OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a framework of defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes.
Its main goal is to define company and team "objectives" along with the measurable "key results" that define achievement of each objective. One OKRs book defines OKRs as "a critical thinking framework and ongoing discipline that seeks to ensure employees work together, focusing their efforts to make measurable contributions."  OKRs may be shared across the organization so that teams have visibility into goals across the organization, helping to align and focus effort.
Individuals may create OKRs, but they are often set only at the company and team levels in connection to a company’s vision and mission.
The objective is a qualitative goal for a set period of time, usually a quarter. The key results are quantitative metrics used to measure if the objective has been met by the end of the period.
When rolled out to the full extent, OKRs exist at company (top-level vision), team (inherited and team-generated, not just the bucket of individual goals) and individual level (personal development and individual contributions).
While most goals are usually defined by management, some choose half of the objectives to be created from the bottom up instead to increase team motivation.
Company-wide publication of drafted OKRs or presentation including Q&A can assure cross-functional alignment and agreement on dependencies before finalization.
Especially at the end of a goal period, an assessment of each key result per goal and its accomplishment grad on average should happen. Expectations for how many goals must be met vary. Google and Uber suggest that employees should achieve about 70% of an OKR respectively its total of key results each quarter, while Zynga expects employees to achieve 2 out of 3 OKRs each quarter.
OKRs can foster longer-term thinking and the discipline of planning before taking action. For the assignee, putting goals in writing also clarifies expectations and enables open measurement of progress and definition of success. For other stakeholders, OKR can establish transparency on topics and priorities and support cross-functional communication.
History and usageEdit
- Niven, Paul R.; Lamorte, Ben (2016-09-06). Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs (1 ed.). Wiley. ISBN 9781119252399.
- Wodtke, Christina. "The Art of the OKR". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
- Andreas, Kwiatkowski. "Setting Long-term Goals with the OKR Framework". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
- Edwards, Douglas (2011). I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 55. ISBN 0547416997.
- "Are You a C.E.O. of Something?". The New York Times. 30 January 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- Levy, Steven (2011). In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. Simon & Schuster. pp. 162–3. ISBN 978-1-4165-9658-5.
- "OKR vendors". Enterprise Gamification.
- Klau, Rick (2013-05-14). "How Google sets goals: OKRs". Google Ventures.
- "The Management Framework that Propelled LinkedIn to a $20 Billion Company". First Round Review. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- Wagner, Kurt. "Following Frat Party, Twitter's Jack Dorsey Vows to Make Diversity a Company Goal". recode. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- Ben Lamorte on OKRs, moderated by Brett Knowles
- "How Sears Drives Execution, Productivity, and Accountability with OKRs"
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