Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) methodology is a widespread strategy for goal setting within some of the best, high growth organizations. The purpose of OKRs is to align the company, team, and their personal goals towards measurable results while having all team members working together in one unified direction.
OKRs were first introduced and defined by Andy Grove for Intel in the 70s. Today, OKRs are a fundamental piece for guiding many organizations like Google, LinkedIn, Intel, Zynga, Sears, and Oracle….
An Objective represents WHAT you want to achieve. Objectives are qualitative goals. They have to be ambitious and set the direction and focus of the company, team, or individual in a specific period of time. The objective has to be significant and action-oriented, but also challenging: the principle of inspiration.
Key Results define HOW you are going to achieve that Objective. Key Results have to be specific, time-bound, and metric-driven; measurable, and verifiable. They have to show the path that needs to be taken to reach the objective.
The Objective is the desired outcome and the Key Results are the measurable steps or “pieces” required to achieve that outcome. It is important to define enough relevant KRs that when reached, will produce the outcome.
Initiatives are tasks and assignments that need to be executed in order to achieve Key Result milestones; they are things that you do. The owners of Initiatives must have full control over completing them which means completing them should not be dependent on something or someone else.