Resources and Tips for Implementing OKRs
OKRs: Objectives and Key Results
- Required watching. Great Google Ventures video on OKRs, including Doerr’s original deck
Objectives are ambitious, and should feel somewhat uncomfortable
Key Results are measurable; they should be easy to grade with a number (at Google we use a 0 – 1.0 scale to grade each key result at the end of a quarter)
OKRs are public; everyone in the company should be able to see what everyone else is working on (and how they did in the past)
The “sweet spot” for an OKR grade is .6 – .7; if someone consistently gets 1.0, their OKRs aren’t ambitious enough. Low grades shouldn’t be punished; see them as data to help refine the next quarter’s OKRs.
OKRs are not synonymous with employee evaluations.
- Great short slideshare
- Different viewpoint to the Upstart article (near the bottom of this page), where Objectives can be projects
- Another great slideshare
- Great example of issues a company that implemented OKRs ran into
- Every member of the company must have conviction in implementing OKRs
- “Once the company commits to implementing the OKR system, an OKR shepherd should be identified; someone who can help educate the team, track and grade progress, and make the necessary tweaks to the implementation” (e.g. COO, engineering lead, etc)
- Make OKRs part of your DNA - but also adapt them to suit your culture
- Don’t tie OKRs to bonuses, or performance reviews
- Must read 3 part blog post about how Pusher implemented OKRs at their company
- They wanted to track OKRs and projects separately, so now:
- “Objectives are our top 3-5 general focus areas as a company and tend to be fairly consistent quarter to quarter”
- For each key result, they list out projects the company is working on that are related
- Each project has a clear outcome, and a clear owner
- Instead, use:
- “What are we building this month”
- “N+12 Months - What will our product and business look like a year from now?”
- Coupled with “Minimal Quarterly/Annual KPIs” - make sure to reality check and ask “do these quarterly targets get achieved given what we’re building?”
Zynga’s Take on OKRs
Mark Pincus from Zynga was also shown OKRs by Doerr. Read the following for Zynga’s take.
Asana’s Take on OKRs
- Asana used to make full “episode” summaries public. This is the last episode summary that Asana made public, and has real examples of key results from Asana.