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OKR Cheat Sheet: Guidelines, Tools, and Vital Frameworks

This OKR Cheat Sheet will make it easier for your team and organisation to adopt OKR. Find out specific guidelines, tools and tips to make OKR work for you.

OKR cheat sheet

OKR Cheat Sheet: Guidelines, Tools, and Vital Frameworks

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is one of the most widely acclaimed goal-setting methodologies used today. You may have heard much about it and how it has helped companies like Google and Amazon to attain tremendous growth.

 

If you wish to adopt the methodology, this OKR cheat sheet will help you. Every article I have published about OKRs are condensed in this article, so take a look.

Setting Objectives/Goals

Objectives and Key Results was first introduced by Andy Grove, one of the founders of Intel. John Doerr learnt the framework and introduced it to Google later on. Since then, this approach has been adopted by other big companies such as Amazon and Spotify.

 

OKRs are a great way to ensure that you are setting ambitious yet challenging goals that will be effective. When setting objectives, bear the following in mind:

  • Your objectives must be qualitative.
  • Use common vocabulary and language. Unlike your company vision and mission statements, your OKRs must never be ambiguous as they are designed to give a crystal clear direction to employees about what they need to achieve.
  • You must have only 3 to 5 objectives. Remember that OKRs are renewed on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. You want to focus on priority goals that are time-boxed. 

Tool to Use: Eisenhower Idea Criteria for Goal-setting

To make setting your objectives easy, follow the Eisenhower idea. According to this approach, OKRs should be:

  1. Inspiring: Bold, visionary and eloquent to motivate your employees.
  2. Ambitious: Goals must be stretched and far from the current way of doing things. When attaining that goals involves moving out of your comfort zone, you are doing the right thing. 
  3. Explicit: Objectives should clear, brief and easy to understand.
  4. Attainable: Even if the OKRs are ambitious and difficult, they should be possible to achieve.

Note: Do not set goals that simply reflect your expectations or reiterate the daily course of your business.

Writing Key Results

Your key results should describe how you are going to achieve your objectives. Your KRs shouldn’t be too focused on a potential solution, neither should it be about tasks.

Tool to Use: S.M.A.R.T Approach

You may be familiar with this tool. It can also be used in OKRs for setting key results. According to this approach, KRs should be:

  1. Specific: KRs should be self-explanatory. There shouldn’t be any need for your employees to interpret them.
  2. Measurable: There must be a quantitative indicator of success. For example; 0-1.00 as used in Google. Check the article on OKR at Google. 
  3. Realistic: Even though they are difficult, they can be achieved with the team’s efforts and resources. 
  4. Time-Related: Each key result must be time-bound.

Cascading OKRs Cheat Sheet

It can be tough to keep employees in line with your organisation OKRs. However, this is needed to drive your employees and company to succeed. This OKR cheat sheet surely make things easier.

  1. Everyone should already know which OKRs they have accomplished two weeks before the end of the quarter. Only then can you proceed to write another set of OKRs for the next quarter.
  2. The senior management team should take the lead by setting their OKRs as fast as possible. This will enable other teams under them to have time to react.
  3. Each business unit should also set their OKRs. Under them are service groups that should set OKRs based on their respective business units.
  4. State everything clearly. Have a playbook that contains the objectives of each employee. Have this process cascaded to everyone in your company on your first execution of OKRs.

Tracking and Evaluating OKRs

Objectives and Key Results must be reviewed on a regular basis, usually weekly or bi-weekly. It should also accessible to everyone in your company. This promotes transparency and a sense of accountability.

  1. Use a single grading system. Google uses a 0.0-1.0 scale. You can use words, symbols or even smileys to indicate whether a key result was reached or not.
  2. Utilise a tool that addresses your needs such as free software like Google Docs and Sheets or other paid tools. There are various OKRs software systems available in the market today. It is ideal to utilise a single, well-rounded tool that will be easy for employees to use. However, you can also combine separate tools to suit your needs.
  3. Create time for an independent evaluation of each KR to further improve productivity and cooperation.

Setting OKRs and executing them should be easier for your organisation with the help of this cheat sheet. It can be challenging to introduce the tools to your team at first.

 

But with proper planning and preparation, you will surely go a long way.

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Luis Gonçalves

About Luis Gonçalves

https://www.linkedin.com/in/luismsg/

Luis Gonçalves is an Entrepreneur, Author & International Keynote Speaker that works exclusively with Senior Executives of 7 to 8 figure businesses on the deployment of his game changing ‘Organisational Mastery’ Methodology.

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