OKRs – also known as Objectives and Key Results – is a framework that has gotten a lot of attention in the 2010s and 20s. This goal-setting methodology derives from some of the lesser-known systems that were used by a wide variety of businesses.
OKRs, as we know them today, were developed by Intel’s Andy Grove in the 1970s. He derived this methodology from MBOs– or, Management by Objectives– and John Doerr, Grove’s friend, and colleague popularized OKRs with his 2018 book Measure What Matters.
Industry-leading companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and many other businesses have proved that implementing a business strategy with OKRs can result in unprecedented success.
How to set your OKRs?
Objectives are qualitative, inspirational, and time-bound goals that are designated for a certain individual, team, or department within a corporation, or pertaining to the company on a higher level.
Here’s an example of a well-crafted Objective:
Improve the next generation of our product: This objective gives a clear goal and is memorable for employees. Everyone who reads this knows the priority for the current quarter.
Here’s an example of a poorly-crafted Objective:
Create 10 blog posts on how to use our new product: This objective isn’t a higher-order concern, and it doesn’t drive significant progress within the organization. This reads more like a task that needs to be completed rather than a goal measured by key results. Additionally, it’s very rare that an objective includes a metric – those are usually reserved for key results.
Key results (KR) quantify the associated objectives and provide specific metrics or projects that can be used to track the success of the qualitative goals designated for the quarter. Usually, an objective will have between two and five key results. Having too many key results is a sign that an OKR program isn’t set up for success, and could easily be derailed.
The well-written objective “Improve the next generation of our product” can be broken down into these three key results:
- KR1 — Resolve all product bugs within one week of discovery
- KR2 — Maintain system usability scale of at least 80
- KR3 — Decrease TrackJS errors from 48 to 0
Key results must be time-bound– typically to one quarter– and they also must ensure the success of the objective. So, the completion of these three key results must necessarily ensure that the objective to “Improve the next generation of our product” is fulfilled.
The Benefits of OKRs
Profit.co is an OKR management software that helps businesses get the most out of this agile and effective methodology. Before moving to tools, many companies attempt to use spreadsheets to track and manage their OKRs. However, this proves to be more cumbersome than helpful, and can actually turn a company off of this process altogether. When used and managed correctly, this methodology has five key benefits:
- Focus: With the OKR framework, companies are limited to defining the top priorities for the business as objectives and between three and five key results per objective. This helps OKR leaders designate the most important and impactful key results and necessarily keeps focus trained on the most important action items for each objective.
- Alignment: In many companies, employees don’t know how their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities contribute to overarching goals for the company. With OKRs, alignment can create a direct line from company-level priorities all the way to individual-level assignments, so employees can see how they are contributing to progress on a daily basis.
- Commitment: OKRs are bound to a specific time period. This requires all users involved with that OKR to fully commit to the goal as one of their top priorities for a defined time period– usually, a quarter. This prioritization ensures that these designated goals will get the time and attention they need to progress.
- Tracking: A vital component of the OKR framework is check-ins on a weekly or biweekly basis. This is built into this methodology and requires users to always know their progress and be able to recall it whenever needed. Additionally, if a company tracks OKRs transparently, the entire company can see one another’s priorities and can detect goals that require more support or resources.
- Stretching: Finally, OKRs help teams elevate their performance beyond what they considered achievable. Goals must necessarily be ambitious in order to motivate employees and make inspiring objective statements. 70% achievement on OKRs is considered strong performance. To encourage stretch OKRs, companies should unlink OKR performance from compensation discussions.
While the options for setting and tracking goals are almost overwhelming, it’s clear that Objectives and Key Results offer a methodology for businesses to execute their strategy with focus, alignment, and precision. With transparent tracking, regular check-ins, and an agile framework that allows for adjustment whenever needed, OKRs are the clear choice for companies.
Teamflect provides an all-in-one performance management system with features ranging from efficient 360-degree feedback cycles to goal setting all fully integrated into Microsoft Teams.
Teamflect’s powerful features are paired with a simple, intuitive design that anyone can navigate without ever watching a tutorial, making user adoption incredibly easy.
With Teamflect you can:
- Track your team’s progress toward its OKRs during 1-on-1 meetings
- Use 1-on-1 meeting agenda and customizable questions to make your meetings more structured
- Connect your Goals / OKRs so everyone is working toward a cohesive strategy
- Receive instant feedback from colleagues on the fly
- Choose from a robust and diverse range of 360 feedback options
- Create custom recognition badges that reflect your company’s values
- Organize tasks into groups and assign group members individual responsibilities
- Graph of your monthly average progress rating in the Goal Module, and much more.
Best free objectives and key results (OKR) software for setting, sharing, and tracking goals for businesses. Execute strategy and accelerate growth with OKRs.
