The OKR methodology, known in English as Objectives and Key Results, is a business management methodology. This focuses on the simplification of the objectives, trying to identify the main ones and priorities for the company.
The OKR methodology is a business management methodology based on the simplification of those objectives that a company has, and from which those priority and main objectives that the company must meet, and on which it must focus and, therefore, must be extracted. prioritize.
This management methodology was developed by former Intel CEO Andrew Grove. This, in the 90s, designed it, and very soon, companies such as Google or LinkedIn, as well as other large firms, began to use it to define their objectives.
Although its use has spread over time, the truth is that these companies mentioned began to use the OKR methodology when they were still very premature. In this sense, it is worth clarifying that this methodology can be used in SMEs, as well as in smaller companies.
Main characteristics of the OKR methodology
Once we have known what this methodology is, let’s see its main characteristics to consolidate this concept:
- It is a business management technique.
- It serves to organize work.
- Classify the objectives and simplify their achievement.
- Prioritize those goals that are primary.
- It was created by the former CEO of Intel.
- It has been used by companies like Google or LinkedIn.
- It is easily adaptable in smaller companies.
How does the OKR methodology work?
All companies have goals. These objectives mark, roughly, the path that the company must follow, as well as the main steps or main stages that the company must develop to achieve what is proposed.
However, on many occasions, we talk about very ambitious objectives, and in which it is difficult for us to define the lines of action to achieve them. To do this, we use this methodology.
So, let’s look at a practical case:
Let’s imagine that we are a consulting company, and we want to increase our presence in the media. The objective, therefore, is to increase our presence in the media.
This objective is very ambiguous, so we must establish a series of steps to achieve it.
Following the OKR methodology, we break down the general objective into various steps, which go from lowest to highest, depending on how ambitious they are.
So, let’s look at an example:
- Increase our presence in the media.
- KR1 : Create a website, as well as a blog to publish articles.
- KR2 : Position our page in Google, increasing our traffic.
- KR3 : Increase our presence in networks, making our brand reach the media.
- KR4 : Start by regional media, offering free articles.
- KR5 : Achieve 5 appearances in national media, promoting the attraction of clients.
Thus, the OKR methodology has broken down the main objective into measurable and achievable steps, allowing the pursued objective to be achieved more comfortably, and with greater control over the achievement of the different stages.
Aspects to consider
Likewise, it is convenient to highlight some aspects to take into account when using this methodology:
- The objectives must be measurable, and their results as well.
- They must be ambitious goals.
- The employees involved must agree to the objectives.
- The objectives must be public, therefore, for all the members who participate in them.
- Goals are used to better track results.
- We recommend 5 KR (Key results) per target, for the sake of simplicity.
- These KRs must be updated, depending on the results that we obtain in previous steps.
Other methodologies: SMART
The OKR methodology is similar to other methodologies that, like this one, try to organize the work carried out by a company.
In this sense, other techniques such as SMART, as with OKR, are used to simplify very ambitious objectives and establish measurable steps, less ambitious, and, therefore, achievable for the company.
Thus, the SMART technique receives its name from the acronyms that make up this word:
- S = Specific : It means that the objectives must be specific.
- M = Measurable : Shows that the objectives must be measurable.
- A = Achievable : It means that we must set achievable goals.
- R = Relevant : It shows us that those established objectives must be relevant to the organization.
- T = Timely : It tells us that the objectives must be established and measured in time. That is, we must set deadlines.
This technique, like the OKR, helps us to simplify the objectives, establishing processes to facilitate their achievement.