Dispelling OKR Myths: OKRs Require Perfection

It is said that OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a simple methodology with a simple language. There are no hard and fast rules, and there is no GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). So, much of what has been written of OKRs, taught by consultants, and espoused by OKR Software providers, is open to interpretation. As a result, we have misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and outright “Myths” about the process.

This series of blogs will debunk many of the most prevalent misconceptions.

OKR Myth #2: You must write and word OKRs perfectly, and make sure your OKR process is perfect on day one.

In “Measure What Matters,” the author, John Doerr paraphrases Voltaire, “Don’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.” In the book, Doerr relates that even Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, struggled with OKRs and attempting to make them perfect. It’s not necessary, nor advisable. OKRs are designed to be adapted, modified, added to, even scratched entirely if market conditions dictate.

Key Results can be particularly difficult and time-consuming to perfect initially. But then again, perfection is not required provided your KRs are succinct, measurable, and time-bound. As Patton would say, “A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

OKRs are designed to foster an action orientation, a culture of accountability and achievement. Don’t delay execution waiting for divine inspiration. Over a few cycles, your teams will become more proficient with the process, and goal-setting will become easier and more natural to your teams.

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!


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