OKR examples for different departments

If you are unsure how to write your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), this article keeps you covered: Whether you are searching for insightful OKR examples in Marketing, Sales, Product, Engineering, or People and Culture - discover best practices for different functions in order to get the best out of your OKR drafting. You will also get to know what high-level goals are and how they work. Additionally, you will find use cases including OKR examples from Google, among others.

Contents

  1. Why setting OKRs correctly is determining if your OKRs will turn into a success or not
  2. How to draft useful OKRs
  3. High-level OKR example (Company Target)
  4. OKR examples for management/leadership
  5. OKR example for Sales Development
  6. OKR examples for Marketing
  7. OKR example for Customer Success
  8. OKR examples for Product development
  9. OKR examples for IT and engineering
  10. HR OKR Examples for People and Culture
  11. Use cases
  12. Conclusion

Why setting OKRs correctly is determining if your OKRs will turn into a success or not

OKR examples are the easiest way to paint a picture of OKR and explain the difference to other goal management frameworks.

| Objectives hereby describe where to go, Key Results how you will get there.  |

Therefore, Objectives should be ambitious and 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.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX as a famous OKR example

Let’s take a look at SpaceX and how the project may be interpreted as an easily understandable OKR example.

Elon Musk's SpaceX

One of many ambitious OKR examples for Elon Musk's SpaceX would be:

Objective Key Results
Send a man to Mars
  1. Have 40 successful test starts with the Mars shuttle until 10th December 2020

OKR Guide

How to draft useful OKRs

When drafting OKRs and setting the basic components of the Objective it is crucial to always have the actual value proposition in mind in order to create effective OKRs. In a second step, the Objective is being formulated into a proper sentence referring to the previous brainstorming. In the third and final drafting step, the Key Results are being set by creating one Key Result per each promise made in the Objective. In the following paragraphs, we will be diving deeper into concrete OKR examples.

  1. Setting the basic components of the Objective:
    Always having the actual value proposition in mind is crucial when it comes to drafting your OKRs: think of who you would like to provide value with, what that value would be, and what that future state might look like.
Customer/User Value provided Future State
Potential Customers Seeing Sales Staff as close and trustworthy friends More open and informal communication on a regular basis


  1. Writing the Objective:
    Your actual Objective is being built by formulating a proper sentence out of the previous brainstorming.
  2. Creating the Key Results:
    You may create a Key Result (also known as KPI) for each promise of the Objective. The aim of Key Results is to make the Objective measurable.
    When setting your KPIs, the following questions may help:
    - What would indicate that we have kept this promise?
    - What would be a measurable indicator that this value has been created?
Infographic: 3 Steps to Successful OKRs

High-level OKR (Company Target)

In order to formulate high-level OKRs, also known as company targets, are goals which are being derived from certain key factors (e.g. alignment).

Objective Key Results
We delight customers at every touch point through excellent usability and service so they are happy and healthy, love engaging with us and actively recommend us.
  1. Usability score of our product goes up from 6 to 9.
  2. Customer satisfaction of our service goes up from 6 to 8
  3. Average customer health score goes up from 7 to 9.
  4. Our NPS is raised from 8 to 9 (survey).
  5. Monthly active users go up from 58% to 65%.

OKR examples for management/leadership

Especially in manager positions, it is particularly important to set the right OKRs and structure Key Results in a proper way. The following OKR example for managers focuses on personal development of employees in order to keep them satisfied and engaged.

Objective Key Results
Through further training opportunities and a budget for individual personal development employees are more satisfied and engaged.
  1. The numbers of employees that have followed at least one of the offered training programs goes up by 15%.
  2. The number of employees that have used their budget for their individual personal development has increased from 50% to 70%.
  3. The employee satisfaction score goes up from 6 to 8.
  4. 8 out of 10 employees stated that the training or individual personal development budget to be reason for increased overall satisfaction at work

OKR example for Sales Development

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management is about creating a great relationship with customers since it increases customer loyalty, as well as the chance of closing a deal. This OKR example focuses on the relationship between the Sales Staff and its clients.

