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What is OKR?

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is an agile goal-setting system used by BMW, Google, and many large and small profit and non-profit organizations. It is a simple tool that creates alignment and engagement around measurable and ambitious goals.

Is there a big difference between traditional strategy and goal-planning methods?

OKRs are frequently set, measured, tracked, and evaluated – usually quarterly. OKRs are a simple system that aims to thrive engagement and unleash the creativity of team members.

Bridging the execution gap and creating alignment to strategies in the organization is one of the main OKR benefits. The aim is to ensure every team member is going in the same direction and with clear priorities.

OKRs were introduced by Andy Grove (former CEO of Intl) and introduced to google by John Doerr (venture capitalist). OKRs have supported Google’s growth from 40 employees to more than 100,000 today.

But the Objective and Key Results framework is not only for start-ups and tech companies. BMW, Walmart, ING Bank, Siemens, GE are also using OKRs as well as non-profit organizations, such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Simple Goal Formula

I want to achieve X, as measured by Key Metrics, and I will do x things to achieve these Key Results.

A good goal has to describe both what you will achieve and how you are going to measure this achievement. Measurement is what makes a real goal. Without measuring your progress, you do not have a goal, all you have is a dream.


OKR has 2 Components:



Objectives are memorable descriptions of what you want to achieve at the end of your OKR Cycle. Objectives should be inspirational, engaging, and easy to understand. A good objective should motivate and challenge the team members.

Key Results

Key Results are a set of Key Metrics that measure and track your progress toward the Objective. For each Objective, 2 to 5 Key Results are recommended.


First of all, we need to draft an Objective. An example might be “Create an extraordinary customer experience on our website.” This sounds great, but how would you know if the experience is extraordinary? Keep in mind, without measurement you don’t have a goal.
That is why you need Key Results. How can we measure if we have provided an extraordinary customer experience? Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Decrease of Churn Rate would be 2 good measurement options. Do our clients feel so amazing about our products or services that they would recommend us and repurchase?
But measuring Net Promoter Score (NPS) and repeat purchases alone could send the wrong message. It might thrive us to make the client happy at any cost. Therefore, we can include a measurement such as a Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). We want to have happy users or clients while keeping the costs under control.

The complete example would be:

Objective: Create an Awesome Client Experience

Key Results:

  • Improve Net Promoter Score (NPS) from X to Y
  • Increase Returning Customer Rate from X to Y
  • Maintain Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) under Y
another example: Now consider a team that wants to increase client engagement with a service

Objective: Delight our clients

Key Results:

  • Reduce Churn Rate from X% to Y%
  • Increase Net Promoter Score from X to Y
  • Improve average monthly users from X to Y
  • Increase organic traffic from X to Y

What is unique about OKrs?

OKR is a simple system to create Alignment & Engagement around Measurable & Dynamic Goals.


Focus and Commit to Priorities
Align and Connect for Teamwork
Empower Team Members – Ownership
Stretch for Amazing
Track Progress
Drives motivation / engagement
A clear connection between strategy and operations
Drives innovation

Common OKR mistakes

Performance Culture Change
Pilot Group
Measure Progress
Giving up when it gets tough
OKRs were added late in the setting process without the same amount of discussion and refinement as others
Set and forget OKRs
Failure to focus on OKRs and the discipline to stay focused
Untestable key results
Lack of planning
Missing Strategy
No accountability
Limited cross-functional communication
Focus on deliverables, not outcome

Become a Certified OKR Expert

Learn how to draft strong OKRs and align your teams towards your strategies. Learn how to become an inspiring leader in empowering team members in the OKR system.