- Work Items
- 1:1 Meetings
- Reflection and Reviews
- OKR Coach
- Social Feed
Profit is a complete OKR software solution designed to help you define OKRs at every level of your organization.
- Strategic Alignment
- Corporate, Department, Team & Individual OKRs
- OKRs by KPI
- Watched OKRs
Perdoo simple but powerful OKR+ platform turns great strategies into amazing results.
- Design and communicate your future
- Don’t worry, you’re in good hands
- Develop a heartbeat for your business
- The first to combine KPIs and OKRs
- Differentiate between outcomes and outputs
- Progress calculated the right way
- Understand what’s going on, when it’s going on
- Stay focused with weekly check-ins
- Celebrate your achievements on Slack
- Let your OKR program run automatically
15Five software elevates the performance and engagement of employees by continuously asking questions and starting the right conversations.
- Easily create, track and manage OKRs
- Keep OKRs top of mind
- Work better with collaborative objectives
- Know where your attention is needed
Align your teams with the world’s most intuitive, data-driven OKRs platform. Now with Employee Experience to truly optimize productivity and growth.
- Pure-play OKRs Platform
- Jumpstart OKRs
- Built for one singular goal: successful OKR deployments
- Marketplace with Hundreds of OKRs
- Set Your Own Rules
- Control the plumbing behind the scenes: ownership settings, confidence labels, transparency levels & more.
- Gtmhub was the only tool we could find that was laser-focused on effective OKRs completion
The Ally OKR system lets business leaders save time by creating alignment, agility and transparency at every level of the organization.
Easy to use:
- Adopt the OKR framework with built-in best practices
- Invite team member with one-click
- Access comprehensive resource center
- Easily import existing OKRs
- Leverage multiple OKRs templates
- Simple, intuitive navigation means its easy to adopt without formal training
Create strong alignment:
- Create OKRs for all levels of the organization and virtual teams
- Add OKR dependencies
- Access visual dashboards
- Manage OKRs with a workflow approval process
- Support multi-alignment for OKRs
- Give different weights to key results
- Choose between flexible scoring options
Track OKR performance:
- Make updates easily from web, mobile or Slack
- Include attachments during check-in
- Delegate OKR updates to others
- Give and receive real-time feedback
- Compare progress to previous quarters or years
- Configure planning and check-in cadence
- Setup and receive smart alerts and automated reminders
- Follow individual or team OKRs and receive updates
- Provide comments and kudos on OKRs
- Score completed OKRs
Reports and insights:
- Rich reporting platform
- Access built-in reports
- Quickly gauge progress with chart views
- Report against historical quarters or years
- Easily share and export reports
Integrations made simple:
- Ally’s integrations can be setup in two-clicks
- HRIS integrations
- Large number of native integrations available
- Rich REST API
- Single-Sign On
- Slack integration
Fitbots are more than just OKR Software. We help you build high performance culture in your organization.
- Craft high quality OKRs with our writing assistant
- We Scale with you Seamlessly
- Align & Break Silos
- Converse on Outcomes with Check-ins
- Integrate with Ease
- Uncover risks before they blow up
- Manage Individual & Team Performance
qilo is an OKR software to make Project Management and Performance Management more Aligned and Outcome Driven.
- OKR Software
- Bring focus from top-to-bottom
- Bring alignment on focus areas
- Accelerate execution across teams
PeopleGoal is an OKRs software platform that allows organizations to set goals at an organizational level and cascade objectives down to departments, teams and employees in an effective manner.
- Account configuration and training
- Setting company OKRs
- Setting team and department OKRs
- Setting individual objectives
- Reviewing and updating OKRs
- OKRs reporting
- Agile Development & OKRs
- Scrums and OKRs
Align your organization through effective OKR-based goal-setting, weekly check-ins, and employee performance tracking.
- Align your company and drive actionable plans that deliver real results
- Education, training, and support to get your Company up and running with OKRs
- Create engagement and habit around goal-setting
- Get a clear overview of company and team progress with visual dashboards
- Build engagement and improve collaboration even when working remotely
- Enjoy a seamless workflow with your existing tools
Grow your remote team with OKRs, share regular feedback and recognitions, conduct effortless performance/360 degree reviews, and effective 1-on-1 meetings.
- Create structured goals with bold Objectives and measurable Key Results
- Visualize your OKR hierarchy with an alignment tree
- Create an action plan with Tasks and bring your Objectives to results
- Increase engagement and course correct with progress history, comments, and real-time updates in Slack / MS Teams
- Review what worked, learn and adjust your strategy accordingly
- Goals need to be public. Show everyone in your office what is your main focus and what’s the most recent progress.
- Manage your OKRs wherever work takes you and see employee’s goals to have the context for productive conversations