Implementing OKRs - Lessons from a Googler
5 min read

Implementing OKRs - Lessons from a Googler

Implementing OKRs - Lessons from a Googler

Fitbots Spotlight is a series that features Startup Founders, CXOs, Coaches and Managers who have implemented OKRs (Objective Key Results and other cool people practices in their organizations. 

This time around, the Fitbots team caught up with the very zestful & enterprising, 

Krishnachytanya Ayyagari popularly known as KC, Senior Customer Engineer at Google. He works with dynamic & innovative cloud startup companies to ensure they build & scale their business using Google technologies. We met up with KC , well actually a super cool meet experience through Google Hangouts! (Here's a sneak peek for you) 

Fitbots: KC, our readers would love to hear your personal story 

KC: I love technology & my entire experience revolves around that. I started my journey as an engineer with Infosys and it was then that my love for Big Data began. From there on I moved to IBM, Thomson Reuters, Microsoft & then Google. My stint with Cloud Solutions deepened further during my experience at Microsoft where I was not just involved in the technical aspect but was also involved with presales & customer /business solutioning. At Google, I started as a Solutions Engineer responsible for ensuring Technical Enablement of startups on Google Cloud and today, as the Global Program Manager , I create & implement programs to help startups maximize their benefits from Google Cloud.

Fitbots: KC, what is your biggest high in the current role?

KC: The fact that we work with different startups across domains and making sure they build quality products on technologies which Google builds. There is no bigger high than seeing them build and scale their business on our technologies.

Fitbots: Everyone knows Google=OKR, so could you please share what would be an OKR for your team?

KC: "Offer the right solutions to startups to maximize their innovation potential". What can we as a team offer to startups to bring out the best quality innovation to the table

Fitbots: As an OKR Practitioner, what is your formula for getting it right? 

KC: Actually, if you ask me, OKR is a very simple concept. We, as companies and individuals who complicate it. Get down to the basics, and you'll find the magic bullet.


1) Are the objectives aspirational at the same time achievable? 

2) Can the Key Results be measured & tracked?

3) Don't focus on fancy objectives, instead focus on achieving the right outcomes

4) Are we working on what matters to the company? Or are we digressing from it?

At Google, everything, and I repeat, everything works with OKRs as the backbone. We have quick fact checks to ensure we are aligned with what aligns with the company objectives and work our way towards it. Hence, getting to the basics and making it simple is the key to OKRs.

Fitbots: With such a large scale, how does Google still ensure that OKRs work effectively?

KC: Let's keep Google aside for a while. Any company will have a mission and your OKRs need to align to it. The ultimate objective of OKRs is to not boil the ocean but boil down to the key objectives and the right measurable results which will help you contribute to the company's mission. 

It is all about the right leadership. Leaders need to create the alignment for their teams. I repeat this again, but it is critical, "Simplify OKRs" and focus on these 

1) Understand what your company is working towards 

2) Align your teams to it

3) Focus on the progress

Fitbots: Before we sign off, what advice would you like to give everyone wanting to or having implemented OKRs?

KC: Don't overthink or burden yourself with the thought of OKRs. Ask yourself every time you set your objectives/key results "do these really matter to the company? Or are you doing it just for the sake of it"? "Are you focusing on contributing to the company's growth objectives or are you doing it to achieve a personal growth plan"? Once you get clarity on this, there is no stopping you from chasing OKRs the right way. 

Equate setting your OKRs to your vacation planning. would you plan a vacation to Hawaii to spend quality time with family, but have your plan to see different places other than the one you wish? Absolutely not! you will definitely want to have a great actionable plan in place to achieve your vacation goals. 

It is definitely no different with your OKRs, they need to be Actionable & Achievable and not fancy.

Spot on KC! The beauty of OKRs lies in making it simple, yet, we get lost in the complexity of trying to frame it in a way they look ambitious and overachieving. Thank you so much for showing the power of simplicity of such a powerful tool. 

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