How To Write Objective and Key Results — Practical Examples

Everybody is talking about OKRs, how Google used them to grow, how powerful they are to keep the organization aligned and focus on what matters.

(If you missed this, you can read: Boost your growth with OKRs)

An issue still prevents many companies to successfully implement OKRs and reap rewards like all the big successful companies (Google, Intel, Netflix…). The fact is, defining good OKRs is very difficult. Sometimes we write key results as objectives, tasks as key results.

We really don’t know what to put in each part. But, writing OKRs should not be as complicated as a Rubik’s cube. With the right guidance, you can easily set efficient OKRs. If you want tips on how to successfully write OKRs and avoid common mistakes, just continue reading.

What do you have to accomplish ?

The answer to this question is the objective. It must be definite and time bound.

For example, if we take this objective ‘’Make our web application better‘’, This objective is not definite. To make it effective, you should be specific on what you want to improve. Another form of this objective is ‘’Reduce to 2 minutes the time spent by our client to set up their account’’.

Another example: “Improve marketers ability for writing a blog post ” not “Improve marketing team”.

Your objective needs to be measurable. A bad objective is “Make a lot of money” whereas you can say “Grow revenue by 15%”.

How are you going to get that done ?

The answer to this question is the key results. The key results need to be quantifiable and measurable by a specific metric.

Your key result can be an activity like : “Launch X feature”

This type of key results usually start with verbs like launch, create, develop, deliver, build, make, implement, define, release, test, prepare and plan. [1]

Most times, your key results are going to be a specific metric and a value to reach. For example:

  • Get 50 new paying users
  • Increase user retention from 40% to 75%
  • Reduce churn rate by 2%


Company OKRs

Objective : Increase company revenue by 10%

Key results :

  • Get 50 new customers by end of Q2
  • Reduce churn rate to 5%

Marketing team OKRs

Objective : Improve the new marketing process

Key results :

  • Develop a personal relationship with 5 potential customers
  • Increase lead generation by 10%
  • Launch 5 webinars


Objective : Improve our company reputation

Key results :

  • Launch two new products that will impact our brand in Q3
  • Interview 20 customers and get feedback
  • Increase customer retention to 90%

Engineer OKRs

Objective: Reduce to 2 minutes the time spent by our client to set up their account

Key results :

  • Implement the new onboarding system
  • Reduce the number of configuration steps from 15 to 6

These were some examples of good OKRs. Now go make your own.

[1] http://leanperformance.com/en/okr/success-criteria-types-key-results/

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