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™
Best Practices Of
OKR Goals
(and OKR Goals 2.0)
™
™
Actionable & Correct Definitions
1
2
3 Tactical Insights
Why OKRs?
™
Why OKRs?
™
Why OKR is the Most Effective Goals System
• Improves on Management by Objectives (MBOs) and S.M.A.R.T. Goals
-Allows to break up goals and objectives into smaller steps (KRs)
-Cascade alignment - connect your organization to the key objectives
-Set quarterly, not annually, and progress measured in 12 check-ins
-Collective organizational wisdom - 70% Bottoms-Up Alignment
-Transparency and accountability
• The modern organizational goals framework used by top companies:
™
•Amazon
•Anheuser-Busch
•Accenture
•Adobe
•Box
•CareerBuilder
•Dell
•Deloitte
•Department of the Navy
•Dropbox
•Edmunds.com
•Twitter
•Gap
•GE
•Google
•GoPro
•Intel
•LinkedIn
•Microsoft
•Moz
•Netflix
•Oracle
•Panasonic
•Schneider Electric
•Sears
™
Popularity of OKRs
VIDEOGoogle’s OKR management has 250,000+ views!
™
Correct Definitions
™
OKR Definitions
• Objectives (Os)
- It is what you want to achieve
- Quarterly (but for junior individual contributors can be monthly)
- Must be measurable with one or a few KRs
- Can be Operational or Aspirational
- Must be able to pass/cascade down or across for alignment
• Key Results (KRs)
- It is how you will know whether you are achieving your objective
- It is the metric which measures the Objective (Complete/Incomplete is measurable)
- If it’s not a metric then the KR is a Milestone (date when the Objective is due)
• Tactics
- KRs inform the “What” while Tactics inform the “How”
- Should be planned for each Key Result
™
I will
{Objective}
as measured by
{Key Results}
™
Cadence: Annual Goals > Quarterly Objectives > KRs
2016
Annual Goal 1
Q1
Q1 Objective 1
KR1
Tactic 1 Tactic 2
Tasks 1,2,3,4,5 Tasks 1,2,3,4,5
Tasks 1,2,3,4,5 Tasks 1,2,3,4,5
KR2 KR3
Q1 Objective 2 Q1 Objective 3
Q2 Q3 Q4
2016
Annual Goal 22016
Annual Goal 32016
Annual Goal 4
Q1 Objectives
(the “Where”)
Q1 KRs
(the “What”)
KR1 Tactics
(the “How”)
™
But setting OKR goals is not enough to
achieve success in execution,
performance and results!
™
The MOST CRITICAL success factor that
connects goals to results:
Weekly Progress Check-ins
with Closed-Loop Feedback
™
Regular Weekly Check-Ins & Feedback Loop
• Review and check-ins must be done weekly to achieve OKR progress
-Don’t just fall into the trap of “set and forget” which is a big mistake
-There are 12 weeks in each quarter but there is an initial grace period 2 weeks
-The rest is a 10% step - a lot happens during such cycle towards a quarterly goal
-Must track and review OKR status - oversee progress or course-correction
• High-performance organizations have a weekly status/progress report
that is reviewed by each manager or DRI (Directly Responsible Individual)
-In each weekly report, a worker updates the status of her/his progress made
towards the goals
-Be proactive and intentional about praise on progress or work collaboratively to
course-correct (use a carrot, not a stick: 80% praise : reprimand)
™
What is OKRs 2.0 ?
