What Is an OKR? Benefits, Challenges, and Examples

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The concept of OKR is everywhere, even in business intelligence.

Does your startup need a new goal-setting framework? Does it seem as if nothing is being done, missions aren’t aligning, and the sharing of ideas is becoming more difficult? You probably just need a great framework for bringing people together– and OKR is one excellent option.

In this guide, we’ll explore what OKR is and how it could benefit your business.

OKR is absolutely worth implementing into your existing goal-setting strategy, but it might not be helpful in specific use cases.

What is an OKR?

OKR refers to Objectives and Key Results. This is a special goal system developed and used by Google (among other enterprises) for setting goals. OKR is a very simplistic but ultimately very successful tool that startups and entrepreneurs can use to create alignment and overall engagement around their measurable and achievable goals.

OKR is very different from every day, traditional planning methodologies. OKRs are constantly being set, monitored, managed, tracked, and re-considered on a quarterly (or sometimes monthly) basis. OKR is very simple in nature and very fast-paced, designed to engage each and every team member’s unique perspective and potential creativity.

Creating a specific type of alignment within the organization is the goal of OKR. It is designed to make sure that everyone in the company is going in the same direction with clear and concise priorities that follow a steady flow.

One of the biggest differences between successful and unsuccessful businesses is how dedicated one’s workforce is to the success of the company. If goals between leaders and staff aren’t similar, then it certainly makes sense why a high turnover rate and lack of morale would become an issue.

With OKR, you can ensure that your whole team is on the same path and has similar goals professionally.

The original idea for OKR actually didn’t come from Google. It started at Intel and eventually spread to other major and prospective Silicon Valley companies throughout the 1990s. Google adopted the OKR framework for goal-setting around 1999, during its first year in business.

OKR could be seen as one of the many factors that lead to Google becoming a massive enterprise today. Outside of Google, companies like Twitter, Walmart, ING Bank, and LinkedIn use OKR for goal-setting.

OKR is broken down into the following template:

Objective: This would be a simple sentence description of what you want to achieve. It should be short and engaging.

Key Results:

  • Key results are the set of metrics that are used to measure your progress towards your objective or goal.
  • It’s recommended to have three to five key results per objective.
  • If you opt for more key results, it will be hard for anyone to remember. Keep it short and sweet.

Benefits of OKR

There are a ton of benefits to implementing OKR into your goal-setting strategy, which include the following:

  • OKRs encourage individuals to set ambitious and powerful goals for their own benefit.
  • It can help workforces and leaders think outside the box.
  • It’s okay to not achieve OKRs at a 100% success rate– they are designed to be lofty but motivating.
  • OKRs are regularly reviewed every quarter or month. Traditionally, setting yearly objectives and reviewing productivity each year hasn’t always been successful or enjoyed by most employees. In a fast-paced, idea-focused world, OKRs are definitely superior.
  • OKRs take a quantitative approach. When you look at traditional goal-setting frameworks, they only really focus on the goal and nothing else. OKRs focus on how one gets there by diving into the details and setting results that will define your success. The result is crystal-clear clarity into what successfully reaching that goal will look like.
  • This framework takes a bottom-to-top, left-to-right approach to the process. With traditional goal-setting, discovering and setting the objective starts from the top to the bottom, as leaders would typically set objectives for managers, who would then set goals for their teams. OKRs don’t take this weirdly hierarchical approach– rather, the power to create goals is in the hands of the entire workforce to better align their needs with the needs of the company.

Challenges of OKR

No framework is perfect or ideal for every business, which is why these downsides to OKR are worth noting:

  • It can be difficult to establish a particular relationship between OKRs, even though they are definitely transparent.
  • While it can be good that OKRs are built from the bottom to top, they can lack a certain startup-wide alignment that prevents goals from aligning with the business’s goals.
  • The “KR” part of OKRs can be a bit too detailed and descriptive for some professionals. Many professionals are used to the traditional approach of setting no clear direction for achieving goals, which might make OKRs difficult to adapt to, as they list clear results that crawl towards the initial objective.

Great Examples for Businesses

Even though OKR is simple, it can still be a bit difficult to understand. Let’s consider some examples.

A CEO might have an OKR that looks like this:

Objective: Start scaling our company.

Key Results:

  • Grow revenue to $5,000,000.
  • Launch two new products.
  • Reduce overall churning to under 10% each year via a focus on customer experience.

An overall business OKR could look like this:

Objective: Make our company’s customers happy.

Key Results:

  • Interview 100 customers each month for direct feedback.
  • Achieve a Net Promoter Score of 9.
  • Boost our customer retention rate to 95%.

For marketing teams, a good OKR might look like this:

Objective: Generate more marketing qualified leads than we did last quarter.

Key Results:

  • Generate approximately 125 MQLs from email marketing, particularly newsletters.
  • Generate approximately 110 MQLs from PPC ads, specifically banner and native programmatic ads.
  • Generate approximately 125 MQLs from organic searches on Google.

How DashboardFox Can Help

We all know how OKRs can help you with your business, and you can only maximize the benefits of OKR to your business if you have the best business intelligence tool for your needs.

Look no further because DashboardFox is here to save the day.

Simply put, OKRs are another form of metrics, and DashboardFox has proven itself time and time again that they know how to present metrics in an organized fashion that everyone will understand clearly, even though they have zero computer programming knowledge at all.

This is included in the data visualization functions they offer to their clients that are very helpful in building interactive dashboards, charts, maps, and graphs that clearly illustrate the needed figures.

What’s more, we also offer a one-payment only policy, which means you don’t have to get any subscriptions from us.

Pay once, use it all you can without any hassles or compromises at all.

Add to that our customer-focused approach and our no-code building environment perfect for businesses and you’ve got everything you need from us.

Reach out to us through scheduling a meeting or booking a live session for free to see what else we can bring to the table.

We’ll be waiting!

How was our guide to the benefits of OKR? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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