How to Use OKRs for 10X Results, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

Google has been using the OKR methodology for nearly twenty years. In the Forward to “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr, Larry Page states that “OKRs have led us to 10X results many times over. They’ve kept me and the rest of the company on time and on track.” Is your company facing competitive challenges, looking to disrupt a business model, or seeking superior results? Read on, and we’ll illustrate how Objectives and Key Results helped YouTube scale to over one billion users.

The Gospel of 10X

Susan Wojcicki was Google employee #16, and has been called by Time magazine, “the most powerful woman on the internet.” She was a visionary who perceived how online video would disrupt network television. In 2014 she was appointed as the new CEO of YouTube and inherited a true 10X Google Objective, to reach one billion hours of people watching video, per day.

The OKR methodology was deployed in pursuit of the Objective every step of the way. The Key Result, “watch time” became the key measurable metric, and the Objective was set for a four-year horizon, with a quarterly OKR cadence.

The goal required rigorous attention to detail and the structure and discipline of the OKR methodology. Although the Objective was top-down, there was tremendous input from experts on the team as to how to get there.

Today YouTube has scaled to more than one billion users, nearly a third of the people on the internet. It’s available in some seventy languages in over eighty countries. The billion-hour daily watch time “moonshot”, supported by leadership, owned by the YouTube team, tracked and measured religiously was achieved in advance of its target date.

Let’s take a quick inventory of OKR principles deployed:

  • Buy-in from leadership
  • Key Result; specific, measurable, aspirational, relevant, time bound
  • Quarterly cadence
  • Frequent Check-Ins on progress/course corrections
  • Top-Down and Bottom-Up input
  • Alignment throughout the entire organization
  • Employee engagement

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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