Combines the power of OKRs with Regular, Continuous Feedback:
OKR Goals Management combined
+
Weekly Progress Check-ins (Closed-Loop Feedback)
+
Employee Engagement Metrics
™
Tactical Insights
™
Accountability & Responsibility
• Without responsibility, there is no accountability
• Always have only one DRI (Directly Responsible Individual) for
any OKR and for each KR within an Objective if it will be
cascaded down
• An “owner” of an OKR is not necessarily the group manager –
a DRI just serves as a traffic cop (like a Project Manager, aka
Scrum Master), not necessarily department head with any
direct reports
• Also important for owning the “retrospectives” - the DRI /
Owner is the one who is responsible for summarizing the
learnings and suggesting improvements for the next quarter
or year
™
Timing
• Must begin the process before a new Quarter starts
• Must ideally start 5 Weeks prior to the new Quarter (or 3 weeks minimum)
- T-5: CEO meets with executives to discuss Quarterly Objectives (or annual Goals)
- T-4: CEO & executives document the planned high-level Quarterly Objectives – CEO hands down
these next quarter Objectives to the executives who need to come up with some KRs
- T-3: Share these with the OKR Owners (Directly Responsible Individuals); Executives hand down
their Objectives to the Managers or the “DRIs/Owners” who begin to work with teams and
individuals to create their OKRs
- T-2: Teams complete their OKRs and share those with the Executives and Individuals
- T-1: Individual finalize their OKRs
• New Quarter: 2-3 Week grace period
- OKRs can be still iterated slightly and there is a 2-3 weeks grace period after the Quarter starts
(Executives must present their completed OKRs at the Quarterly Business Reviews)
• Annual planning – very early stages should begin as early as August/September
™
Planning
• Requires discipline
• Limit OKRs to 3-5 Objectives / 3-5 KRs
• Bottoms-Up should be 70% of the process, ensures commitment & buy-in
- Taps into collective wisdom and domain expertise of your team
- Not the high level but the actual KRs and Tactics
• Agile process and with iterative cycles
• Resource Allocation –people, money, and time
• The OKRs must be thoughtfully prioritized by each OKR Owner
• Everyone needs to summarize the “Tactics” for each KR during the OKR
planning process and before OKRs are set in place for next quarter
• Baseline KRs – if you don’t know the actual metrics
™
Implementing
• Show Long-Term Goals and Quarterly Objectives (Q3 / Q4)
• Ensure executives’ and departments’ Objectives link directly to the
company goals and specify that clearly (i.e. to what Ox-Kx they link)
• Have separate objective focused on LT Growth
™
Operational vs. Aspirational
• OKRs should not all be unachievable as some OKR experts suggest
-many can be “Operational” and thus achievable, despite being “stretch goals”
• If the implication is that achieving 70%-80% consistently should be
considered a good outcome then it will become quickly demotivating to
everyone that they are always ending up hitting 70%-80% of the aim
™
Writing OKRs - The Importance of Language
• Phrase OKRs in the language relevant to the targeted group
• Use action verbs to start each O or KR
-All KRs should be actionable verb as it makes it more clear and more actionable
when cascaded down as an Objective
• When in doubt use experimental phrases to improve baseline:
-Complete X experimental lead generation projects in Q1 to grow lead flow
-Complete X of PR Projects in Q1 to improve brand awareness
-Invest 10% of time each week into non-measurable, experimental, “serendipitous”
marketing
™
Keep In Mind
• You don’t know what you don’t know
-Can’t anticipate everything - need to acknowledge that there are many unknowns
-Planning is by definition done in the past with what you knew at the time
• Running experiments is critical
-It’s necessary to increase performance over time
• You may achieve every KR, while not every Objective
-That’s OK as long as you are learning and can apply the learnings in the next
quarter
• It’s OK to fail
-But it’s important to plan thoughtfully in advance, then analyze the gap in a
retrospective assessment (as aforementioned, the Owner / DRI is responsible for
this) and plan for the next quarter using the insights
™
Grading
• Purpose: for learnings and improvements, not for performance evaluation
• After the end of the quarter, each DRI grades Key Results from 0 to 1
• Key Result Grade is not the same as KR measurement
- If your company discovered that a given KR had little business value and stopped it mid-
quarter, you have still achieved a good business outcome and deserve a high grade
• Objective’s grade is an average of KR grades
• Grade of 1.0 for Objective is reasonable for operational objectives and grade of
0.7-0.8 is good for “aspirational”
- Encourage setting ambitious objectives when possible for the following quarters
• Always base employee evaluations on KR metrics and never on OKR grades
™
EXAMPLE: Company Top-Level 2016 Annual Goals
Owner: CEO
• Goal 1: Sell $100 Million in Bookings in 2016
- Q1 Objective: Sell $15M in Total Bookings
- Q2 Objective: Sell $25M in Total Bookings
- Q3 Objective: Sell $25M in Total Bookings
- Q4 Objective: Sell $35M in Total Bookings
• Goal 2:
• Goal 3:
• Goal 4:
• Goal 5:
™
EXAMPLE: Company Top-Level Q1-2016 Objectives
Owner: CEO
• Objective 1: Sell $15M in Bookings
-KR1 [for VP, Sales]: Win 1,500 Deals worth $15M in Bookings by 3/31/16
-KR2 [for VP, Marketing]: Generate 75,000 Marketing Qualified Leads
-KR3 ….
