The Benefits of Google’s OKR System

According to the Daily Press, Objectives and Key Results are becoming more critical for firms to adopt, especially as the methodology matures. The OKR critical thinking framework helps companies synch up their goals so that the entire organization collaborates on goals that truly matter. OKRs can be implemented using spreadsheets, or more commonly, with an OKR software.

What is OKR?

This methodology sets and aligns goals, starting with the company and working down to the team and personal objectives. Each objective is connected to 3-5 quantifiable results, called key results, used to determine progress. Typically, Key Results are measured on a scale of 0-100 percent but other ranges can be used to fit each firm’s management style.

When progress is made on a particular Key Result, the Objective percentage moves up on the 0-100 percent scale. Objectives are further defined and detailed in weekly documentation of activities and initiatives, or plans, used to drive further progress toward the objectives. When they are linked to objectives, weekly plans keep the OKR firmly in the sites of each team and employee.

ObjectivesKey ResultsPlans
  • Desired Goal
  • Qualitative
  • Timeframe
  • Trackable
  • Quantitative
  • Not Too Easy
  • Takeaways/Initiatives
  • High-level in nature
  • Important

Example OKR

Objectives: Successfully implement the weekly newsletter for business

Key Results:

  • Cultivate a subscriber base of 100 current and prospective clients for Q1
  • Increase the click-through rate to exceed the industry average of 3.5 percent
  • Complete the content strategy and topic structure for a 6-month outlook (0 – 100%)


  • Prepared an outline for inaugural Newsletter in January
  • Documented list of topics for Q1
  • Send content proposal to agency for copywriting and editing services

It’s Personal

Even though OKRs are set out the company level, everyone’s input counts. OKR software manufacturers at offer this advice to individual team members struggling to come up with their own objectives, “Define your objectives and key results using the most intuitive OKR Software. Use OKR templates to get started quickly. Our goal setting software guides you using a wizard to define your objectives. Check out OKR University if you need guidance on how to formulate your objectives and key results.”

What Makes it All Worthwhile?

Most firms that implement OKRs see a huge shift in focus and communication. Setting OKRs allows and compels each employee to find Objectives and Key Results that tie into the company vision. It also gives everyone the opportunity to participate in the dialogue. Included and informed personnel are typically more committed and engaged in their work.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.