How to Set Effective OKRs – Samples for Various Departments

Invariably, when working with new clients, their first questions are:

  • “How do we get started setting Objectives?”
  • “What makes the most effective initial OKRs?”
  • “Do you have examples of good OKRs for our various departments?”

At Atiim we’re more than happy to answer these questions. In fact, in most executions we provide you with a dedicated Customer Service Manager that guides you through the onboarding process, helps with employee education and training, and works alongside your team to set and cascade your initial OKRs.

In this article, we’ll provide inspiration on how to apply OKRs at your company. We have prepared a comprehensive list of OKR samples for various departments. We focused these samples on senior level roles as it’s obvious how the OKRs would cascade to teams and individuals based on who has ownership of the Key Results.

An OKR best practice is to start with the Top Corporate Objectives which are then cascaded to department or team OKRs. The resulting department, team, and individual OKRs must be aligned with, in support of, and contribute to the top company priorities.

How to Set OKRs

In “Measure What Matters,” author John Doerr, who introduced the OKR process to Google, states how we should be setting OKRs:

I will (OBJECTIVE name) as measured by (a set of KEY RESULTS)

Think of the Objective in OKRs as a “strategic theme,” a broad, overarching, qualitative headline of what is to be achieved. The Objective’s Key Results resemble KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), what you might typically consider an MBO.

Best practices dictate that top company Objectives are limited to 3-5 Objectives for the period. Each Objective is then supported by 1-3 Key Results. To illustrate we’ll start with some top corporate Objectives.

Top Corporate Objectives Samples:

  • Grow Our Global Business
  • Increase Recurring Revenues
  • Improve Profitability
  • Delight Our Customers
  • Introduce New Products
  • Build a Great Corporate Culture
  • Improve Earnings per Share
  • Standardize Our Processes
  • Increase Market Share

We think you can visualize how the KRs for these Top Corporate Objectives would cascade to department heads, teams, and individuals. For instance, an Objective that addresses Profitability would have KRs relating to increased revenues (Sales Department), controlled or reduced costs, such as Costs of Goods, or SG&A (Finance), customer retention (Marketing or Customer Service), and so forth. The key to effective KRs are specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound.

Marketing Department Samples of Objectives:

  • Generate More Marketing Qualified Leads
  • Optimize Customer Acquisition Results
  • Implement an Account Based Marketing System
  • Improve our Pay per Click Performance
  • Improve our SEO Results
  • Improve our Blog Strategy

Sales Manager Objectives Samples:

  • Grow Sales in the Central Region
  • Implement the New Selling Process
  • Exceed Prior Year’s Sales Revenue
  • Upgrade Sales Organization
  • Hire Three New District Managers

Human Resource Objectives:

  • Create a Culture of Achievement
  • Improve Employee Retention
  • Upgrade to A Players in Strategic Positions
  • Make Managers More Effective
  • Improve Internal Communications

Engineering Department Objectives:

  • Launch the New Product Architecture
  • Build a World Class Engineering Team

Product Management Objectives:

  • Launch the New Product Successfully
  • Develop a New Product Vision
  • Improve Product Training Modules

Customer Success Department Objectives:

  • World Class Customer Support
  • Improve the Onboarding Process
  • Track Critical Support Metrics

Finance Department Objectives:

  • Improve Annual Budgeting Process
  • Streamline Financial Reporting Process
  • Control Corporate Expenses

Operations Department Objectives:

  • Improve our IT and Infrastructure
  • Develop a Team of A Players in the IT Department

We hope the above samples of OKRs help generate ideas for your Objectives. Should you require more examples, feel free to reach out to us.

Are you responsible for setting and executing goals at your company? Do you set strategy and track performance? 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: Unsplash

 

 

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