OKR, the method of success for achieving your goals

Success means setting goals and achieving them

Defining goals is the first step of planning for success. Establishing and writing them down is the next necessary step. While in the world of the internet, social media and online communications If you don’t write down your goals, there are a lot of good chances you’ll forget, or get so distracted by other things to just ignore them without ever giving it a real try to achieve.

You can define your goals manually or use one of the famous methods of goal defining like Success Factors (CSFs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to make them more achievable. But OKR(Objective and Key result) is one of those which can provide more commitment and self-motivation to achieve the goals in a team or personal level. The development of OKR is generally invented at Intel and then started to be used in most successful startups like Google, twitter, Linkedin and Uber. while OKR has proven its successful functionality for organizations, why shouldn’t we also try the same thing in our personal life?

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
~ Zig Ziglar

What is meant by objective and Key results?

An appropriate goal has to describe both what you will achieve and how you are going to measure its achievement. So the main idea of OKR is defining the goal in this structure  ‘I want to achieve…. as measured by …. In … period of time’.

What you want to achieve is your goal(objective) and the set of metrics that measure your progress towards that goal(objective) are the (Key results).

The key words here are “as measured by,” since the measurement is what makes a goal a goal. Without it, you do not have a goal, all you have is a desire or dream.

So in OKR, we should define two main components in detail:

Objective: The clear definition of what we want to achieve. In an aspirational, challenging, qualitative, time-bound and unambiguous way. Objectives should also be set within a certain timeframe and be big enough to challenge you. Don’t just think of this as a thing you want to do in your life, think of it as a way you are going to change your life. You need to view this as an improvement to who you currently are. So think that even if you do not achieve your objective, you will learn a lot during the way you try to achieve it.

Key result: Your required tasks and metrics to achieve the objective. Each objective can have 2-5 key results. They should be measurable, objectively gradable, achievable, numerical, actionable and outcome related. They should clear your steps toward your goal, in a numerical way.

The benefits of OKR for teams and individuals:

There is not a single way to use OKR, each company, team or individuals can adapt this method based on their requirements. But there are some core benefits that make this method promising and valuable:

  • It gets direction to where you are going and how you should
  • It helps to remain focused on the main tasks of your priority and manage your time
  • It provides simplicity. Using OKR is straightforward, and the OKRs themselves are easy to understand. Intel’s original model set goals monthly, which required a lightweight process.

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
~ Confucius

Examples of OKR:

Company OKR :

Objective: Make our customer service awesome

Key Results:

KR1: Improve Net Promoter Score from X to Y.

KR2: Increase Repurchase Rate from X to Y.

KR3: Maintain Customer Acquisition cost under Y.

Personal OKR:

Objective: Improve my working-related knowledge  to a professional level

Key Results:

KR1 : Read 10 famous books in my field and take notes from them for later usage.

KR2: Connect with 20 professional influencers in my field on LinkedIn and try to learn from them

KR3: Participate in 5 Meetups in my field to become aware of the market and connect with like-minded people

Using an application to Track Your Progress is necessary

Use whatever is easier to track your team or individual progress toward the main objectives . It should be easy to access and update on a daily-weekly basis. It should also have the possibility to set a time frame and remind you to update your key results.