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.
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.
One of many ambitious OKR examples for Elon Musk's SpaceX would be:
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.
- 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.
- Writing the Objective:
Your actual Objective is being built by formulating a proper sentence out of the previous brainstorming.
- 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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
Improving the usability of a product means to create smoother and more pleasant user experiences.
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.
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.
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:
“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.
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
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.
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.