Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a method for the development and management of goals and performance at all organisational levels of an enterprise. Objectives hereby describe where to go, Key Results how you will get there. Therefore Objectives should be set very ambitiously and be of qualitative nature. Key Results on the other hand should demonstrate measurable results that allow you to evaluate if a certain goal has been achieved. Contrary to Objectives you should follow the S.M.A.R.T. rule for Key Results. This could look like the following:
Objective: Send a man to Mars
Key Result: Have 40 successful test starts with the Mars shuttle until 10th december 2020
So at first glance designing OKRs really seems not impossible. However, if you look for concrete OKR examples suitable for your organization, you usually come across a long list of negative examples. To demonstrate bad OKRs seems to be so much easier than finding perfect examples. That is mainly because OKRs are not mass products that can easily be standardized and just taken off the shelf to be directly used in your own organization. OKRs have to always be adapted to the industry, specific organizational factors and other environmental influences. To find a good starting point though, we summarized some OKR examples for different professional groups and leadership positions in this article.
However, you should not forget that generic examples are there to help as orientation point and not to be used directly as templates. Since OKRs are very context specific it is more important to fulfill certain indicators of quality, which we summarized in this article.
OKR Examples Finance
Objective: We have a reliable turnover forecast for the next 4 quarters.
- Key Result: A weekly forecast meeting with all project managers has been established.
- Key Result: We have a excel-based tracking tool for all projects that have been started or were already completed in this quarter.
- Key Result: All project managers have been brought to the same level of knowledge by a 2-day bootcamp on better forecasting.
Objective: We have a sound pricing strategy for all new products for the next two quarters.
- Key Result: We have an overview about pricing strategies of the 5 most important direct competitors.
- Key Result: We have a graphical overview about the whole KPI report.
- Key Result: We have precise insights into the pricing strategies of the last 3 years for the 5 top-selling products.
OKR Examples Marketing
Objective: We have a strong brand with international value of brand recognition.
- Key Result: 3 social media marketing campaigns on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were executed in 10 countries.
- Key Result: Sessions resulting from organic search on Google were raised to 5.000 per month.
- Key Result: We are represented in 30 guest articles on websites or blog of leading industry experts Earned Media).
Objective: We have a clear and exact understanding of our main customer groups.
- Key Result: 10 interviews with responsible employees from the key accounts give us better insights into our best customers.
- Key Result: A customer survey with 200 participants shows us the most important needs, desires and preferences of our customers.
- Key Result: We have a slidedeck on the data of the database for the main customer groups visible for everyone in the organization.
OKR Examples Sales
Objective: We have implemented a smooth sales process.
- Key Result: We have 3 new developers for the establishment and adaption of the new order system.
- Key Result: A chatbot on our website that receives orders and places them in the order system ensures 24/7 reachability.
- Key Result: The processed orders per month have been increased to 1.500.
Objective: We are market leader for EMEA.
- Key Result: We have to strategic partners for each of the following countries: Spain, France, Italy.
- Key Result: The opportunities for DACH and Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland) have been increased to 50.
- Key Result: market entry into the countries Portugal and Croatia.
OKR Examples HR
Objective: We have a unique collaboration culture.
- Key Result: 20 new hires are part of the new buddy program for fast integration of employees.
- Key Result: We have cross-departmental collaboration in 5 cross-functional trainings with participants from at least 3 different departments in each quarter.
- Key Result: We strengthen our sense of belonging with 2 team dinners.
Objective: A workplace of the future that fosters and supports openness, collaboration and creativity.
- Key Result: We have an innovation room with a 3D printer and virtual reality glasses at our disposal, which is bookable via HR.
- Key Result: We support the creativity of our employees with a quarterly, internal idea competition.
- Key Result: 3 feedback rounds for each team in each quarter with an ensuing friday bar strengthen open exchange of ideas and information.
OKR Examples Engineering
Objective: An improved testing process.
- Key Result: 5 new service level agreements with adapted acceptance criteria were agreed upon with clients.
- Key Result: Through the 25% time reduction to fix critical bugs we have functioning prototypes faster.
- Key Result: 100 identified and fixed bugs from open and already resolved problems increase our service level.
Objective: A controlled and smooth execution of quality assurance and testing for the new product launch.
- Key Result: A bi-weekly review meeting between project managers and product developers improves communication in the project.
- Key Result: Answering 98% of all customer requests within the service level agreements ensures our customer satisfaction.
- Key Result: Completion of all epics of the product launch until the end of the second month of the quarter.
OKR Examples Leadership Team
Objective: We completed a successful financing round.
- Key Result: We have directly contacted 100 potential investors (mail, telephone).
- Key Result: Participation at at least 10 investor pitches.
- Key Result: We closed the investment round with at least 50.000€ capital from venture capitalists.
Objective: Agile management is practiced and a digital organization culture developed.
- Key Result: We have chosen and implemented a software for better goal and performance management.
- Key Result: The participation at a 12-week program enables us to be at a good starting point with the topic of Objectives and Key Results.
- Key Result: A full-day OKR kick off with a company celebration afterwards marks the start for better goal and performance management.
Although OKR examples are a useful tool and helpful guideline in the definition process of your own Objectives and Key results, you should alway keep in mind that adaption to industry, firm and other specifics is necessary.
To see Objectives as states or end points and Key Results as outcomes and not task lists is usually a good idea. The perfect execution of OKRs from day 1 is normally impossible. Therefore you should strive for continuous improvement of your OKRs and not just a simple categorization of them into right and wrong. It is important that the definition process of OKRs is carried out thoroughly since half-heartedness in this step will payoff later by making the realization of potential OKR benefits impossible. Moreover, Objectives and Key Results are a great reflection mechanism to understand how good you know your own business.
If enough effort and commitment is put into OKRs they can help to give individual employees as well as the whole organization a sense of direction and help them focus their efforts. At the same time responsibilities are made clear and transparent for all employees.
Find more on OKRs here.