The OKRs Blog... by Ben Lamorte

This blog is a resource for anyone using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) or considering using OKRs to make measurable progress on their most important goals at work. Given my background in software, driver-based planning, and financial modeling, I may add a post related to these topics from time to time as well.

Agile and OKRs
Felipe Castro: The Intersection of OKRs and Agile
Felipe Castro and I have discussed OKRs for hours over the phone. In early 2016, we first met in person at my childhoold home in San Anselmo, Califorrnia. Given that Felipe is from Brazil and my parents lived in Brazil back when they were in the Peace Corps, we all got together and shared a good meal and some stories. While I won't share the stories in this post, I'm pleased to share highlights from my recent discussions with Felipe on the intersection of Agile and OKRs.
OKRs Hipages. How many OKRs to set and at what level?
Hipages: How many OKRs? Individual level?
I’ve had dozens of conversations with users of OKRs from the land down under. However, my current project with the team at *Hipages,represents my first opportunity to work with an organization that is fairly mature in their use of OKRs in Australia. Hipages has used OKRs for well over a year and they've adjusted and refined their approach to OKRs several times. Though they can be painful at times, these iterations reflect an essential skill for any organization seeking to deploy OKRs. This skill is Hipages’ leadership culture of continuous, reflective learning that enables them to quickly refine and shape their OKRs model to best work for their organization.
Tips for making OKRs
Tips for making OKRs part of your DNA
Googlers often tell me, “we’ve used OKRs since we started… it’s part of our DNA.” But what if your company’s culture is already in place? How can OKRs become part of your DNA if your corporate culture is already established? Early in my OKRs journey, I felt that getting a software tool in place to manage OKRs was the critical step to making OKRs part of an organization’s DNA. However, I’m learning that while software can help, it’s certainly not the key requirement for creating a sustainable OKRs program.
2×2 Matrix for Deploying OKRs
As a management consultant, I learned that pretty much anything can be described in a 2x2 matrix. My 2x2 matrix for getting started with OKRs is finally here! 2x2 OKR Deployment Matrix This matrix evolved over the last few months after conversations with dozens of start-ups who either recently got started with OKRs or were in the process of planning their deployment. X-Axis: Single or Multiple OKRs. Christina Wodtke, a super-cool OKR expert and colleague, introduced me to the possibility of a single objective with just three key results.
Mission + OKRs = MOKRs
MOKRs: OKRs with a Mission
As part of the 2015 Engagement Game, I was asked to discuss how OKRs can connect (or not) with long-term goals. One of the best arguments for deploying Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is the emphasis on a shorter cycle. More frequent review cycles lead to more rapid learning, more opportunities to make progress and get a feeling of winning at work, and more places along the road to adjust course, shifting focus to what’s most important.
Don Sull talks OKRs at 2015 Goal Summit
Goal Summit 2015: Donald Sull on Goals 3.0
My last post featured key takeaways from Goal Summit 2015 on Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). I left the summit even more convinced that Betterworks is ushering in a new era of goal setting and transparency that will drive better execution. Donald Sull referred to this new era as "Goals 3.0" in his presentation titled: Goals 3.0: Harnessing the Power of Social to Get Work Done. MIT researcher and management expert Donald Sull discusses the effects of technology on the evolution of MBOs and goal-setting.
John Doerr on OKRs
Goal Summit 2015: John Doerr & Kris Duggan on OKRs
BetterWorks held its first Goal Summit last week. Kris Duggan, BetterWorks CEO, opened up the event by proposing a goal system that is more open, measurable, and frequently updated. Duggan explained how making everyone’s goals visible to everyone in the organization can reduce politics and silo effects at work. I left the summit even more convinced that Betterworks is ushering in a new era of goal setting and collaboration that will drive better execution. Donald Sull, who gave one of the two presentations I will be discussing in this series of articles, refers to this new era as "Goals 3.0".
How many OKRs will you focus on?
How Many OKRs Should You REALLY Have?
All OKRs experts agree that Key Results must be measurable and time bound. Nonetheless, certain elements of OKRs are not so clear. Let's look at one of the hottest debates: the optimal number of OKRs. How many OKRs should you really have? OKRs experts including Christina Wodtke claim companies should manage just one Objective and its Key Results. John Doerr and the folks at Google recommend that each team has at most 5 Objectives with 4 Key Results per Objective. Jeff Walker, the Oracle CFO who helped take Oracle from $20M to over $1B in the late 80s, claims that each team should have 5-6 Objectives with 15-20 Key Results per Objective!