OKR: What are Objectives and Key Results and why are they important for your company?

What is OKR: OKR is an agile leadership and goal management framework. It is a strategy execution tool to guide result-focused work, create alignment and engagement around measurable goals. An OKR consist of one Objective and several Key Results. Explore an extensive OKR definition in our Magazine.

Objectives: Are desirable, ambitious goals, qualitatively describing an aspired outcome. It sets a clear direction for everyone and is supposed to motivate you to work towards it. The Objective basically tells you where you want to go.

Key Results: Describe the metrics you will use to check if you are on the right track to achieve your Objective. They are measurable results indicating your progress towards achieving an Objective and will tell you if you have achieved it. Key Results usually have a starting and a target value to measure how you progress towards your Objective. Through this, you always know how close you are to your final destination and if you will have to change something to get there.

The OKR Cycle: To really make the OKR framework work, the process component of the framework is just as important as its different parts (e.g. Objectives, Key Results) and the different roles (e.g. OKR Coaches, Program Leads). The process component of the framework is also called OKR Cycle. It describes a sequence of different events that ensure

  • proper definition
  • execution
  • measurement
  • and continuous improvement

of goals and the overall strategy execution. A clearly defined OKR process with regular events to plan, align, update, reflect and adjust is the heart of a successful agile goal and strategy execution system. Learn more about the steps of the OKR Cycle and other artefacts of the OKR method like Check-ins and Retrospectives.

The history of the OKR method: the idea of OKR has come a long way. Already in 1968, back then CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, developed the Management by Objectives framework of Peter Drucker into the model of OKR. In 1974, John Doerr joined Intel, got to know OKR and took them with him, when he joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – one of the first major investors in Google. Doerr introduced OKR to the founders of Google, who implemented them in their organization, which still uses OKR today.

Create more transparency and focus through OKRs
OKR GuideOKR Training
OKR Guide

Workpath‘s Complete Guide to OKR

The complete OKR Guide helps you understand what you need to know to help your employees and company succeed with OKR. You will learn everything from a detailed OKR definition to OKR examples, the most important FAQs, and the reasons why you should work with OKR.

Download Workpath‘s Complete OKR Guide
OKR Companies

Here you can find a few of the companies that are working with OKR

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The advantages of OKRs for your company

There are plenty of reasons why the OKR method is important for you, your employees and your company. We have put together an overview about the most important reasons to implement OKR below.

OKR software helps to achieve these and additional benefits easier, faster and on a larger scale. Especially in large organizations, an OKR tool helps to create transparency, standardization and better alignment across teams and hierarchies. Learn more about when an OKR tool is (not) useful.

OKR Benefits
Plan, learn & adopt more frequently

OKRs help you to create a more frequent rhythm of strategic planning, learning and adopting based on your experience. This will help you to improve performance faster.

OKR Benefits
Increase the quality of your goals

The OKR method helps you to shift from output to outcome orientation, improves measurability of success and lets you focus on customer and business value right from the beginning, when you set your goals.

OKR Benefits
Create transparency and engagement

Create transparency and clarity for teams about their strategic contributions. Help them to know exactly how they contribute to strategic goals to increase their sense of purpose and engagement.

OKR Benefits
Turn every team into a strategy executor

Involve every team in the strategic planning process and benefit from their additional customer insights. Make your strategy development as customer centric as never before.

OKR Benefits
Maximize resource allocation effectiveness

Allocate your resources to the right strategic priorities and increase portfolio efficiency every cycle. Decrease the time-to-result for every strategic investment.

OKR Benefits
Bridge the strategy execution gap

Increase the strategic impact of operative teams. Create more strategic focus in your daily work activities by creating the connection between them and their contribution to goal achievement.

OKR Benefits
Create a learning organization

Create fast improvement cycles iteratively integrating learnings from operative work into strategic decisions. Know when to course-correct, make strategic success predictable.

OKR Benefits
Establish an end-to-end value creation process

Eliminate gaps and friction between strategy planning and execution. Make all steps of the value creation smoothly integrate with each other.

OKR Benefits
Create a sustainable organizational structure

Continuously develop for better strategy execution. Generate learnings about the friction between value streams and the organizational structure. And become as fluid as today‘s market demands.

Realize OKR benefits with the help of Workpath

OKR examples Product and IT
OKR Examples

Practical OKR examples for Product and IT

Our thought-through kits for product and IT teams will support you with your OKR drafting. What you can expect: OKR drafting techniques explained simple and concise, best practices and helpful OKR examples. Download your drafting kit with OKR examples.

You can find additional OKR examples, drafting tips as well as many more articles on the OKR method in our Magazine.

OKR & Related Frameworks

OKR, Hoshin Kanri, OGSM and related frameworks – how does it fit?

Next to OKR there are a lot of related frameworks concerned with performance management and the strategy execution process. To not get lost in the framework jungle, we have created a brief overview.

Hoshin Kanri and OKRs

OKR and Hoshin Kanri

While Hoshin Kanri focuses a lot on formulating and structuring strategic goals, OKR offers a more holistic process model. Listen to this Superkinetics episode (ger) to learn more.

Safe and OKRs


OKR and SAFe® work with closely related principles, which is why they perfectly complement each other. Use OKR to enhance alignment in scaled agile environments.



OKR is a great complement to OGSM. OKR takes the strategic OGSM framework and provides the necessary strategy execution process for it.

KPIs and OKRs

OKR and KPIs

OKR and KPIs are two sides of the same coin. While KPIs serve you as a lag metric, OKRs are the lead metric of your success. learn more about OKRs and KPIs in this article.

Balanced Scorecard and OKRs

OKR and Balanced Scorecard (BSC)

OKR and BSC are both concerned with strategy execution. However, OKR takes a less administrative, more engaging and inclusive approach. Listen to this Superkinetics episode (ger) to learn more.

Smart Goals and OKRs

OKR and Smart Goals

While OKR is an encompassing strategy execution and goal management framework, Smart goals give you guidelines on improving goal quality. Their principles fit together well.

OKR ResourceS

The best OKR content

Discover curated, free whitepapers, guides and OKR templates about OKR in the Workpath Library. Furthermore, you can expect exciting interviews, guest contributions and other insightful articles e.g. on our OKR spreadsheet template in the Workpath Magazine. Learn from the best practices of experienced OKR practitioners and stay up-to-date on the OKR framework, agile transformation and strategy implementation.

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