How to write Objective and Key results (OKRs)

By John Petty | November 17, 2022

Asana okr goals

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. An OKR can cover many different aspects of the business. It can increase revenue, improve public image, increase customer retention or growth, improve the company's internal function, or adapt the company better to the market.

What is an OKR?

 

OKRs are multi-directional; there should be input from all team members on what the OKR should be. This can create a lot of discourse and discussion. The end result will be writing OKRs that are specific to the needs of each individual and team. The OKR should be written to structure your organisation's goals. The more specific you can be, the easier it is for you to deliver on your goals.

An OKR as a goal is dual-faceted. It needs something to work towards (an objective) and a measurable/tangible outcome (Key Result). That may seem obvious but it is important in understanding the different aspects to consider when writing them.

 

 

Top tips for OKR goals:

  1. Keep them Simple

    Keeping your OKRs simple is important. This means that your teams have a clear understanding as to how they can operate and achieve those goals in their day to day work.

    If too complex, people will not understand the purpose of the goal or how best to achieve it. Storing OKRs somewhere for the whole company to view and explaining what they are is essential to the key results being met.
  2. Be Specific

    When setting objectives it is effective to brainstorm different ways achieve them. Draw out your best plan, specific to achieving your objectives. For a key result, decide how performance can be assessed.

    If you are specific then the expectations will be so much clear. Concise objectives makes you able to know exactly what is required of you for the goals.
  3. Have clear deliverables

    Key results need a measurement. It could be to create 2 blogs per week or to reach a specific target in revenue.

    You need to be able to clearly see whether a goal has really been reached or not. Managers, teams and employees can confer and flexibly add metrics to quantify the goals.
  4. Breakdown into Smaller Goals

    Create sub-goals for your key results. Understanding what you have to do to achieve your key results is imperative to achieving an objective. These mini-goals act as milestones. (see Asana).

    If a goal's too broad, it is hard to complete them and it is easy to let them slip. Having smaller steps and work towards means you can hold yourself more accountable to doing the work needed.
  5. Acknowledge Achievement

    Given recognition to anyone who completes a milestone or achieves their goal. Positive reinforcement sustains best practices, people need to feel valued. Waiting until the end of an objective to reward the people hitting their goals is less satisfying.

    It also means you cannot motivate them as they are in the process of completing their objective. Celebrating incremental progress is much more effective. All co-workers should share their OKRs internally and externally to create a support system within your team.

 

How to use Asana for OKRs:

 

 

Asana is a work management tool, used by all kinds of businesses. There are various features in Asana that allows you to create OKR goals.

First of all, Asana divided your organisation into different sections. Therefore, you can set OKRs at the organisation, team and individual level. Project templates for OKRs are available within Asana, acting as a goal checklist for different sections of the business. 

Asana uses the SMART methodology for their goals. This means they must be:

  • Simple
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound

When writing an OKR it is therefore necessary to check that it fits the parameters of the smart methodology, otherwise it may be hard to meet.

The Goals feature in Asana is essential when laying out an OKR.

 

 

Asana goals are intrinsicly linked to OKRs. You can therefore write them out using this feature. 

Goals allows you to align your teams around objectives and prioritizing work. Goals help your entire organization to see how their work contributes to the overall objectives of the company through their own work towards.

Set, track, and manage both company-wide and team goals. Company goals are more long-term and tie to achieving your organization’s mission. Team goals are more short-term that build up to your company’s mission-objectives.

Goals can be linked to sub-goals, to create a goal hierarchy, and to projects and tasks can be added to make a connection between goals and a project's work.

For a complete guide on Asana goals, click here.

Asana okr goals

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