Examples of OKRs
First introduced by Andy Grove and later popularized at companies like Google by John Doerr, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a method of goal setting in organizations that align the work of employees and individual contributors to the team goals and company-wide initiatives.
The core belief behind OKRs is that accomplishment and output is valued over mere ideas. When properly aligned, OKR examples like those below can help companies change the culture of what matters most in an organization and reward hard work over looking busy.
OKR Examples for Operations
OKRs necessitate a cultural mindset. Real OKR examples for growth flip the top-down management style on its head and ask teams and individual contributors what needs to be done, forcing a series of conversations to reach total alignment and inspire growth. OKR examples for operations teams that oversee functions like HR and Finance can help to lead the initiative in any organization.
OKR Example for HR:
Annual Objective: Promote a diverse culture of inclusion and well-being that attracts and retains top talent.
- KR #1: Implement changes to the hiring process that expands the applicant candidate pool to include underrepresented communities by March 1
- KR #2: Lead a monthly cadence of training modules featuring topics related to mental health and work-life balance
- KR #3: Maintain an 85% employee engagement score through four quarterly assessments
With an organizational-level OKR set, it’s time to break down the Key Results into something actionable for the hiring team or department. This is often a job best suited for OKR planning software that facilitates transparent development of top-down and bottom-up alignment. Let’s breakdown KR #1:
(Supporting) Objective: Implement changes to the hiring process that diversifies the applicant candidate pool.
- KR #2: Scrub job descriptions and requirements for non-inclusive language by 1/15
- KR #1: Expand recruitment efforts by sending open roles to 5 new partners that serve underrepresented communities by 2/1
- KR #3: Introduce methods to remove names and other identifying information from the application screening process by 2/15
OKR Examples for Software Engineers
When Andy Grove first developed the OKR process, he brought his nuts-and-bolts engineering approach to the structure and procedure. Many product OKR examples or OKR examples for information technology are straightforward in their layout. As the natural sum of their parts, OKR examples for software engineers tend to look like an exploded-view diagram.
Annual Objective: Deliver industry-leading data processing for end-users on cross-functional teams.
- KR #1: Complete migration to data warehouse for real-time access to user engagement insights
- KR #2: Push new features that enhance workflows and allow for no-code logic customization
- KR #3: Maintain 99% up-time
Similarly, product OKR examples may be tied to those from other departments–especially in smaller organizations or startups. Client-facing IT teams may also find themselves needing objectives and key results that relate to customers satisfaction:
Annual Objective: Provide exceptional customer service
- KR #1: Reduce customer churn by 10%
- KR #2: Achieve average time to ticket close of 2 hours
- KR #3: Maintain greater than 9.5 average on customers satisfaction surveys
OKR Examples for Marketing
Marketing teams can use OKRs to narrow their focus and define what big boulders or initiatives to focus on in the coming months. OKR examples in marketing typically involve Brand-based projects or lead-acquisition initiatives. As budgets are often set in advance, marketing targets and benchmarks can help start the OKR conversion or be a forcing-function to push back against unrealistic expectations.
Annual Objective: Reach 50,000 New Prospects
- KR #1: Build newsletter subscriber list to 100,000
- KR #2: Increase ad spend to $10k/mo while maintaining 6 MTP
- KR #3: Launch community podcast with 1000 average monthly listens
OKR Examples for Personal Growth
While OKR examples for growth can help companies align individual efforts to organizational goals, the same structure can be applied to individual employee growth. When individuals set personal Objectives and Key Results, they can leverage ongoing initiatives to help them achieve career growth goals. OKR examples for personal growth may include something similar to the OKR below.
Annual Objective: Earn the title of Sr. Project Manager
- KR #1: Perform 360 Review
- KR #2: Receive Certification in Project Management
- KR #3: Deliver 100% of assigned releases on-time
OKRs are a powerful tool for building alignment throughout an organization. Remember to keep Objectives significant, concrete, action-oriented, and inspirational, and to keep key results specific, time-bound, aggressive (yet realistic), measurable, and verifiable.