Goal-Setting OKR Example for an Entire Company
Today, organizations everywhere are adopting objectives and key results (OKRs) to help define and track tangible goals that every employee can champion. To learn more about how OKRs can help you, see the "Essential Guide to OKRs."
Objectives describe what you want to achieve; key results describe how you know you've met them. Objectives are qualitative, whereas key results are quantitative (measurable) and time-bound.
You can use OKRs to align the efforts of the entire organization. OKRs at the corporate level should trickle down through each level of the organization. OKRs encourage you to focus on accomplishing a few milestones — you should aim to have no more than three to five corporate objectives, with no more than five key results for each objective.
"Some folks will muck it up by having four or five or six objectives, which means they decrease their capacity to focus," says Darrel Whiteley, a Master Black Belt, Lean Master, and Kaizen expert with Firefly Consulting. "You might think, well, I've only got one objective, which ignores other aspects of the business. But I think it's critically important to go with a reasonable number — like, three objectives and no more than four or five KRs for each of those objectives."
Some experts are adamant that key results need to be quantifiable. However, depending on your circumstances, a qualitative achievement may represent a considerable step forward for the business.
According to the MIT Sloan Management Review article “With Goals, FAST Beats SMART,” “Our experience working with companies … suggests that relying exclusively on quantitative measures is neither necessary nor optimal. For a fast-growing startup, for example, the qualitative milestone of hiring a new chief technology officer can be every bit as important as any quantitative KPI.”
If you're interested in learning more about the difference between OKRs and SMART goals, read this article comparing the difference between the two.
OKR Trickle Down
OKRs encourage companies to align their effort from the C-level team down to the individual. In other words, the substance of corporate and group objectives should "trickle down" to the team-level OKRs, so that the people on the front line of effort can support the big-picture aims with realistic, tactical goals.
The best company-wide OKRs originate in mission statements and long-range goals, and they help to communicate a practical path to those aims, as shown in these top-level OKR objective examples:
Objective: Build the best online personal shopping service in the country.
- KR: Stylists post about ideas and merchandise at least once a week in Q2.
- KR: Stylists reach out with customized suggestions to 50+ of their customers who have not purchased in two or more months.
- KR: Get 1,000 signups by the end of Q2 for our early product access program.
Objective: Increase sales.
- KR: Reach a 25 percent conversion rate on all leads.
- KR: Reduce time spent in the sale cycle by 20 percent.
- KR: Open five new stores.
Objective: Successfully launch the new product in Canada.
- KR: New customers buy our product by a ratio of 3 to 1 over the competition.
- KR: Each order averages $250,000.
- KR: Total revenue from new product sales is $2 million.
Sample OKRs by Department
The following comprehensive list provides OKR goal-setting examples that you can use or adapt to your team or department.
Administrative/Operations Sample OKR
OKRs for admin and ops often focus on improving efficiency and saving money.
Objective: Improve IT infrastructure.
- KR: Reduce system downtime in Q2 by 30 percent.
- KR: Train 50 percent of team on new cloud backup.
Objective: Reduce operations costs by 20 percent.
- KR: Purchase coffee pots and a coffee machine, and cancel coffee service.
- KR: Change carpet cleaning contract to quarterly instead of monthly.
- KR: Open only one box of sticky notes at a time to discourage people from loading up when they don’t need new ones.
Analyst Relations Example OKRs
OKRs for analyst relations offer a range of key results, from creating documents and researching backgrounds to meeting with media and research company representatives.
Objective: Raise awareness of the brand.
- KR: Create six white papers by the end of the quarter.
- KR: Have 20 meetings with media outlets by the end of Q1.
- KR: Recruit four influencers to use the product and display brand art.
Objective: Build relationships with leading market research organizations.
- KR: Reach out to three major research firms.
- KR: Host two analyst webinars by the end of May.
Objective: Develop a stellar briefing and presentation package.
- KR: Research, prepare, and rehearse answers to 100 potential questions.
- KR: Develop 12 briefing docs by the end of March.
- KR: Hire a designer to design and lay out all collateral.
Example Design Team OKRs
Design OKRs can cover such matters as training and employee engagement, as well as design goals.
Objective: Deliver a design for the drawing wizard.
- KR: Complete initial user testing with candidates from the user group by the first month of Q2.
- KR: Deliver wireframes.
- KR: Confirm the final two options for color palettes.
Objective: Increase product usability.
