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OKR Template

A comprehensive guide on OKR templates and how to use them for setting and tracking team goals. Learn how to maximize your team's performance with our easy-to-follow OKR template and guide.
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Are you looking for a way to set and track goals for your team?

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) could be the answer.

OKRs have been used by companies to help their teams stay focused and achieve their goals by aligning them with business objectives. It is crucial to align OKRs with company goals to drive engagement, retention, and overall organizational performance.

Here we will explore the basics of OKRs and how they can help you and your team stay on track and reach your goals. You will also get access to our free OKR template.

What are objectives and key results (OKRs)?

John Doerr, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, is credited with first introducing OKRs in the late 1970s. He introduced the concept to Intel and Google, and it quickly became an essential tool for both companies. Today, many other organizations, including Amazon, Spotify, Twitter and us at Slite use OKRs to set goals, align teams with company objectives, and measure progress.

OKRs are a goal-setting system used by businesses to measure and track performance. They are also critical for strategic planning.

OKRs are used to set measurable and achievable goals that align with an organization’s objectives and key results:

  • The objectives (The “What”) are the overarching goals that the organization wants to achieve. See them as your big goals, the main things you want to accomplish.
  • The key results (The “How”) are the measurable results or outcomes that will be used to measure progression toward those objectives. The key results usually consist of a small number of quantifiable metrics. Typically, there are 3 to 5 per objective.

OKRs help to ensure that everyone involved with the organization is on the same page and working towards the same goals. They help to keep teams motivated and accountable, as well as help to track progress and ensure that goals are being met. OKRs provide a framework.

Additionally, OKRs can be used to measure the success of business initiatives, as well as to identify areas of improvement. They can drive innovation and foster collaboration.

What is an OKR template?

An OKR template is an excellent way for teams to develop and track goals. Customizable OKR templates can be tailored to the specific needs of a team's objectives and metrics, providing flexible frameworks and workspaces. It provides a structure for setting and measuring progress against them. The OKR templates include fields for setting objectives, identifying key results, assigning team members and roles, and tracking progression. It also allows for setting deadlines for each objective and for reporting.

An OKR template is an effective way to develop and monitor goals.

How do you write a good OKR?

To write good OKRs, we recommend setting and tracking goals using measurable key results. Measurable outcomes are crucial in the OKR framework as they focus on delivering desired results, promoting transparency, boosting productivity, and facilitating faster decision-making.

To write good OKRs we recommend following these 7 steps:

1. Align on your company's goals

Identifying your company’s goals before setting OKR’s is essential to ensure success.

Making goals visible and trackable to the entire team is crucial for alignment and accountability.

First, it is important to establish what the company’s overall mission is. This will provide a basis for the goals that need to be set and ensure they are in line with the company’s mission.

Next, the company should identify what they want to accomplish in the next year, quarter, or other designated timeline. OKRs will serve these goals and help you build a strategic planning.

2. Start with objectives

When setting relevant objectives for OKRs, it is important to consider the current business environment, the company’s goals you’ve identified previously, the team objectives, and the resources available.

The objectives should be SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound - and should also be challenging enough to stretch the team.

Set measurable and quantifiable measurable key results

When setting measurable and quantifiable key results for OKRs, it is important to consider the timeline, the desired outcome, and the resources available. Defining key metrics is crucial as they help in tracking progress and aligning larger business goals with product goals and the work of individual teams.

It is best to break down the overall objective into measurable chunks that can be tracked over the course of the timeline. This can include things such as the number of sales in a given period, the number of social media followers, or the number of new customers acquired.

It is also important to consider the resources available for achieving the objectives and to set realistic, achievable goals. For example, if the objective is to increase the number of customers, it should be broken down into specific steps like outreach, marketing, and promotion, each with their own measurable goals.

Once the objectives are broken down, measurable and quantifiable key results can be set that will help track progression and quantify success.

4. Check for clarity and alignment

Make sure that all of the objectives and key results defined are clear and aligned with the goals of the organization. Gather your team to ensure everyone understands what needs to be achieved and how it will be measured.

5. Document

Documenting OKRs is an important part of successfully achieving goals. When documenting OKRs, it is important to be specific. You can use our OKR template or create your own spreadsheet that outlines the objectives, key results, and timeline for each OKR.

This will make it easier for everyone involved to track progress and ensure that the desired results are achieved. Additionally, document any conversations, decisions, and feedback related to each goal for better communication, clarity, and transparency.

Hint: Slite is the perfect tool for this.

6. Track progress

It is important to track the progress of the objectives and key results (OKRs) in order to measure success. This should be done by setting up a system of tracking progress on the OKRs and then assessing progress at least once a month.

This tracking system should include regular check-ins with team members and stakeholders to ensure that goals are being met. Additionally, it should be used to track progress on individual objectives as well as overall OKR goals.

To make OKRs tracking easier, you should document everything (see step #6). Tools like Slite can help to provide clarity into OKRs to your team.

Finally, it is important to provide frequent and helpful feedback to employees and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.

7. Make sure to constantly review and adjust

When reviewing and adjusting OKRs, it is important to take a holistic approach. Begin the review process by looking at the goals that were set and the progress that has been made in the past period. This will help to identify any areas where objectives have been met or exceeded, as well as any areas that may need more focus.

