Implementing OKR goals? Here are the most common questions with brief responses to help you effectively establish the best practices throughout your business.Here are the most common questions with brief responses to help you effectively establish the best OKR practices throughout your business.

Managers and executives often take to Quora to pose questions about Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

To help you implement the goal setting practice effectively in your company, we’ve compiled the most common questions with brief responses below:

  • What are OKRs and how did they originate?
    OKRs are a goal setting framework used to help companies accelerate results and keep their teams aligned with and focused on key company priorities. An early version of OKRs was developed by Andy Grove at Intel in the 1970s. Google and many other companies have since adopted the practice.
  • How can I set OKRs effectively?
    Identify your company’s topmost current priority. This is your Objective. Break it down into one to three measurements you can use to quantify the achievement of that priority. These are your Key Results. Repeat this process, cascading down OKRs to department, team, and individual contributor level. For best results, use both aspirational and operational Objectives. Each team and individual should limit Objectives to three to five, and Key Results for each to one to three.
  • What are the advantage of OKR goal setting?
    Benefits include greater focus, company-wide alignment, improved performance, accelerated results, and higher employee engagement levels.
  • Which OKR tool is the best?
    The answer varies depending on your company’s unique needs, as each SaaS solution has its own advantages. Atiim’s goals software, for instance, facilitates an ongoing feedback loop amongst managers and their teams to support goal tracking and management.
  • Can OKRs be used with KPIs?
    Companies using OKRs are automatically also using KPIs, because KPIs (key performance indicators) are simply measures which are naturally encompassed in the Key Results portion of the OKR. The Key Result simply quantifies KPIs.
  • How do top companies prioritize OKRs?
    Companies like Google allow direct contributors to set about half of their own Objectives. They also encourage teams to seek highly ambitious goals by asking them to set Objectives that are roughly 70 percent achievable. At the end of the quarter, the outcome of the OKR process informs the decisions for goal setting for the next quarter.
  • What’s Google’s OKR methodology?
    From direct contributors all the way up to top-level executives, Googlers use the methodology described in the previous answer to achieving aggressive goals. Even when OKRs aren’t fully completed, they’re often viewed as a success because they were knowingly set to be aggressive and beyond employees’ comfort zones.
  • Can you use OKRs on a shorter time frame than quarters?
    Your OKR timeline will depend on your organization’s existing rhythm. A monthly or six-week cycle may be doable, but many companies choose the quarterly time frame because it allows employees to dedicate one week each to complete 10 percent of OKRs, with an additional grace period of two to three weeks.

  • What can I do as a CEO to help my teams achieve their Objectives?Use OKRs. Track employees’ progress and acknowledge their successes, both large and small. Don’t micromanage, but step in to course-correct to help them avoid obstacles. Combining OKRs with a weekly pulse report and one-on-one meetings creates a robust and effective approach to performance management. In doing so, you’ll provide complete clarity on expectations and company priorities, while also offering ongoing coaching for support.

What else would you like to know about OKR goals? Be sure to comment and let us know if there any other topics you’d like to see addressed that weren’t mentioned above.

If you’re a CEO, an executive, a middle-manager, or a front-line manager of any team, take a look at how you can improve your team alignment, performance, and results through OKR goals and ongoing performance management and find out more about Atiim OKR Pulse TM.