How to Grade OKRs for Executional Excellence, the Google Playbook, Part 3, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

In 2014 Rick Klau of Google Ventures presented a 90-minute YouTube video, titled How Google Sets Goals. Since then, nearly a half million business executives have viewed the video. It is indisputable, although OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are in broad use today, no single company has done more to popularize the methodology than Google.

In his recent book “Measure What Matters”, Doerr gives us a peek at the Google OKR playbook. Want to gain further insights as to how you can use OKRs like Google for superior results at your company? Read on.

Key Insights into Google’s Playbook – Track & Grade for Success

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we explained the importance of setting the right Objectives and Key Results. Just as important as setting the right targets is continuous monitoring of performance and adapting as necessary.

Google has two types of OKRs, Committed and Aspirational. Committed OKRs are expected to score at 1.0, or 100% achievement. Aspirational goals are targeted to achieve a .7 grade, or 70% achievement. They use a color-coding system to track and grade performance; Red, Yellow, and Green.

For Committed goals, teams and individuals are expected to achieve 1.0 within the allocated time frame. If they are unable to do so, they must escalate the issue immediately. A Committed goal that achieves less than 100% requires a postmortem to improve future performance.

Aspirational OKRs are designed to take longer than one quarter to achieve. They will be rolled from quarter to quarter until the desired results are realized or revised. The Google Chrome Story is an excellent example of an aspirational OKR that rolled from year to year, until achievement.

Google expects its teams to be continuously monitoring OKR performance throughout the quarter, as well as grading at the end of the quarter. The frequent monitoring allows for course correction, while the final grading is a time for assessment and reflection on how to improve the process in subsequent quarters.

We hope this quick review of Google’s grading process was beneficial.

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!


Image Credit: Radek Španninger on Unsplash

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