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Common OKR Bloopers to Tickle your Sides

Updated: Sep 2, 2019




You just inducted your employees to the increasingly popular goal setting framework OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). You stand there expecting beaming faces. Instead, what you see is a bunch of skeptics staring back. Fret Not! You are not alone.


What seems like a simple, supercharged and extremely engaging framework suddenly seems like the toughest battle to conquer because “everyone in your company is not on the same page”.


In this edition, read on about common bloopers that might come in your way of maximizing the benefits of OKR framework and leveraging it to achieve a high performing & engaged ecosystem.


Blooper 1: When you confuse tasks with OKRs

In the bestseller “Measure What Matters” John Doerr speaks clearly about how OKRs should not be about every task at hand. The tasks could be the many steps in achieving the OKRs but not the OKRs themselves. As mentioned in Google Re:Work: Use OKRs to define the outcomes the team wants to see, and let the teams come up with the methods of achieving that impact. “ Goals are not tasks, never mistake activity for results - John Wooden”.

Psst.. Stay tuned for more on this through our OKR VLog series.


Blooper 2: Err.. you track once a year!

That sounds like Set, Forget & Hit the Panic button!

Real-time check ins are the way to go. Managers who do regular OKR check ins are more likely to be on top of team performance, check alignment to overall objectives and coach teams. Check out our OKR series on Coaching conversations & building a check-in culture here.


Blooper 3: Your key results are fuzzy

That's right, the term key results implies they need to be measured, but are you measuring it correctly? What are the indices and benchmarks you use to define the metrics around the key results?

“Increase customer retention by10%, seems fuzzy. Make it specific with something like “Outreach to 100 free trial users to up conversion by 20%” - this increases clarity and precision to the result that needs to be achieved.


Blooper 4: You hold on to a KR even if they ain’t working

The very fact the OKRs are set quarterly, makes it a highly agile framework. Instead of holding onto KRs which are not achieving outcomes, course correct and pick the right measures. In other words, move beyond the process of setting to measuring outcomes.

Do you have more bloopers your way?


We would love to hear your OKR stories & challenges.