OKR Framework - Explained
What is the OKR Framework?
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Table of ContentsWhat is the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) Framework?What are Objectives?What are Key Results? What are the Elements of the OKR Framework?
What is the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) Framework?
The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) Framework, proposed by Grove (1983), is a framework for defining objectives and tracking the implementation of the strategies to achieve them.
What are Objectives?
Objectives are memorable qualitative descriptions of what the company wants to achieve; they should be motivating and inspirational.
What are Key Results?
Key Results are a set of metrics that measure the progress towards the objectives. Each objective is usually matched with 2 to 5 key results, all of which have to be quantitative and measurable.
What are the Elements of the OKR Framework?
- Company Mission: A brief description of the company's vision and purpose that should hold for about 5 to 10 years.
- Mid-Term Goals: Also called Moals. They link the OKR to the company mission, and translate the mission into somewhat more tangible goals that are usually defined for a time span of one year.
The Cycle Of The OKR Framework: Each cycle offers a number of opportunities for improving teamwork and progressing towards the goals. Objectives and key results are usually not changed during the cycle, unless something significant happened unexpectedly, to which the organization must respond. One cycle takes about 3-4 months, therefore several cycles are carried out each year to attain the mid-term goals. The cycle is composed of four critical elements:
- OKR Planning: At OKR Planning, objectives and key results are defined for the entire cycle at all levels of the organization. This is done both top-down and bottom-up: strategic OKR set at the corporate level serve as a guideline for front line teams to draft their own tactical OKR. In a typical company, around 60% of the OKR are set at team level, aligned with the strategic OKR on top.
- OKR Weekly: The OKR Weekly is a solid ritual meeting (that lasts about 15 minutes) designed to synchronize the implementation of the framework by giving an overview of the current status of the OKR.
- OKR Review: A review meeting is held at the end of the cycle to reflect on and determine the degree of achievement towards the goals.
- OKR Retrospectives: During Retrospectives, the cooperation and the process are discussed and analyzed by the team from a systematic point of view. Typical questions would be raised such as "What did we learn as a team?" "What should be improved in the next cycle?"
- OKR Coach: Sometimes called OKR Masters, OKR Coaches are experts and change agents responsible for the smooth implementation of the OKR framework by facilitating the teams with their regular OKR cycles.