After assessing the current progress, it is important to consider any changes in the environment, resources, or strategies that may affect the success of the objectives. Once any changes have been identified, the objectives should be adjusted accordingly (step #2).

Once the objectives are adjusted, it is important to review and adjust the key results (step #3) and update your OKR templates accordingly.

What are good OKR examples?

Looking for some inspiration to set your own OKRs? We got you covered! Using an OKR goal-setting template can help you create effective OKRs by aligning them with your company's mission, vision, and values.

Here are 5 some good OKR examples:

Increase customer satisfaction

Objective: Increase net promoter score (NPS) from x to y over the next semester

Key results:

  • Conduct customer satisfaction survey with at least x customers.
  • Reduce customer service response time by X%.
  • Increase customer retention rate by X%.

Reach break-even

Objective: Double MRR over the next year

Key results:

  • Increase customer acquisition by X%
  • Reduce customer churn by X%
  • Increase ARPA by X%

Increase user engagement

Objective: Increase user engagement by X% by the end of Q2

Key Results:

  • Increase average daily active users by X%
  • Increase average session length by X%
  • Increase user retention rate by X%

Enhance employee engagement:

Objective: Enhance employee engagement by X% by the end of Q2

Key Results:

  • Increase employee satisfaction ratings by X%
  • Increase engagement in team events and activities by X%
  • Increase employee retention rate by X%

Increase sales revenue

Objective: Increase sales revenue by X% year-over-year

Key Results:

  • Generate x sales qualified leads
  • Increase conversion rate to X%
  • Increase average order value by $X.

Common mistakes to avoid when setting OKRs

To help you sidestep these pitfalls, let's take a look at some of the most common mistakes teams make when setting OKRs:

Setting too many objectives

It's tempting to want to tackle everything at once, but setting too many objectives can actually be counterproductive. When your team is spread too thin, it's hard to make meaningful progress on any one goal.

As a general rule, aim for no more than 3-5 objectives per quarter. This allows your team to focus their energy and resources on the most important priorities, without getting bogged down in an endless list of tasks.

Making objectives too broad or vague

"Increase revenue" or "Improve customer satisfaction" are noble goals, but they're not specific enough to be effective OKRs. Without clear, measurable targets, it's impossible to know whether you're making progress or just spinning your wheels.

Instead, try to make your objectives as specific and quantifiable as possible. "Increase revenue by 20% in Q3" or "Achieve a Net Promoter Score of 8 or higher by the end of the quarter" are much more actionable and trackable.

Not involving the team in the OKR process

OKRs should never be handed down from on high like stone tablets. If your team doesn't have a say in setting their own goals, they're much less likely to be invested in achieving them.

Make sure to involve your team in the OKR process from the very beginning. Hold brainstorming sessions, solicit feedback and ideas, and give everyone a chance to weigh in on what they think is most important. Not only will this lead to better, more realistic OKRs, but it will also foster a sense of ownership and engagement across the team.

Failing to balance OKRs

"The hardest part for me was: crafting them in a way that they're be ambitious but achievable. That balance, that sweet spot, isn't easy to find."

- Elisa Reggiardo, Principal Partner & Content Marketing, Slite

It's hard to set OKRs. After all, you're trying to create a goal-setting structure for 100% of your company. And how do you ensure you don't go off in one tangent too much? What if your OKRs are too unrealistic? What if your OKRs aren't ambitious at all? The answer, always, is to go for something in the middle.

OKRs are not a "set it and forget it" kind of thing. The world moves fast, and what seemed like a top priority at the beginning of the quarter may be less relevant a few weeks later.

That's why it's crucial to regularly review and adjust your OKRs based on new information, changes in the market, or shifts in company strategy. Make sure to set aside dedicated time each week or month to check in on progress, identify any obstacles or roadblocks, and course-correct as needed.

By keeping your OKRs flexible and adaptable, you can ensure that your team is always working on the most impactful and relevant goals.

Final word (of caution) on OKRs

There's an upside of OKRs. But there's also the opposing camp:

Source: Ben Bear from X

A lot of employees feel OKRs are a time waste, that only slows things down. And they're not wrong.

Poorly implemented OKRs give relief to the leadership team and the investors. but anxiety to the actual doers of your who get work done. They take effort, weeks of aligning, and clear two-way communication to get right.

So, if you do plan to implement OKRs, run a survey with your team a month after implementation. Ask them a simple poll like:

Question: How's your experience with OKRs so far?

  1. Clarified a lot of things for me!
  2. Not very helpful
  3. Stressful, a bit unrealistic
  4. Hasn't impacted my work at all

And then, speak to the ICs, the junior-most members. Your OKR strategy wouldn't work if your team secretly hates it. So, really, the biggest part of doing OKRs well, is in the iteration, not the creation.

Your first OKR setting practice will be messy, a little confusing, and potentially frustrating. But if you collect insights, and keep improving them with time, you'll actually turn OKRs from a management gimmick to something that helps you work done.

Free OKR template

Are you ready to get started? It can be intimidating to know where to begin, and many teams struggle to work on OKRs collaboratively. Using an OKR tracking template in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets can help monitor progress effectively by providing flexibility, visualization features, and scoring methods.

That’s where Slite comes in. We’re passionate about helping teams work together seamlessly and achieve their goals. We’ve got an OKR template available for you. It looks great across all devices, is easy to customize and can be worked on collaboratively with ease. Give it a try!

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