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If you are new to OKR framework and you want to define OKRs for first time, it always helps to have some handy OKR examples.
I have OKR examples for individual level, team level and organization level, and some additional real world examples with explanations and comments.
Imagine you want to become an amateur runner.
This could be a goal on itself, and you could say that you need to be able to run four 10,000 in less than 50 minutes, two half marathons in less than 2 hours and one marathon in less than 4 hours.
Objective: Become an amateur runner
- run four 10,000 in less than 50 minutes
- two half marathons in less than 2 hours
- one marathon in less than 4 hours
You have a qualitative goal indicating destination; expressing where you want to go or what you want to achieve or become, and three statements indicating how will you know you got there or that you are heading in the right direction.
However good, I think it is better to take a wider perspective. Both individually and in teams and organizations there are strategic goals you want to achieve but there are also operational goals that you need to achieve sometimes together with the strategic goal or even as a condition.
So, I ask you now. What does it mean for you to become an amateur runner? How is your life going to be different? What do amateur runners do in their lives that you don’t do currently?
Then, you would probably include in your goal setting, things such as health, diet or sleep.
In the end, the final goal is to become an amateur runner, and you might even achieve that without changing anything with regards to diet and suffering lots of injuries and poor health condition, but that won’t last very long. That is not sustainable.
Now, your OKRs would be something like the following. Where becoming an amateur runner has moved one level up as a vision or high level goal and you have three objectives to fulfil that vision.
As you can see in this example, sometimes key results will look like an objective by themselves and sometimes they will look more like a KPI or target. I wouldn’t worry too much as long as they serve the purpose.
Product Team OKRs
In this OKR example, let’s assume you are the product manager for a product team and you have to define your quarterly goals together with your team.
An important achievement for your team would be to increase retention in your transaction-based eCommerce. So, you want to make sure new customers come back faster, more frequently and spend more.
Objective: Improve retention
- Repeat Purchase Rate >= 50%
- Purchase Frequency <= 1 month
- Average Order Value >= 50€
In order to achieve those results you outline a roadmap with the following initiatives:
- Start a customer loyalty program
- Implement new sales funnels based on valuable content for existing customers
- Offer discounts to come back
- Offer free delivery for a yearly fee
- Improve copy and product images
In the following OKR example we are going to define goals and success criteria for a company that has the vision to turn humanity into a multi-planetary species.
When we work with organization OKRs we have this long-term aspirational vision and then we define strategic goals for the year, for instance. Typically for an organization vision would be in a timeframe of 3 to 5 years and goals could be annual.
In the case of this space company, each one of the goals could be taken by a single business unit or product team.
If you take a look at the key results in blue, those could also become goals of teams for each of the business units.
The most important concept here is that key results (KR) at one organizational level can become goals for the next organizational level below.
Or, alternatively, you could define KR for the objective and then ask the organizational unit below to define their own OKRs to fulfil upper level goal.
In this example, you can see the vision in green, one strategic goal in red with its three key results and hanging from the strategic goal three more goals that could be goals for business units or teams responsible for spacecraft construction, refuelling and producing fuel in Mars.