What are OKRs?

OKR Definition

OKRs are about strategy execution

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, a goal-setting framework to translate strategy into actions. It is used in all sorts of businesses and organisations to align and measure progress towards specific and measurable objectives. OKRs consist of an objective, a quantifiable key result, and a fixed cadence to set and align OKRs across teams. They help teams focus their efforts, track progress, and make data-driven decisions.

Why OKRs?


- Reach our vision and strategy

- Concentrate on the right things

- Handle growth

- Improve focus

- Better transparency

- Align dependencies across teams


- Understand the big picture and how you are able to contribute

- Clarity on what other teams and colleagues are working on

- Know what to focus on

- Measure success and learn from it

- Change things and improve the way you work as a team

- Have a voice, give input, try out new things and influence directions

 As a manager today, you need to plan, act and react faster than ever. Traditional annual planning cycles are outdated before they are signed off. Today, a manager has to deal with uncertainty more than ever before. Strategies and tactics have to be based even more on assumptions. Thus, we need a system to operationalise in an agile way. 

OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a management framework you might have heard of in connection with Google, LinkedIn, Oracle or Twitter. OKR is a simple, fast-cadence, bottom-up process that engages and facilitates prioritisation, collaboration, alignment, transparency, entrepreneurialism and the acceleration of outcomes in an organisation. Even if you are not Google, OKRs help to connect the strategic dimensions of vision, mission and the company´s strategy with the operational level. Main goal is to set clear focus for the next three months across an organisation´s management, throughout departments and employees in order to execute your strategies.


Even employees in agile, growing companies very often miss the clarity towards the bigger picture. Although this seems to be a typical  downside of much bigger multinational enterprises. OKRs help to provide the neccessary clarity for employees where their focus is on and what they contribute. With a disciplined goal setting process, the management integrates bottom-up input to decide where to concentrate on for the next 3 months. This way the vision, mission and strategy is being constantly translated into small digestable chunks. Furthermore they decide on resources across departments and avoid that employees or departments run behind opportunities off target.

OKR meaning

Business World is turning faster than ever before. Traditional annual business planning, target setting cycles and leadership methods are creating less impact. Organisations and managers need faster planning cycles and a common, modern leadership framework which fits to their team members. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) combine agile planning cycles with a modern leadership style and transparent goal setting in order to boost intrinsic motivation and to execute strategies successfully. 

In terms of leadership, our employees expect to understand the big picture and what's their contribution to it.  As a result, we will have difficulties to attract motivated and skilled employees in the future, if we stick to "old school" autocratic leadership styles.


OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) combine modern transformational leadership principles with an agile management approach. It fits perfectly to today's business world and it does fit to pretty much all organisation types. OKRs help to radically focus, align, motivate and accelerate output of organisations and teams with OKRs.

  • agility and strategy execution
  • operationalise Vision, Mission and Strategies
  • bottom-up and transparency to ignite intrinsic motivation
  • prioritise and focus
  • align goals across departments
  • improve collaboration

How to define OKRs?

OBJECTIVES = where do we want to go?

- Big themes for the quarter

- Set max 5 of them to focus, less is more

- Should be bold and easy to understand

KEY RESULTS = how do we know if we are getting there?

- How does success of your "O" look like and how to measure it?

- Must be clearly measurable at the end of the OKR cycle

- Set max 5 of them to focus, less is more

- Stretchy, but reachable

INITIATIVES = what will i do to get there?

- Tasks or milestones

- Your individual contribution

Quarterly OKRs examples (Q1)

end of

March, we

want to...

O: We want to

keep the team

world class

O: We want to

improve supply

chain costs

O: We reinforce

our business

lead sourcing

O: Hola, we

are in business

in Spain!




KR 1: less than

one un-planned


KR 1: reduce

COGs of

top 5 products

by 10%

KR 1: 1500 new

leads (500 per

month) via video

ads with

positive margin

KR 1: 6 open

positions filled

(3 onboarding, 3

contract signed)

KR 2: employee


index up one point

to 8/10

KR 2: bring down

overall storage

and transport cost

by 5%

KR 2: new

sourcing channel

via WhatsApp

is ready-to-use

KR 2: team is

in full operation

in our new office

KR 3: 360 degree

feedback system


KR 3: improve


margin rate from

11% to 15%

OKR best practice

OKRs will be a fixed part of our regular meeting rythm.


Set and forget - without regular follow-up and progress updates we will never achieve our OKRs.


Changing OKRs during the quarter dilutes focus, so we won´t change halfway.

OKRs describe outcome/ results and not tasks.


OKRs are not a list to show how busy you are.


OKRs are about the step changes of what your team is doing and not about daily activities (business as usual).


Dependencies between teams need to be aligned with OKRs.

Matrix Themes

About the author

Hannes Albrecht
A true pioneer in OKRs. Keynote speaker for OKRs, goals and result-based leadership. Specialised in enabling C-Levels and Management Teams to use OKRs successfully in order to execute strategy with radical focus. Experienced Manager with international background in various industries. Based near munich, Germany.

more info


Hannes Albrecht

Phone: +491729733253

eMail: hello@how-to-okr.com

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