Objectives and Key Results are a management methodology to achieve results in a practical and visual way, optimizing and facilitating the work of a company's employees. No wonder they are employed by companies like Google and General Electric.
To manage them in the best possible way, two rules need to be taken into account:
the Objective has to be a qualitative and aspirational goal, while the Key Results are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Based) based on specific indicators that must "prove" the fulfillment of the objective.
Some experts use a very simple statement:
"I want ________________, and we’ll know if we’ve reached that goal through the following indicators: _________, __________, and _________."
The first space is filled by its Objective, and the second to the fourth is filled by Key Results.
Using an example to illustrate the definition:
Objective: Grow the company's revenue
Once the Objective is established, the Key Result (s) are now defined, which will tell you if the target has been reached. Key Results should be based on KPIs / indicators whenever possible. In the case above, the obvious KPI to be used is revenue. In this case the Key Result can be:
Accumulated revenue in the quarter of R $ 200 million
Other possibility would be to use the revenue increase (or growth) KPI, in which case the Key Result can be:
Quarter revenue growth of 50%
Does that make sense? In both cases, the company's growth is measured, but using two different indicators (revenue and revenue growth) to measure it.
OKRs are established from bottom to top, starting with the employee himself and going to his manager, directors and CEO of the company. They can also be horizontal, with alignments between different areas to achieve a common goal. In this way, everyone works together to achieve their results for the company.
Another characteristic of OKRs is that they are completely transparent, where all company employees have access to the OKR of any team and member of the company. This facilitates the understanding of goals, visualization of performance and management of leaders and their followers.
In addition, the OKR cycles are short, varying between 3 and 4 months, enabling faster and more assertive changes according to events outside the company.
📝 Don't forget: OKRs are a methodology for achieving results that values transparency, alignment and participation by all company employees.
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