- KR: Finalize workflow wizard.
- KR: Raise system usability rating from 7 to 8.5 (out of a possible 10) based on 500 responses to the most recent survey.
- KR: Reduce support calls by 20 percent.
Objective: Assist directors with new business collateral.
- KR: Design and adapt the layout for presentation decks.
- KR: Develop 10 infographics.
- KR: Create customer SharePoint site.
Finance/Accounting Sample OKRs
The OKRs shown here for finance and accounting consider not just costs, but also process improvement.
Objective: Optimize the annual budgeting process.
- KR: Reduce costs for the budget meeting by 50 percent through in-house printing of packets.
- KR: Finalize new budgets by August 30.
Objective: Strengthen the auditing process.
- KR: Audit 70 percent or more of identified risks.
- KR: Conduct an internal audit before the end of Q2.
- KR: Issue an internal audit report within 30 days of completion.
Sample Human Resources OKRs
The following examples of human resources OKRs highlight personal development, manager development, and employee engagement aspirations.
Objective: Attain highest-ever employee satisfaction score.
- KR: Ensure every manager starts ongoing, two-way feedback loops.
- KR: Survey employees weekly.
- KR: Double employee engagement activities.
- KR: Raise the employee satisfaction score to 8 or above.
Objective: Complete employee reviews efficiently and on time.
- KR: Distribute goal tracking templates to all employees.
- KR: Survey staff to gauge how they like the new performance process.
- KR: Collect all performance review notes from managers a week before the deadline.
Objective: Nurture an increase in manager skills.
- KR: Establish bi-weekly management training brown-bag sessions.
- KR: Schedule regular 1:1 meetings for all managers with their reports.
- KR: Conduct monthly anonymous employee surveys to get feedback on managerial effectiveness.
Objective: Increase personal output and efficiency.
- KR: Reduce personal social media time to 30 minutes each workday.
- KR: Increase weekly word count from 4,000 to 6,000 words.
- KR: Eliminate spelling and grammar errors by using an online grammar checker.
- KR: Use an online transcription service to convert long interviews to text.
Objective: Improve employee retention at the team level.
- KR: Review the ongoing performance management process.
- KR: Develop a portfolio of online and other training opportunities to help employees stay fully credentialed.
- KR: Compare salaries and benefits to competitive market offerings.
Objective: Delight company employees.
- KR: Launch two employee motivational events each month.
- KR: Get gym passes for all employees.
- KR: Recognize "small wins" every week.
- KR: Create an employee lounge space.
Sample OKRs for a Legal Team
The following OKR for a law office describes goals to help promote and build the business.
Objective: Grow awareness of the firm.
- KR: Add at least two firms as referral partners by the end of April.
- KR: Create a TV commercial for the local market.
- KR: Start a blog on our company website.
Logistics Team Sample OKRs
Logistics OKRs can focus on your processes or your tools.
Objective: Automate order management.
- KR: Triple the throughput of orders.
- KR: Reduce order changes to five per week.
Objective: Improve the returned goods experience.
- KR: Implement pre-printed return shipping labels.
- KR: Review local regulations to extend the return period beyond 30 days.
Objective: Expedite shipping process.
- KR: Reposition A and B movers to reduce quick picks to less than five minutes.
- KR: Ensure all packing materials are within five to ten feet of fast movers.
- KR: Invest in three handheld label printers for each shift in order to print 80 percent of labels on the spot.
Marketing Sample OKRs
Marketing OKRs often center on increasing views, impressions, leads, or signups, and on creating new content.
Objective: Produce widely read and quoted original content.
- KR: Increase LTV to 4:1.
- KR: Reoptimize Q2 articles to gain 15 backlinks.
- KR: Rewrite content headlines to include more than one eye-grabbing detail, such as a number, statistic, how-to, ultimate guide, etc.
Objective: Increase understanding of consumer behavior.
- KR: Conduct personal interviews with the top 10 percent of returning customers.
- KR: Recommend three new customer loyalty plans by the end of Q2.
Objective: Update marketing process to reflect the revamped product offering.
- KR: Determine two to four key performance metrics by the end of Q1.
- KR: Create and approve the brand playbook.
- KR: Implement an efficient connection between web signup analytics and CRM.
Objective: Double the number of monthly signups.
- KR: Create three targeted online campaigns to add 1,200 leads.
- KR: Optimize SEO for articles to generate 800 new signups.
