Know Where You Are Going – Objectives and Results

Setting Objective Key Results (OKRs) is one technique that many companies are using to align the work that everyone is doing. When you have a project, you will be creating some metrics by which you can define the success of the project. What are you trying to achieve? How do you know that you will be successful? What will you be counting to determine whether you have succeeded?

Companies often don’t define what they want to measure for a few reasons:

  1. It is hard to think of something that you can measure.
  2. If you choose something to measure, you have to spend time and energy, gathering the data to show the measurement.
  3. Companies don’t want to lock themselves into one measurement; there might be disagreement or lack of clarity on what the top priority is.

People give these same reasons an excuse as to why people don’t define project metrics. But if you want to know that you are making your greatest impact, you must measure your results. And OKRs is an excellent way to structure these measurements.

Your Objective

When you define your objective, describe what mountain you want to conquer. Choose something that you can see in the distance, but isn’t within reach right now. One important aspect of your objective is that it has clear boundaries. Clear boundaries include being scope-bound and timebound. “Eliminating poverty” is a weak objective, but an objective that you can work towards is “Eliminating poverty in Canada by 2020.” Many people suggest that OKRs be bound by only a 3-month timeline.

Key Results

Once you have your over-arching objective, define the key results that you need to achieve to get to your objective. If you aim to eliminate poverty, your key results might be:

  • Conduct in-person interviews with 50 families and individuals to determine real needs.
  • Secure a 10% increase of municipal funding for affordable housing
  • Reach an average call volume of 30 calls a day for the nutritious living call-in line

Putting It Into Action

Once you have your Object Key Results, you can put it into action. Your key results aren’t a task list. There is probably not only one action that will help you secure 10% funding. And while conducting interviews is something that you can easily track as a task, it is the ‘determining real needs’ that is a crucial part of the results.

There is a long list of companies who are using OKRs. It is a structure that is worth using within your business and as part of your next project.


An OKR For Myself

Since we are defining OKRs today, here is my OKR for FortyFour-Three.

Objective: Reach a self-sustaining level of business revenue.

Key Results:

  1. Reach monthly revenue of $4000.
  2. Complete 100 meaningful sales connections.
  3. 90% of sales connections are made using a clearly defined, repeatable, sales process.

This OKR is timebound in the third quarter of 2019 (July – September)