OKR is sweeping across Silicon Valley as a way to implement Goal Setting in organisations. But can ‘ordinary’ companies adopt a similar goal setting approach and get the same benefits? Well yes of course! But one of the challenges is explaining and training staff in the differences between Objectives, Key Results and just plain simple tasks. Without this clarity, the OKR will quickly become confused and frustrating as some objectives may really be goals and some goals may really be tasks. Bear in mind the following definitions and examples.
Objective: Something inspirational you want the business to move towards by a specified time
Key Results: One or more measures which indicates whether you are moving towards your objective
Task: An activity or set of activities that need to be completed by one or more people
So far so good. However we frequently find with implementing Goal Setting and particularly the OKR method, that team members have difficulty distinguishing between Objectives, Key Results and Tasks.
So here are some handy questions to help you challenge your team to write Objectives, Key Results and Tasks that are appropriate
It’s an Objective if the following are true:
It’s a Key Result if the following are true.
It’s a Task if the following are true
The temptation to slip into writing down Tasks is almost irresistible, particularly when setting out on the OKR journey, but since lot of the value of OKRs comes from the critical thinking required to come up with good objectives and key results, its worth spending some time on this part of the process.