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OKR 101: Everything you need to know about OKRs

OKR 101: Everything you need to know about OKRs

Learn about this goal setting methodology used by companies like Google and Intel.

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What OKRs look like in practice

Company, team and individual goals are connected via measurable results to the high-level company objectives. The objective for each level is informed by the Objectives and Key Results from the previous company level.

  • Company OKRs are the high-level focus for the entire company
  • Department/Team OKRs define priorities for the group (not just a collection of all individual OKRs)
  • Individual OKRs define what a person is working on

There are two ways to approach the goal cascade:

1) Strict Alignment

Objectives are defined by the Key Results of the previous level of the organization.

OKR Strict Visualization

As you can see, each key result cascades to the next level as an objective for that team/individual. The CEO’s key result of acquiring 10,000 new users becomes the VP of Marketing’s objective. This process repeats itself for each department from Product to Marketing to Engineering to Customer Success and to each level within the department.

2) Directional Alignment

The strict cascade of Objectives and Key Results doesn’t always make sense. In some cases, organizations want to have more aspirational goals for teams or ask individual contributors to have personal development goals that don’t strictly fall into the companies' goal structure.

OKR Directional Visualization

In this goal tree, all of the objectives are directionally aligned with the higher level goals, but there isn’t a strict alignment between Objectives and Key Results at different levels of an organization. For organizations that want more flexibility with their goal setting system, we’d recommend directionally aligning their goals.