As you embark on setting up OKRs for the first time, here are few things to remember:

OKR Best Practice Reminders

  • OKRs are not set in stone, so if circumstances change mid-cycle, it's okay to add, drop, or modify them.

  • For improved focus, limit objectives at any level to at most 5. No objective should have more than 5 key results.

  • While some of the individual and team OKRs will be cascaded from top-level organizational OKRs, empower your team members to define some of their OKRs based on the organizational priorities. 

  • It is okay if not all OKRs are directly aligned to organization or team OKRs, as long as the individual and manager understand how the OKR indirectly aligns to the top-level OKRs

Three steps to setting your OKRs

1. Managers go first. Using the organization's mission, annual objectives, and previous period OKRs for context, along with involvement from key stakeholders, managers should go first in drafting company level OKRs for the new period. Ensure that everyone understands that you are seeking their input through the OKR process before top-level OKRs are finalized.

2. Teams and Individuals then draft their OKRs. The next level below management then aligns their department goals with higher level objectives, along with key results that employees are responsible for. 

3. Review and align remaining goals: Alignment is crucial to the OKR process. When your work lines up across the organizational network, vertically and horizontally, the company can make huge strides. That is why it is essential to review OKRs with your peers to identify and resolve any assumptions and dependencies. Having another pair of eyes looking at them doubles the chances of alignment across the board. Once reviewed, make adjustments, lock down your OKRs and get cracking! 

Additional Resources

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