Whether you're setting the goal of developing your first product or creating milestones for your growing enterprise, establishing objectives is at the heart of your success. No matter how big or small, each goal you set will propel you down the path of achievement. However, not all goals are created equally. Goals without purpose or drive will do little to help your organization thrive.
We've all set vague goals in the past, such as "become more healthy" or "read more books," but many often abandon these lofty ambitions within weeks. In fact, a study found that 64% of people give up on their New Year's resolutions within the first month. With the odds stacked against you, how can you avoid the pitfall of quitting too early and retiring your ambitions? The key to success is setting measurable goals that align with your main business plans, customer needs, and market conditions.
Goals with accountability and measurable initiatives will likely triumph. There are various types of management methodologies to help you set better goals and consistently measure success. This guide will outline how to develop a solid framework for goal alignment and performance using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
What are OKRs?
Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs, help communicate the goals and milestones you'll achieve. This framework entails collaborative goal-setting, allowing you to track progress, align with your team, and inspire commitment.
The main purpose of setting OKRs is to align individual and team goals with broader organizational objectives. The OKR framework encourages accountability throughout the team. These types of objectives are typically ambitious, time-bound, and measurable.
The OKR meaning is simple—set objectives and key results. Within the OKR framework, objectives are the high-level goals your business wants to achieve and are typically set quarterly or annually. The main objectives provide a sense of direction for the company and guide the organization’s goal-setting system.
The next aspect is key results. This is when the company outlines measurable milestones that define the progress made when achieving an objective. An objective can have several key results defined. These should all be quantifiable in order to indicate progression and success. A great way to set key results is to use the SMART methodology. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
OKRs are generally cascading. This means that high-level objectives are set across the board and cascade down into departmental goals. Each team in your company adjusts its key results based on the company's main objectives at large. OKRs need to be tracked and measured to help everyone stay on track. It’s important to foster an environment of accountability and transparency so there's a culture of encouragement and shared success.
Objectives and key results can be adjusted to suit your company's specific needs and culture. However, the core principles of setting ambitious goals and measurable results remain the same.