- KR: Add two subscriber calls to action (CTAs) on the landing page for new visitors.
Objective: Create a partners and resellers site.
- KR: Ensure partner access to complete a set of six user assistance sites.
- KR: Publish four partner-focused white papers by April 30.
- KR: Implement a partner forum on the site using Disqus.
Objective: Create a monumental launch for the new product.
- KR: Present two pre-launch webinars to customers and partners.
- KR: Write and distribute five product datasheets.
- KR: Earn 12,000 page impressions.
Objective: Maximize email marketing campaign.
- KR: Increase signups for weekly emails by 20 percent.
- KR: Raise e-book downloads by 25 percent from email click-throughs.
- KR: Reduce the unsubscribe rate to less than 6 percent.
Objective: Increase mailing list subscribers.
- KR: Create two targeted email offers by the end of Q3.
- KR: Implement two QR codes for signup.
- KR: Sketch out requirements for three-plus email options (daily, weekly, digests) by the end of the first month of Q3.
Sales OKR Examples
The sales OKRs shown below emphasize attaining a target dollar amount in revenue or making a certain number of contacts that could lead to sales.
Objective: Increase sales through our channel partners.
- KR: Engage 10 new channel partners in the eastern provinces.
- KR: Retain 95 percent of current partners for Q2.
- KR: Conduct partner training events in four main regional cities.
Objective: Revitalize the sales lead process.
- KR: Establish a lead-nurturing procedure by the end of March.
- KR: Map the sales funnel to our content plan by the end of March.
Objective: Reach a monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of $75,000.
- KR: Add two targeted promotions each month.
- KR: Raise the average monthly subscription size from $29 to $56.
- KR: Reach 25 percent usage from a new coupon program. Investigate and join a coupon program.
Objective: Review the sales analytics process.
- KR: Interview customers with less than $10,000 in annual purchases to find out why they don't buy more.
- KR: Compare the time spent with customers versus win/loss for Q2.
- KR: Provide the team with a weekly pipeline metrics summary.
Objective: Reach quarterly revenue of $1 million.
- KR: Achieve a first-month income of $300,000 for a new product.
- KR: Decrease the sales cycle from two months to 21 days.
- KR: Upsell the product to 40 percent of existing customers.
Objective: Grow sales among art students.
- KR: Develop relationships with 100 new prospective stores.
- KR: Contact all 13 public and private art schools in the state.
- KR: Award bonus of $500 to anyone who brings in two new community art center accounts.
Sample Product Management OKRs
Product management OKRs often involve improving a product or generating interest in a product.
Objective: Identify pain points in the drawing wizard.
- KR: Reduce lag time in tasks to less than 90 seconds.
- KR: Verify button fixes 35 percent of simple drawing errors.
- KR: Conduct a QA test for 90 percent of artifacts and errors.
Objective: Improve the user onboarding process.
- KR: Analyze onboarding flow to include timely messages to reduce churn by 20 percent.
- KR: Increase rate of users who complete onboarding from 70 percent to 80 percent.
- KR: Develop five context-sensitive pop-up tutorials.
Objective: Grow product referrals.
- KR: Investigate five potential touchpoints for requesting referrals.
- KR: Build a referral email list of over 4,500 addresses.
- KR: Grow referrals by 10 percent through a referral reward program.
Public Relations Sample OKRs
With public relations OKRs, the goal is to increase exposure of the product or service.
Objective: Raise professional artist awareness of the new masking product.
- KR: Create 50,000 impressions through ads in major artists' magazines by the end of Q1.
- KR: Schedule two-day demo tables in top-selling stores in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and Taos by the end of Q1.
- KR: Arrange booths at five major craft shows.
Objective: Gain 15 percent more conversions from new e-book.
- KR: Write a new e-book by the end of February.
- KR: Garner guest blog post in two top related sites.
- KR: Implement email outreach with existing lists.
Objective: Increase the popularity of company product (yogurt).
- KR: Place two ads in the top three high-end lifestyle magazines.
- KR: Develop interactive experience for city food fairs in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Boston.
- KR: Establish sponsorship of one East Coast and one West Coast Shakespeare festival.
Support/Customer Service Sample OKRs
OKRs for support and customer service frequently aim to speed customers on their way to using the product or service, and to win high satisfaction ratings from customers.
Objective: Delight customers.
- KR: Reduce customer onboarding process time to three days.
