How to write good Company OKRs

Three tips for setting Company Objectives.

Nicole Capobianco avatar
Written by Nicole Capobianco
Updated over a week ago

Coming up with good Company OKRs is hard and that's why it's important to always keep your strategy (Ultimate Goal and Strategic Pillars) in mind to remain focused on what matters most: delivering the strategy. In essence Company OKRs should be the key themes for your organization in a given time period (we'd recommend a year).

Company OKRs should communicate the core themes or problems you're trying to solve as a company this year, but give enough wiggle room for teams to decide how they actually plan to execute this each quarter.

When creating Company OKRs keep the following in mind:

Keep them high-level and thematic

Company OKRs are about providing direction as to where you want the Company to be at by the end of a specific timeframe (top-bottom), and letting teams decide how they'll make that happen (bottom-up). 

When creating Company OKRs ask yourself, "is this something that most of the company can contribute to, or is this specific for a single team?" If the answer is "a single team", then this means that this OKR belongs to that team, and not the Company. 

A common mistake is thinking that Key Results in Company OKRs should be a breakdown of the metrics each one of your departments should hit. Company Key Results should be high-level metrics and not specific to a single department. Use metrics that almost everyone can impact, not just a few. 

Can't decide on a Key Result for a long-term company Objective? That's fine – leave them out. You can choose to judge success on this Objective using its aligned, quarterly Team Objectives.

Break the status quo

OKRs exist to help company's evolve, while KPIs monitor the health of the ongoing processes that keep the lights on in your organization. However, identifying if something should be added as a Company OKR or a Company KPI takes practice.

If you find that the OKR pretty much stays the same year after year, and the only thing that changes is the target in your Key Result, you might have a KPI in your hands. Most metrics relating to your funnel (e.g. Sales targets, website conversion rate) should be tracked using KPIs, as they are part of your business as usual. If they're unhealthy, you can create a quarterly OKR to improve the KPI.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

The decisions teams will make on what to prioritize will be dependant on the priorities established through Company OKRs. Add your Company OKRs to Perdoo to easily and constantly communicate these priorities across the entire organization. In addition, many customers schedule a Town Hall or an All Hands meeting to discuss and share in detail why these OKRs are important, and why they're a priority for the year. This helps clarify questions, reinforce expectations, and create excitement.

Need inspiration? Check out our OKR + KPI Example Library.

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