OKRs help companies move from an output to an outcome-based approach to work. The O, an Objective, describes the goal or the outcome to be achieved within a given timeframe. It can be thought of like a destination on a map. It sets a clear direction that provides the greater purpose for your team on where you want to go. It communicates that this goal is important now and requires collaborative effort. It's important that the language and meaning resonate with your team so that they are motivated and committed to the goal's success.
Keep the following in mind when creating Objectives:
It's an end, not a means to an end. It's natural to add important projects and tasks that you need to work on as Objectives. But these often don't represent the outcome. Ask yourself, where will I see the impact of doing this? The answer will inform what your end goal is. Objectives are the why, providing meaning for these important projects that you'll be working on.
They represent your priorities, not nice-to-haves or business as usual. Objectives are the most important goals your team will be working on. Ask yourself, at the end of the timeframe, what do we need to accomplish no matter what?
If the answer represents the key metrics that need to stay healthy for the business to operate smoothly, then it's business as usual. These metrics keep the business running and you can add them as KPIs so that you can constantly monitor them.
If the answer breaks the status quo or improves a KPI, then it's an Objective. You can then qualify this by explaining why it is important and why it is urgent so everyone understands the context for why these goals were chosen at this point in time.
Align with other teams if there are dependencies.
Once priorities have been identified, it's common to need the support of other teams. OKRs help identify common efforts and goals so that the entire organization is aligned. Time and resources though are limited, so it's important to openly communicate with other teams to ensure that they also have the capacity to contribute to your OKR.
When adding Objectives, ensure that they are:
- Within circle of influence
- Aligned (to another OKR or a KPI)
Need inspiration? Check out our OKR + KPI Example Library.
Need help? We'll create your OKR for you.
To add or draft Objectives for your Team:
- From the left navigation menu, click on your Group profile
- Click on the + on the right
- Add a Name
- In Description, add answers to Why is it important? and Why is it urgent?
- Select the group that is the Owner
- Select a Lead
- Select Timeframe
- Select a reason for this Objective (to determine alignment)
- Add Contributors (optional)
- Add tags (optional)
- Saving it as a draft? Click the draft toggle. Read more on Draft OKRs.
- Click Save or Save & Add Result (if you're ready to add a Key Result or Initiative)