. It’s important that key results are steps whose effectiveness can be measured and quantified in order to realistically track the progress toward the objective.
It’s important to remember that the objectives laid out in your OKR have to be flexible and adaptable where needed. An unattainable objective will demonstrate itself naturally through the course of time as you track the progress of your key results. Remember that you can always adjust and reevaluate your ultimate objectives using the OKR method.