What are Objectives?

Objectives and key results (OKR) is a goal-setting tool driven by outcomes. In companies, OKRs are often used to guide outcome-based success. Using outcomes instead of tasks as a driver, OKRs encourage accountability in every step of achieving success through metric indicators.

An objective defines a desired outcome to be achieved within a given time frame, without prescribing the way to achieve the outcome. This allows the designated objective owner to stay flexible, and adapt the tactical work that is done to attain the best outcome.

Key results are a set of measures used to determine whether or not the desired outcome has been achieved. When establishing key results, ask yourself, “what measurements would show that we successfully accomplished the desired outcome?”

Throughout the duration of an OKR, the objective owner should use the key results to validate that the work being done is creating the desired impact. If the work being done is not achieving results towards the objectives, then the tasks should be adapted and validated again as more work is completed.

At the conclusion of the OKR, the key results are used to determine if the outcome was successfully completed or not.

Why use Objectives?

By creating and setting Objectives, everyone has transparent visibility into everyone’s contributions and impacts. Team leads can coach their team members on how to best contribute to business success. Everyone sees how their contributions are valued and aligned to each other. Cross-functional collaborations get brought to light. Finally, Objectives empower everyone to become coaches and encourages self-direction.

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