Objective Key Results
Our Sales Staff is seen as close and trustworthy (1). This helps decision makers to communicate with them openly (2) and informally (3) on a regular basis (4).
  1. 75% of prospects’ decision makers trust our Sales Staff
  2. 45% of prospects’ decision makers share information which is normally not for external use
  3. 30% of prospects’ decision makers communicate with us on WhatsApp, Instagram or similar
  4. 90% of prospects’ decision makers have a regular call with one of our Sales Staff members

High-level Sales goal: Alignment

A high-level (long-term) goal is being derived from key factors. This OKR example for Sales is focusing on the key factor alignment. This kind of OKR is a rather advanced method recommended for experienced OKR practitioners.

Objective Key Results
We have filled the Pipeline with people whose problems we can solve and prove to them we are the best to entrust their problem to.
  1. Get 200 more MQL in with 25% that correspond to our ICP
  2. Conversion rate is raised from 2% to 5%
  3. 9/10 customers state they trust our sales staff (survey)

What makes this high-level goal so special is the fact that it is aligning with one of the company goals and is thus also aligned with other internal goals being linked to the same company goal:

Company goal 1 Further aligned goals
We break a kick-ass new record for our monthly recurring revenue
  1. High level Marketing goal: We achieve a steadily increasing inflow of high quality leads to equip our sales people with the right preconditions to close their deals
  2. SEO goal: Our product website is now search engine optimized so that potential customers can easily find and explore our product portfolio
  3. Inbound Marketing goal: Users find what they are looking for when they engage with us online and we excite them with our content


OKR examples for Marketing

Content Marketing

The main goal of Content Marketing is to provide content that is interesting to readers from the target group and at the same time helping Sales to generate leads. In the following you will find an example of a typical OKR in Content Marketing:

Objective Key Results
The target group considers our content interesting (1) and of high quality (2) which makes them want to know more (3) and attracts other thought leaders (4).
  1. Click rate increases 2% per week
  2. Average content rating is raised by 0.5 points
  3. Content download rate is raised by 7%
  4. Our pipeline for guest appearances grows by 5%

Lead Generation

Filling the funnel in order to hit the Sales target is the main aim behind Lead Generation. A typical OKR example for OKR growth/Lead Generation might be:

Objective Key Results
We achieve a steadily increasing inflow (1) of high quality leads (2) for the high priority accounts to equip (3) our Sales people with the right preconditions to close their deals.
  1. Increase Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to 2,600
  2. 85% of our MQLs match the Ideal Customer Persona
  3. Our average account penetration is raised to 3 per high priority account

SEO Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing is all about optimizing content in a way that it is reaching the highest possible rankings in search engines (such as Google, Bing, Ecosia). In order to succeed at SEO, it is crucial to draft ambitious and reachable OKRs. Take a look at the following OKR example for SEO Marketing:

Objective Key Results
Our product website is now among the top 3 Search Engine Results Pages so that potential customers can easily find and explore our product portfolio.
  1. Improved SEO Score from 0.4 to 0.7 (SEO score tool)
  2. Improved share of our target group clicking our homepage from 15% to 25% (Google Analytics)
  3. Increased average session time on landing page from 0:45 to 1:00 minutes (Google Analytics)

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OKR example for Customer Success

Customer Success includes a range of tasks to assist customers in making cost-effective and correct use of a product, maintaining the customer’s health and continuously optimizing the value for the customer. It involves assistance in planning, training, troubleshooting, upgrading, and any other way to assist the use of the product. CS is the most relevant source of customer insights. In order to keep up with all these factors, a correct OKR drafting process is crucial in order to be successful as a department. The following OKR example illustrates a possible way to do this.

