Tips for Writing Better OKRs

Objectives & Key Results is a management methodology famously known as the engine behind the explosive growth of many Silicon Valley start-ups including Google and LinkedIn. OKRs provide a framework for focusing on a handful of highly impactful Objectives and achieving them following specific and measurable Key Results.

An effective OKR is both unambiguous and actionable. It includes an objective plus 3 – 5 key results. A good objective needs to be inspirational and challenging, while the key results need to be specific, measurable and time bound. An OKR that isn’t written well is hard to communicate and even harder to achieve.

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What is the Best Frequency for Evaluating OKRs?

Deciding how often you should evaluate your progress is a crucial part of getting started with the OKR methodology. The most commonly used OKR evaluation cycle or cadence is weekly or monthly check-ins with quarterly and annual review. While this approach works for most organisations, it may not be the best option for you.

In this article I’ll walk you through the process of finding an OKR cadence that works the best for you.

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History of OKRs – From Peter Drucker to Andy Grove

“Aliyar hates processes.” I heard one of my team mates explain to a new hire.

It was true. I used to hate management by processes. Too much reliance on following processes leads to mediocrity. I’ve seen it happen before and I was determined to avoid it by promote healthy skepticism and a spirit of experimentation. I’m still not a huge fan of processes but I’ve come to see that all processes aren’t created equal.

Building a high performance team requires a disciplined approach to managing performance and rewards. Before fully adopting OKRs I had heard about them but I didn’t fully commit to using Objective & Key Results without some trial and error.

Along the way the two management titans that inspired me the most were Peter Drucker and Andy Grove.

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Introduction to OKRs – Objectives & Key Results

Since you’re here I’m sure you’ve already heard (or read) about how LinkedIn, Intel, YouTube, Bill & Melinda Gates and perhaps most notably Google have used OKRs to achieve exponential growth.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Peter Drucker

Beyond delivering growth OKRs has also given them to tools to build a remarkable organisational culture that nourishes performance, collaboration and accountability.

In this article I’ll introduce the OKR management methodology, give examples of good vs bad OKRs and share advice on how you can get started with OKRs.

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