As more companies adopt the goal-setting framework, the acronym OKR has been trendy for a few years. But what do all those letters mean? What is an OKR? Who invented it? How do you use it? Does it work, and if so, how?

Why OKRs?

OKRs ( Objectives and Key Results) are a simple, robust framework for setting and communicating objectives and their results. They help you create a culture of engagement, alignment, and transparency. OKRs are used by the world’s most successful organizations, including Google, Spotify, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

What are OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)?

OKRs are a methodology that helps you set goals, track progress, and align your team. They were created by Intel (and then Google) to help their employees focus on the most important things they need to achieve to be successful.

OKRs have three parts to them: Objectives (what you want), Key Results (how you’re going to get it), and Stretch Goals (what’s possible). These three pieces work together to give everyone a clear picture of what needs to be done and what will be considered successful at the end of the quarter.

How to write SMART OKRs

To write SMART OKRs, you need to use a top-down approach. In other words, it’s best to start with your company’s overall goal and then break it down into much smaller goals for each department. For example, suppose your company’s overall goal is to improve customer satisfaction by 5%. In that case, one of the critical results connected to the objective could be to “Improve customer satisfaction score by 5% by the end of the year”.

To understand what an Objective is, let’s look at another example: “Improve customer satisfaction.” This objective doesn’t explain how this will happen or when it should be accomplished within. Instead, we can break this down into a more specific key result: “Improve customer satisfaction score by 5% by the end of the year.” Now we know what needs improving and when we need it done!

How to use OKRs with other Agile methodologies

OKRs, like any other tool, can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some common examples:

OKRs work well with Scrum and Kanban because they help define what the team should be working on and how they will measure success. You can use Daily Standups (a meeting where everyone on the team answers three questions) to build alignment and focus on what’s most important for your company right now. With Kanban, you will probably have one or two OKR cycles per year that span several months each. In Scrum, this might mean that each sprint is dedicated to one or two OKRs; so at the end of every sprint, there will be a retrospective (where your team reflects on how well they met their goals), planning session(s), and another retrospective before moving onto another set of plans for the next sprint cycle.”

Implementing OKRs in your organization

Now that you know what OKRs are, and have a good understanding of how to set them up, here are a few things to keep in mind when implementing them in your organization:

  • Make sure the vision and strategy for the company align with its goals.
  • OKRs are not goals – they’re a way of setting goals. If a key result (KR) doesn’t align with either one, it won’t be part of your OKR framework!
  • Use aspirational language when writing KRs. For example: “I will lose 15 pounds by December 31st.” This is different from “I want to lose 15 pounds by December 31st.” The latter could be interpreted as something you hope happens but aren’t necessarily working towards actively, whereas “I will” means you’ve made an active decision and will put effort into making it happen.
  • Don’t expect your KRs to stay static forever—they’ll likely change as time goes on!

OKRs help you focus, engage, and reach your goals.

OKRs help you focus, engage, and reach your goals.

OKRs are a great way to communicate your goals. They help you reach them by focusing on the most important outcomes and helping you engage with team members.


You can use these tools to help you achieve your goals and your teams from now on. We hope that you have learned new things about OKRs and will be able to apply them in your own work life.

Please check out our OKR services