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How To Write OKRs

How To Write OKRs

An efficiently written OKR brings the team's mission and vision to reality. It acts as a roadmap for teams to bring their best work to the table and make progress in the right direction. This post is a guide on how to write the most effective OKRs.

Setting goals is the major driving force for any individual or business. But achieving those goals remains challenging unless complemented with a measurable framework. OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results that serve as an actionable and measurable guide for a company to achieve its goals. 

An efficiently written OKR brings the team's mission and vision to reality. It acts as a roadmap for teams to bring their best work to the table and make progress in the right direction.

Moreover, OKRs provide core insights and transparency within an organization, equipping senior leaders with the right tools to help their teams where needed. 

Format For OKRs

OKRs is an outcome-driven tool to improve business performance. Companies like Google, Netflix, Spotify, etc., rely on OKRs to accomplish their goals. 

Here’s the exact format to learn how to write OKRs and manage your company’s outcomes in the best way possible. 

  • An OKR consists of two major components- “a qualitative objective statement” backed by three to five quantitive “outcomes, i.e., key results” to determine the progress toward the goal.

  • Let’s try to understand it with an example.

  • Objective: Increase sales of the newly-launched beauty range by the end of the month.
  • Key results:
  1. Run a 30-day onboarding campaign for the top 50 influencers.
  2. Share 4+ star reviews from verified customers on social media
  3. Earn at least 30% profit by Jan 30.

The above objective is actionable, ambitious, and time-bound. It’s followed by three precise and measurable outcomes explaining the end-user impact. These succinct OKRs help the team to stay focused and progress towards the final goal.


Qualities Of A Good OKR

While writing OKRs, you must keep a few points in mind to ensure it works. A few qualitative characteristics of a good OKR are:

Concrete and precisely written

Clarity remains the #1 rule for writing effective OKRs. The objective has to be direct and easy to understand for every team member. It must let everyone know “what” they’re working towards as a team. The key results should include concrete measures expressing “how” to ensure they progress in the right direction. Avoid fancy jargon while creating OKRs to steer clear of ambiguity in later stages. 

Easy to track

An OKR is ineffective if it doesn’t include provisions to track progress. Add milestones that help you quantitatively measure success. This checks whether or not the team is progressing in the right direction and identifies any blockers. 

Challenging and aspirational

OKRs have to be realistic that promote the company’s growth. They must allow everyone to push themselves and expand their skills. If you’re struggling to write good OKRs, add a few challenging yet motivational goals. Use this opportunity to bring out the highest potential of your team members. 

Accessible to all

Only focusing on writing OKRs won’t serve the purpose unless everyone in the team can review it. You can use the Loopin app to share OKRs with the team members so they can easily revisit it and remain focused on the goal.

How to Write OKRs: Your 101 Guide 

Here’s a detailed description explaining how to write effective and actionable OKRs. 

Align corporate and employee goals

The first phase of writing OKRs begins with recognizing your organization's long-term goals and vision. Use these goals to set milestones for teams and individual employees. 

Create action items for everyone involved to keep them accountable and motivated to grow in their roles. Along with personal growth, set the OKRs in a way that successfully propels the business forward.

Begin with curating the objective 

Before finding the route, start by setting the destination on the map. Developing the objective before any initiatives is the thumb rule for writing OKRs. It must have only one bold statement declaring what everyone is trying to achieve. Keep it ambitious so that people have to put in a little extra effort. 

Develop action items for quantitative key results

Key results include progressive milestones and initiatives to measure the accomplishment of the objective. Keep a maximum of five relevant key results per objective. They must help the team members to stay focused and productive toward their goals.

Use tools to ease the “how to write OKRs” methodology

It would be tedious to make manual OKRs every time. Create a template out of your existing OKRs using Excel or Google Spreadsheets. Keep referring to these templates to make the job easier.

Make it a teamwork

Don’t keep the process of writing OKRs to be strictly hierarchical. It’s not about simply delegating tasks to your team. Writing OKRs is more about the employees giving their best to work towards a shared goal. Including every teammate is the best way to write functional OKRs.

Brainstorm and discuss the OKRs with the team and improvise accordingly. Conduct this discussion over one-on-one calls with employees to learn their understanding and accountability levels. Make sure that you keep the team updated on the progress report. 

Template/ Sample OKR

When starting, it is always challenging to establish OKRs. Don’t worry, we have your back. You can use the built-in OKR review template on Loopin to help you start your first OKR.

Final Thoughts

OKRs provide a practical framework to accomplish organizational goals. It’s a tool to bring teams together and promote a positive and collaborative work culture. 

Use the following steps to formulate collaborative, transparent, inclusive, and functional OKRs: 

  1. Align corporate and employee goals
  1. Begin with curating objective 
  1. Develop action items for quantitative key results
  1. Use tools to ease the “how to write OKRs” methodology
  1. Make it teamwork.