Today, the OKR framework is one of the most popular goal setting approaches among product and business leaders. By design, OKRs inform many practical aspects of a product roadmap while simultaneously uniting teams around inspiring and ambitious goals.
OKRs’ ability to align teams is a central part of their appeal. Employees are more effective when they can align themselves with the business’s priorities, so mastering the art of writing OKRs is an effective way to set your entire organization up for success.
OKRs aren’t complex, but writing them requires an organized approach. Below we’ll help you start documenting, tracking, and scoring OKRs with an easy-to-use and customizable template.
Before we dive into a template, here is a high-level review of OKR’s key terms and concepts.
Objectives and key results
These two terms are what the acronym stands for. Objectives are concise statements of your goals and what you intend to achieve. They should be broad yet inspirational—and aspirational.
Key Results are milestones that are necessary to realize your objectives. Key results have to be measurable and time-bound, and most teams commit to three-to-five over a month, quarter, or year.
Why OKRs are important
OKRs are important because they synthesize your team (or company) goals into specific and measurable actions and priorities. They help you define what your team is aiming for, how you’ll get there and, in the process, create a framework that everyone can use to track progress and guide work.
As a result, OKRs promote better stakeholder visibility, greater alignment across your organization, and more optimal workflows for teams and individuals.
Who should be involved in creating OKRs
Who is ideally involved in OKR planning depends on whether you’re deciding on company-level OKRs, team or department OKRs, or personal OKRs.
For company-level OKRs, all executive leaders, project managers, and department leaders should be involved in creating them. Company-level OKRs are the most difficult to coordinate and finalize because of their scope and how critical they are to a business’s success, so these require an “all-hands-on-deck” focus.
For something like a product team’s OKRs, it’s best to include everyone on the product team in OKR creation in some way. It's especially important to include team members who will own metrics, but feedback and input from cross-functional team members (like designers and developers) is also helpful. Decision-making for OKRs, however, should lie with team managers and senior executives.
Become the leading furniture store on the west coast
Increase sales in the region by 20% by the end of Q4
Grow average spend per customer from $1.5K to $3K
Run two product promotions per quarter
Conduct brand audit in Q3
For a more detailed explanation on getting started with your OKR planning, view our resource on “how to write OKRs”.
There’s more to OKRs than writing them down. You also have to continuously document, track, and score your OKRs to keep everyone on your team in sync with their timelines and prioritization.
This constant documentation and tracking for your OKRs can feel like grunt work, but using customizable OKR software can save time, maintain accuracy, and free you to focus on goals rather than administrative tasks. With Airtable’s OKR template, formatting and updating your OKRs is a cinch.
A good OKR template walks you through all of the basic steps to create solid OKRs and ensures crisp formatting. Those steps include:
Writing down your goal
Setting a time period to achieve that goal
Choosing three to five key results
Assigning owners for each key result
Let’s take a closer look at how our OKR template helps you document, track, and score your OKRs.
Airtable’s OKR template contains all of the relevant columns and fields you will need to document your objectives and key results clearly and succinctly. From goal to leads to percentage complete, teams will have at-a-glance access to progress.
Notice that a variety of columns, fields, and customization options are laid out in a simple interface, with editing as easy as a click of a button.
You can toggle between different views and expand / collapse rows as needed, which helps you organize multiple OKRs for your organization.
Add, edit, and monitor progress notes in a designated “Progress” column, which is clearly viewable alongside other relevant information for OKR tracking such as Key Result Owner, Blockers, and % Completion.
Add custom views of your OKR tracking sheet to a dedicated “Check-in” tab, so progress updates and key results’ statuses are handy for the next team check-in meeting.
When scoring OKRs, you’ll want to know its “Status” and “% Complete”; both have their own columns in our OKR Template. Plus, you can sort, filter, and easily edit whenever you need to see what you've achieved.
Multiple templates and manual customizations aren’t necessary when you have the flexible capabilities of Airtable.
Setting the right goals and managing them well is one of the most critical challenges facing all product leaders. It brings these questions to mind regularly:
How do I know my goals aren’t too easy or too difficult?
How do I rally my team around the goals we set?
How do I make sure my team is taking the proper steps to hit them?
How do I promote goal transparency in my organization?
OKRs are a not-so-secret weapon to answer these questions.
OKRs are perfect for developing and designing product roadmaps, and they seamlessly mesh with agile workflow methodologies. OKRs also help align your employees around a shared business purpose, which helps them work more effectively.
Download Airtable and begin designing product roadmaps and OKRs today.
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