- KR: Reduce churn rate by 10 percent per month.
Objective: Expand support opportunities.
- KR: Reduce tickets by 10 percent with a self-help section in the ticketing system.
- KR: Reduce text ticket response time to one hour or less.
- KR: Hire Vietnamese- and Russian-speaking staff for both shifts.
Objective: Refine the tier support system.
- KR: Review issue complexity and response time to improve escalation rules.
- KR: Train support agents in the new escalation criteria.
- KR: Identify third-tier problem solvers and let them know they are on call for troubleshooting.
Objective: Provide exceptional customer support.
- KR: Bring customer satisfaction score to above 6.0.
- KR: Reduce customer onboarding process time to three days.
Objective: Improve the support experience.
- KR: Increase daily tickets resolved by 30 percent.
- KR: Reduce time spent on 80 percent of bugs to 40 minutes.
- KR: Reduce escalation requests by 10 percent.
Example OKRs for Technology/Engineering/R&D
Technology OKRs can cover the gamut from improving product speed and development speed to creating case study content and conducting user tests.
Objective: Speed up development time in Q2.
- KR: Reduce the average number of bugs per new feature from 2 to 1.5.
- KR: Reduce lead time by 20 percent.
- KR: Increase sprint velocity by 2 percent.
Objective: Raise the efficiency of the release build process.
- KR: Automate the inclusion of online help packages for each language.
- KR: Document and vet release procedures.
- KR: Create and staff a dedicated branching role.
Objective: Improve overall security.
- KR: Complete an S2Score risk assessment by the end of Q3.
- KR: Earn a grade of B or better in security compliance self-audit. Prepare for an annual security compliance audit.
- KR: Implement 2FA for all company systems.
Objective: Improve product performance.
- KR: Reduce the number of critical bugs by 10 percent.
- KR: Reduce the average response time on the app to less than 500ms.
- KR: Reduce run time warnings by 5 percent.
Objective: Gain real-time insight into business IT operations.
- KR: Instrument all revenue-generating flows by the end of the quarter.
- KR: Create a real-time deployment dashboard with the top four business ops metrics by the end of the Q3.
- KR: Create a gauge of spikes in credit card transactions by the end of September.
Objective: Design and develop a new product.
- KR: Create input mechanisms to gather ideas from sales, marketing, and customer support.
- KR: Establish UX team to conduct tests in-house with 20 users.
- KR: Recruit five SaaS developers.
- KR: Test product mockups with five people from the user-test pool.
Objective: Improve the test process.
- KR: Assess current test tools by the end of March.
- KR: Reduce the number of bugs closed as "Not a Bug."
- KR: Log no critical bugs in the final week of testing.
Objective: Successfully launch a beta version of the product.
- KR: Collect feedback from the first 50 percent of the customers.
- KR: Create six beta case studies.
- KR: Ensure a minimum of 50 percent new signups.
Examples of Training/Education OKRs
Both individuals and groups can create education and training OKRs.
Objective: Get into an MBA program.
- KR: Maintain a 3.7 GPA through undergrad years.
- KR: Get four letters of recommendation.
- KR: Complete the application by the deadline.
Objective: Develop an onboarding workshop for board members.
- KR: Interview retiring board members to determine essential knowledge for roles.
- KR: Detail board member key duties and responsibilities with our management company rep.
- KR: Highlight important information in foundation documents.
Objective: Improve fourth- to sixth-grade math scores.
- KR: Conduct a math in-service session for math and science teachers during the first two weeks of the first semester.
- KR: Ensure 30 percent of students earn a grade of B or higher by the end of the first semester.
- KR: Raise letter grade of 80 percent of students currently earning a D grade.
Example OKRs for Top Management/Leadership
Leadership OKRs may vary depending on the size of the company. These examples focus on garnering more attention for the business and, thereby, more revenue.
Objective: Grow the business.
- KR: Grow revenue to $3 million.
- KR: Generate 20 percent more new leads.
- KR: Develop 12 beta case studies by the end of Q1.
Objective: Publicize the brand community to customers under 30.
- KR: Send a gift card for one scarf to anyone who shares a picture of themselves wearing one of our outfits on Instagram.
- KR: Increase monthly page visits above 5,000 in Q2.
- KR: Publish 91 posts in Q2.
After you've chosen your objectives and key results, you can track your progress in achieving those objectives. See OKR Scoring to learn more.
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