how many OKR objectives?

We admire the real world explanation in this video by Vivino’s founder, Heini Zachariassen.

As much as we admire the approach of Vivino, most organizations will cascade OKRs to most if not all leaders in the organization.  We’ve found 3 to 8 objectives per leader per quarter is about right, with each objective having 1 to 5 key results.

As explained in this article, remember:

  • OKRs are for working on the business
  • KPIs are what you measure, so you know what to work on

rolling out OKRs org-wide

If you decide to rollout OKRs to every employee, you can do that easily in #stratapp because:

  • OKRs can be organized around your org design – then filtered by org design, your teams, you and status
  • Key Results can be cascaded down to multiple levels, with the progress automatically rolling up to calculate the progress at each level
  • OKRs can align to any level of your strategy tree, or be standalone
  • OKR execution takes place in the same workspace – so you can get it done and leaders can support their teams with encouragement, feedback and removing blockers

Before you do this, please read top 5 don’ts on OKRs.

why so few OKR objectives?

OKRs are about focusing your resources on objectives that are ambitious and inspiring. Objectives that your people and teams can rally behind, in a way that captures their imagination on what might be possible.

Rather than running 10 or 20 projects concurrently, the OKR philosophy is to channel your valuable time, energy, creativity, intellect and hard work into the things that really matter. Doing this aligns everybody and it should create a massive positive impact.

To fuel a thriving culture of creativity, risk taking and open collaboration, best practice is to completely decouple OKRs from employee remuneration (which we talk about here).

Whilst you may have many KPIs, less is more when it comes to OKRs (see also OKRs vs KPIs).

how many key results per OKR?

Most OKR objectives can be measured with 1 to 5 key results per objective.

In #stratapp, you can cascade key results below each other.

That said, we recommend stopping at two levels of key results below each objective. In most cases, one level of key results will suffice.

ownership of OKRs

You can assign different owners to objectives and their cascading key results in #stratapp.

You can add members and guest users to each objective and key result card; of course, guest users can only see the cards they have been added to.

#stratapp is powered by org design, so you can add org design attributes to each objective and key result. This allows you to filter the OKR dashboard by org design – so you can quickly view the progress of the company, your teams and the OKRs you own.

#stratapp powered by org design also means the app can seamlessly scale with clients from 5 to 500,000 employees. You don’t have to remember people’s names in order to collaborate with them, and to make sure that they’re not left out or behind.

confidentiality on OKRs

Best practice is to run your OKR program transparently, company-wide.

#stratapp makes this easy, but you can also control who can see what if you need to.

That is, the 4 levels of security inside #stratapp, also apply to our OKR module. That is, the creator/assignor/owner of each objective or key result can select 1 of 4 levels:

  • restricted – visible org-wide, anyone can contribute to the right-hand-side social section on each card
  • confidential – visible to members only, members can invite members
  • secret – visible to members only, only the owner can invite members
  • top secret – same as secret, guest users cannot be invited

progressive rollouts of OKRs

#stratapp also allows you to rollout your OKR implementation progressively.

For example, you might want to share all or part of the strategy tree, but for the first two quarters keep the OKR rollout limited to the top 3 levels of management – until you get a better feel for the methodology and how best to apply it.

Once again the power of having org design built into #stratapp comes into play. You can easily turn on/off the different modules of #stratapp, selecting who can see what based on your org design.

For example, most clients start with social and work collaboration, then add ideation, the strategy tree and OKRs, then the “our why” and “direction” pages under strategy.

We recommend reading how to successfully implement OKRs in 7 steps.