• Objective 2:
• Objective 3:
• Objective 4:
• Objective 5: Invest Effort in LT Growth [Mkg & Prod may be here]
™
EXAMPLE: Department OKRs - Marketing
Owner: CMO, Name
• Objective 1: Generate 75,000 MQLs
[Aligned to CEO-Q1-2016-O1-KR2]
- KR1: Action Verb
- KR2:
- KR3:
• Objective 2:
- KR1: Action Verb
- KR2:
- KR3:
• Objective 3: Increase Q2 Pipeline by X # of Opportunities or by $Y Value (of Q4 $ARPA)
- KR1: Action Verb
- KR2:
- KR3:
• Objective 4: Long Term Marketing Investment (Brand, PR, experiments, etc.)
- KR1: Action Verb
- KR2:
- KR3:
™
EXAMPLE: “Acceptable” vs. “Bad” of Non-
Quantifiable, Yet Still Measurable Objectives and KRs
• Bad (i.e. not measurable):
- Build a brand
- Become a good sales rep
- Improve sales alignment with marketing
• Acceptable but not Great: (i.e. they are also actionable and not ambiguous):
- Launch a PR campaign to improve brand awareness
- Sales Team to meet with Marketing team for an aligned Go-To Market meeting every Monday
- Achieve your quota
™
Spotlight on Google OKR Process & Other Ideas
• OKR – Objectives & Key Results
- Google OKR Video:
 https://www.atiim.com/google-okr-objectives-key-results-video-transcript/
- 15 Insights from the Google OKR Video:
 https://www.atiim.com/blog/15-great-insights-from-the-google-okr-video/
- Ideas from Google OKR to Evolve the Process:
 https://www.atiim.com/blog/ideas-to-evolve-the-okr-process/
™
Thank you!

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Best Practices Of OKR Goals

  • 1. ™ Best Practices Of OKR Goals (and OKR Goals 2.0)
  • 2. ™ ™ Actionable & Correct Definitions 1 2 3 Tactical Insights Why OKRs?
  • 4. ™ Why OKR is the Most Effective Goals System • Improves on Management by Objectives (MBOs) and S.M.A.R.T. Goals -Allows to break up goals and objectives into smaller steps (KRs) -Cascade alignment - connect your organization to the key objectives -Set quarterly, not annually, and progress measured in 12 check-ins -Collective organizational wisdom - 70% Bottoms-Up Alignment -Transparency and accountability • The modern organizational goals framework used by top companies:
  • 5. ™ •Amazon •Anheuser-Busch •Accenture •Adobe •Box •CareerBuilder •Dell •Deloitte •Department of the Navy •Dropbox •Edmunds.com •Twitter •Gap •GE •Google •GoPro •Intel •LinkedIn •Microsoft •Moz •Netflix •Oracle •Panasonic •Schneider Electric •Sears
  • 6. ™ Popularity of OKRs VIDEOGoogle’s OKR management has 250,000+ views!
  • 8. ™ OKR Definitions • Objectives (Os) - It is what you want to achieve - Quarterly (but for junior individual contributors can be monthly) - Must be measurable with one or a few KRs - Can be Operational or Aspirational - Must be able to pass/cascade down or across for alignment • Key Results (KRs) - It is how you will know whether you are achieving your objective - It is the metric which measures the Objective (Complete/Incomplete is measurable) - If it’s not a metric then the KR is a Milestone (date when the Objective is due) • Tactics - KRs inform the “What” while Tactics inform the “How” - Should be planned for each Key Result
  • 10. ™ Cadence: Annual Goals > Quarterly Objectives > KRs 2016 Annual Goal 1 Q1 Q1 Objective 1 KR1 Tactic 1 Tactic 2 Tasks 1,2,3,4,5 Tasks 1,2,3,4,5 Tasks 1,2,3,4,5 Tasks 1,2,3,4,5 KR2 KR3 Q1 Objective 2 Q1 Objective 3 Q2 Q3 Q4 2016 Annual Goal 22016 Annual Goal 32016 Annual Goal 4 Q1 Objectives (the “Where”) Q1 KRs (the “What”) KR1 Tactics (the “How”)
  • 11. ™ But setting OKR goals is not enough to achieve success in execution, performance and results!
