I briefly touched on Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) in my 2020 - Year in Review blog post. Below, I will dive deeper into what I have planned for 2021.
What is OKR?
The Wikipedia article for OKR defines it as a goal-setting framework for defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes. It is often used in businesses to set goals (objectives) and measurable steps to achieve these goals (key results). At the company level, an objective may be to have 500 new customers by the end of the year. Throughout the company departments, sub-objectives and key results are defined that all work towards that company objective. The marketing team may have a key result of “Hold two webinars per month to introduce new product features” whereas the development team may have a key result of “Achieve a Lighthouse score of 90 across all metrics.” A high Lighthouse score leads to a better user experience and hence, a higher conversion rate whereas the marketing team shares what’s new with the world - both result in getting a step closer to 500 new customers.
Your objectives must be clearly defined and your 3 - 5 key results must be measurable as seen in the two examples above. To contrast, here are two bad key results:
- Marketing team: “Introduce new features”
- Development team: “Improve Lighthouse score” These are bad key results because you cannot measure their progress or success. “Introduce how many features? How often?” and “Improve the Lighthouse score by how much?”
If you can assign a progress percentage to your key results, you likely have a good key result.
Why create personal OKRs?
I used personal OKRs for the first time in 2020 and despite everything that happened in the world, I had one of the most productive and successful years in my life. Check my 2020 - Year in Review blog post for full details.
Without goals and concrete, small steps towards these goals, living life is like driving a ship in the ocean without navigational assistance. You move (read: you get older), but you don’t really know which way you go or whether you actually make progress.
What to expect in 2021
Towards the end of each quarter, I will plan the key results for the upcoming quarter. Check back frequently at the link below to see what quarterly OKRs I define and whether I achieved the current quarter’s OKRs. See me succeed or fail 😀.
Why share my OKRs publicly?
I see three benefits:
- Encourage others
- Personal accountability
- See me fail in public - maybe
The main reason to share this publicly is to encourage you to think about OKRs for your life. I had great success at work for many years and exceeded my personal expectations of 2020 thanks to OKRs.
I allow comments on the pages so if you have questions, you can leave comments right on the Notion pages. I’ll answer whatever comes up there.
I also allow duplication of these pages. Click the “Duplicate” button at the top right to create a copy in your own Notion account. All you need to do is update the databases to match your own objectives and key results. If you do that, please drop me a note on Twitter or in the comments below to let me know. I’d love to see how many people I encouraged 🙏.
I am generally pretty good at following through with a plan I set in motion so this is not really a reason to publish publicly. However, for people who are good at procrastinating, sharing OKRs publicly is a great way to feel a bit of social pressure to make sure you work on your goals.
See me fail in public - maybe
I think where it gets interesting is if I don’t achieve my objectives and run a retrospective to determine what went wrong. This is where sharing it all publicly will add a lot of value to people who follow me. You know, it is like when someone writes code on stage in real-time and every single attendee pays close attention and waits for an error to show up on the screen 😂. By the way, based on personal experience, this is the best way to get everyone’s undivided attention!
Always learn, always grow!