Top Tips for Creating Effective Goals and OKRs


Why is it extremely important for you to be aware of the tips for creating effective goals and OKRs?

Simply because, if implemented successfully, as it is said by the co-founder of Google – Larry Page, OKRs can provide companies with up to 10x growth, that too numerous times. 


Source: Pixabay

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a very renowned goal management framework. It is used by several industry-leading companies for setting, communicating, and monitoring their organizational goals plus results. In simple terms, it’s a leadership and goal-setting medium used by individuals and groups for setting objectives with measurable results. Companies of all sizes and industries are known to benefit from this highly impactful framework. Its efficiency and effectiveness are the reason that some of the biggest names use the OKR methodology all over the world such as Spotify, LinkedIn, OpenX, Dun, and Bradstreet, etc.  

As per google trends, the searches for the term OKR have quadrupled over the last few years. The popularity and high demand is the reason behind the launch of several OKR management software, OKR tools, OKR programs, and even OKR tracking software globally. Providing a wide range of benefits, OKR helps to enhance the focus, alignment, and transparency needed to take the organization towards its goals. However, the implementation of OKR has to be correct for it to yield its benefits. So, we have come up with this highly demanded article to answer your dilemma of how to implement OKR?  

Following is the list of some of the best tips for implementing OKR effectively:

#1 Set your North Star and align OKRs with it

Objectives and key results will enable your team to move forward faster. However, it is extremely crucial to know where they are heading. Setting the vision and ambition for the respective team will help them understand and visualize where the organization is moving. Doing so will help them to align their individual OKRs in the exact direction as well. By setting the goal they will have an answer to their thought of why are these OKRs being set and what will it help the organization to achieve? 

#2 Calculate the value 

This is an incredible way to measure the influence of your goals. In addition to numbers, each of the key results should be able to answer the “so that/why” question. 

• Make five new reports – So what impact will these reports have?

• Use the feature Y – So why is this feature supposed to be used? 

When you focus on the value, you help the people to focus on what will be the most important for the company. 

#3 Focus

One can’t make everything a priority. OKRs don’t involve each and everything that you need to do. Rather they are about the most important goals for the individual or the team during that specific period of time. You can start by having up to 3 goals for each team, with around 3 to 4 key results for each of those goals. Initially, it is advisable to start with 1 or 2 organizational goals. This will work to guide the effort and initiative of your team in the same direction. This will also serve as a great example for other teams to follow and execute the approach.

#4 Design the culture

OKRs are not for everyone and every team. The right environment is very important for it to work and excel. You will need various traits in your team, such as responsibility, collaboration, transparency, and personal accountability. Otherwise, the OKR strategy might not work correctly and can even fail. Sharing of constructive feedback and psychological safety also plays a significant role in making the OKR framework effective. If not, it will become quite hard to improve the goals and efforts. Having the right culture from the start is known to be beneficial both in the short and long term. 

#5 Patience 

Your OKR implementation might not hit the nail from the very first time. They are probably very few organizations that must have got it right from the very first day. Understanding the process, figuring out the important matter, setting the right goals and measurable key results will require time. Be patient enough to try the OKR approach at least twice or thrice before taking the decision of continuing them or not. The real value of using OKRs can even take a year to become clear to each member. Similarly, it is important to have the right expectations from the initial stages. Do not expect miracles to happen just after the first few days only. 

#6 Utilize moonshot or roof shot objectives

Depending on your team and organization, you might find moonshot or roof shot objectives to be the extra push your teams might need. Moonshot refers to the stretch objectives that are beyond the threshold of what looks possible. Achieving even 60% to 70% of such goals is considered to be successful. These are generally used for R&D projects or individual goals. At the same time, the short roof objectives are the ones that are considered to be tough but are achievable. These are the goals that the team aims to achieve completely (100%).  

#7 Communicate regularly

We highly recommend you set up OKRs review meetings in your organization on a regular basis. Having weekly and bi-weekly meetings will not only enable your employees to sync about OKRs but resolve blockers as well. However, these review meetings should be quick plus adequate. This brief check-in should consist of accountability, productive feedback, transparent communication, and sharing of noteworthy progress.  In addition to this, it can be a good step if you allocate an OKR head or ambassador. They will ensure the correct implementation of the OKR framework. 

Using the above-listed tips will help you in successfully implementing OKRs and aligning the teams to deliver breakthrough results. When set up correctly and used regularly, OKRs are simple to use and don’t require much time for implementing or following. It generally takes a few hours to have a check and review, although you will be checking them constantly to measure the progress of the organization. 

It ensures to always keep the goals and vision in front of the team members. They will know where they are going and what is expected from them. This helps the employees work effectively to achieve the organization’s common goals.

Always remember that the implementation of OKRs is not a sprint but a marathon. They are proven to work for several companies and industries. All you need is the right set of guidance with proven techniques to implement the OKR framework correctly. For assistance regarding OKRs and such performance management matter, make sure to visit here if you want your organization to achieve all of its goals.  

author img

Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

Author Bio

You may also like