  • 12. ™ The MOST CRITICAL success factor that connects goals to results: Weekly Progress Check-ins with Closed-Loop Feedback
  • 13. ™ Regular Weekly Check-Ins & Feedback Loop • Review and check-ins must be done weekly to achieve OKR progress -Don’t just fall into the trap of “set and forget” which is a big mistake -There are 12 weeks in each quarter but there is an initial grace period 2 weeks -The rest is a 10% step - a lot happens during such cycle towards a quarterly goal -Must track and review OKR status - oversee progress or course-correction • High-performance organizations have a weekly status/progress report that is reviewed by each manager or DRI (Directly Responsible Individual) -In each weekly report, a worker updates the status of her/his progress made towards the goals -Be proactive and intentional about praise on progress or work collaboratively to course-correct (use a carrot, not a stick: 80% praise : reprimand)
  • 14. ™ What is OKRs 2.0 ? Combines the power of OKRs with Regular, Continuous Feedback: OKR Goals Management combined + Weekly Progress Check-ins (Closed-Loop Feedback) + Employee Engagement Metrics
  • 16. ™ Accountability & Responsibility • Without responsibility, there is no accountability • Always have only one DRI (Directly Responsible Individual) for any OKR and for each KR within an Objective if it will be cascaded down • An “owner” of an OKR is not necessarily the group manager – a DRI just serves as a traffic cop (like a Project Manager, aka Scrum Master), not necessarily department head with any direct reports • Also important for owning the “retrospectives” - the DRI / Owner is the one who is responsible for summarizing the learnings and suggesting improvements for the next quarter or year
  • 17. ™ Timing • Must begin the process before a new Quarter starts • Must ideally start 5 Weeks prior to the new Quarter (or 3 weeks minimum) - T-5: CEO meets with executives to discuss Quarterly Objectives (or annual Goals) - T-4: CEO & executives document the planned high-level Quarterly Objectives – CEO hands down these next quarter Objectives to the executives who need to come up with some KRs - T-3: Share these with the OKR Owners (Directly Responsible Individuals); Executives hand down their Objectives to the Managers or the “DRIs/Owners” who begin to work with teams and individuals to create their OKRs - T-2: Teams complete their OKRs and share those with the Executives and Individuals - T-1: Individual finalize their OKRs • New Quarter: 2-3 Week grace period - OKRs can be still iterated slightly and there is a 2-3 weeks grace period after the Quarter starts (Executives must present their completed OKRs at the Quarterly Business Reviews) • Annual planning – very early stages should begin as early as August/September
  • 18. ™ Planning • Requires discipline • Limit OKRs to 3-5 Objectives / 3-5 KRs • Bottoms-Up should be 70% of the process, ensures commitment & buy-in - Taps into collective wisdom and domain expertise of your team - Not the high level but the actual KRs and Tactics • Agile process and with iterative cycles • Resource Allocation –people, money, and time • The OKRs must be thoughtfully prioritized by each OKR Owner • Everyone needs to summarize the “Tactics” for each KR during the OKR planning process and before OKRs are set in place for next quarter • Baseline KRs – if you don’t know the actual metrics
  • 19. ™ Implementing • Show Long-Term Goals and Quarterly Objectives (Q3 / Q4) • Ensure executives’ and departments’ Objectives link directly to the company goals and specify that clearly (i.e. to what Ox-Kx they link) • Have separate objective focused on LT Growth
  • 20. ™ Operational vs. Aspirational • OKRs should not all be unachievable as some OKR experts suggest -many can be “Operational” and thus achievable, despite being “stretch goals” • If the implication is that achieving 70%-80% consistently should be considered a good outcome then it will become quickly demotivating to everyone that they are always ending up hitting 70%-80% of the aim