Objective Key Results
Our customers are satisfied and feel taken care of so our churn predictions don’t worry us too much while upsell prediction excite us.
  1. Our NPS regarding Customer Support is raised from 7 to a 9 out of 10
  2. Our “Was this helpful”-rate is raised from 3 to 5 stars for helpdesk articles and calls
  3. Churn prediciton is stable at 10%, the biggest factor remaining in the economic downturn (survey and qual. research)
  4. 9 out of 10 customers state they feel taken care of by us (survey)
  5. We have conducted upsell talks with 15 of our most promising customers and got positive feedback

OKR examples for Product development

User engagement

Keeping customers satisfied with our new features, leading to increased engagement is the main aim of User Engagement. Additionally, user engagement is making sure they have the best user experience possible.

Objective Key Results
Our customers cannot wait to discover our new releases (1), they make them want to test new features (2), and use our product more often for their daily tasks (3).
  1. Our newsletter unsubscribe rate remains stable below 2% / Attendance rate of new feature launch events raised by 15%
  2. Increase the average first month feature adoption to 28%
  3. Increase the number of performed key actions per person and week to 25

Improved usability

Improving the usability of a product means to create smoother and more pleasant user experiences.

Objective Key Results
The usability of the sign-up functionality is now smoother (1) and faster (2), so that more people sign up (3).
  1. 90% of participants in user testing perceive it as smoother than before
  2. Decrease new user sign-up time to 2 min
  3. Decrease bounce rate from sign-up from to 20% Increase first-try sign-ups to 60%

For further reading we recommend our thought-through kit for product which can 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 for product teams here.


OKR Examples for IT and engineering

Velocity

The faster a software engineering team is able to develop new features, the faster value can be created for the customer. Velocity is a metric of the work done and it is often used in agile software development in regards to IT OKRs.

Objective Key Results
Our development process is now faster (1), more efficient (2), and our work of a higher quality (3), in order to have a more reliable product.
  1. Increase story point delivery to 69 each sprint
  2. Decrease the time taken from idea to release by 4 weeks
  3. Reduce average number of bugs per feature to 2

More OKR examples for IT departments and product teams

For further reading, we recommend our thought-through kits for product and IT teams. These support you in OKR drafting with: Simply explained OKR drafting techniques, best practices and helpful OKR examples. Download here for free:

HR OKR Examples for People and Culture

“Your biggest challenge will be building a great team.” - John Doerr

Improved collaboration and team spirit

Team spirit and improved collaboration leads to more communication within the company, better collaboration and less psychological stress on team members.

Objective Key Results
We foster trust (1) in our team through more communication (2), more personal (3), and informal interaction (4).
  1. The trust rate in our team is raised by 10%
  2. Number of messages exchanged is raised by 10%
  3. We have no fewer than 8 in-person touch points p.p. In a cycle for non-remote workers
  4. The number of employees participating in at least one extracurricular activity (workout, meditation and team events) is raised to 70%

Use cases

Especially the tech giant Google is famous for successfully implementing OKRs at scale. In the following paragraphs, you will get to know how Google drafts their company OKRs in the form of a simplified OKR example.

OKRs at Google

“They are part of the culture, they are part of the DNA, they are part of the language that you use at Google.” - Rick Klau, Partner of Google Ventures

Google OKR example  provided by Google Ventures: Influencer Relations

Objective Key Results
Improve Blogger’s Reputation
  1. Re-establish Blogger’s leadership by speaking at 3 industry events
  2. Coordinate PR efforts for Blogger’s 10th birthday
  3. ID and personally reach out to top xx Blogger users
  4. Fix DMCA process, eliminate music blog takedowns
  5. Set up (blogger) on Twitter, regularly participate in discussions re:Blogger product

Learn more about Google’s OKR success story!

Further OKR Case Studies

Interested in further Case Studies and best practices?
Explore OKRs at:

Learn about those companies’ challenges, implementation processes, as well as amazing achievements.

Conclusion

To see Objectives as states or endpoints 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 pay off later by making the realization of potential OKR benefits impossible. Moreover, Objectives and Key Results are a great reflection mechanism to understand how well 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.