  • 21. ™ Writing OKRs - The Importance of Language • Phrase OKRs in the language relevant to the targeted group • Use action verbs to start each O or KR -All KRs should be actionable verb as it makes it more clear and more actionable when cascaded down as an Objective • When in doubt use experimental phrases to improve baseline: -Complete X experimental lead generation projects in Q1 to grow lead flow -Complete X of PR Projects in Q1 to improve brand awareness -Invest 10% of time each week into non-measurable, experimental, “serendipitous” marketing
  • 22. ™ Keep In Mind • You don’t know what you don’t know -Can’t anticipate everything - need to acknowledge that there are many unknowns -Planning is by definition done in the past with what you knew at the time • Running experiments is critical -It’s necessary to increase performance over time • You may achieve every KR, while not every Objective -That’s OK as long as you are learning and can apply the learnings in the next quarter • It’s OK to fail -But it’s important to plan thoughtfully in advance, then analyze the gap in a retrospective assessment (as aforementioned, the Owner / DRI is responsible for this) and plan for the next quarter using the insights
  • 23. ™ Grading • Purpose: for learnings and improvements, not for performance evaluation • After the end of the quarter, each DRI grades Key Results from 0 to 1 • Key Result Grade is not the same as KR measurement - If your company discovered that a given KR had little business value and stopped it mid- quarter, you have still achieved a good business outcome and deserve a high grade • Objective’s grade is an average of KR grades • Grade of 1.0 for Objective is reasonable for operational objectives and grade of 0.7-0.8 is good for “aspirational” - Encourage setting ambitious objectives when possible for the following quarters • Always base employee evaluations on KR metrics and never on OKR grades
  • 24. ™ EXAMPLE: Company Top-Level 2016 Annual Goals Owner: CEO • Goal 1: Sell $100 Million in Bookings in 2016 - Q1 Objective: Sell $15M in Total Bookings - Q2 Objective: Sell $25M in Total Bookings - Q3 Objective: Sell $25M in Total Bookings - Q4 Objective: Sell $35M in Total Bookings • Goal 2: • Goal 3: • Goal 4: • Goal 5:
  • 25. ™ EXAMPLE: Company Top-Level Q1-2016 Objectives Owner: CEO • Objective 1: Sell $15M in Bookings -KR1 [for VP, Sales]: Win 1,500 Deals worth $15M in Bookings by 3/31/16 -KR2 [for VP, Marketing]: Generate 75,000 Marketing Qualified Leads -KR3 …. • Objective 2: • Objective 3: • Objective 4: • Objective 5: Invest Effort in LT Growth [Mkg & Prod may be here]
  • 26. ™ EXAMPLE: Department OKRs - Marketing Owner: CMO, Name • Objective 1: Generate 75,000 MQLs [Aligned to CEO-Q1-2016-O1-KR2] - KR1: Action Verb - KR2: - KR3: • Objective 2: - KR1: Action Verb - KR2: - KR3: • Objective 3: Increase Q2 Pipeline by X # of Opportunities or by $Y Value (of Q4 $ARPA) - KR1: Action Verb - KR2: - KR3: • Objective 4: Long Term Marketing Investment (Brand, PR, experiments, etc.) - KR1: Action Verb - KR2: - KR3:
  • 27. ™ EXAMPLE: “Acceptable” vs. “Bad” of Non- Quantifiable, Yet Still Measurable Objectives and KRs • Bad (i.e. not measurable): - Build a brand - Become a good sales rep - Improve sales alignment with marketing • Acceptable but not Great: (i.e. they are also actionable and not ambiguous): - Launch a PR campaign to improve brand awareness - Sales Team to meet with Marketing team for an aligned Go-To Market meeting every Monday - Achieve your quota
  • 28. ™ Spotlight on Google OKR Process & Other Ideas • OKR – Objectives & Key Results - Google OKR Video:  https://www.atiim.com/google-okr-objectives-key-results-video-transcript/ - 15 Insights from the Google OKR Video:  https://www.atiim.com/blog/15-great-insights-from-the-google-okr-video/ - Ideas from Google OKR to Evolve the Process:  https://www.atiim.com/blog/ideas-to-evolve-the-okr-process/

Editor's Notes

  1. - Perform “Retrospectives” or a “Gap Analysis” at the end of the Quarter when she/he closes the OKRs - Every KR must have an owner who has a final accountability (this accountability shouldn’t be shared – just have one responsible owner)
  2. 10% MQL to Opp & 20% Opp to Deal (w/$10k ASP)