How To Write OKRs? Step-By-Step

All businesses have objectives. Sometimes they are internal, like creating a fantastic culture. A great customer experience is an example of an external goal that can also be present. However, achieving those objectives requires more than just putting your intentions out there; you also need a plan. Writing OKRs is a skill you must master.

Teams and organizations can achieve their goals by using the collaborative framework of OKRs, which stands for Objectives, Key Results, and Results. By design, the OKR framework collaborates across teams to establish a standard that the entire business can use. Setting OKRs is a challenging and thought-provoking process, but the framework is straightforward. To learn how to write OKRs, read this article.

What Is An OKR?

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is the abbreviation for a goal-setting and tracking methodology that aids teams in developing a transparent, accountable, and collaborative approach to achieving business results.

The OKR framework’s emphasis on outcomes rather than outputs is the main factor contributing to its adoption by organizations like LinkedIn, Adobe, and Amazon. Adopt an outcome-driven approach when considering how to write OKRs. Instead of listing various activities, concentrate on the outcomes that have a real impact on the bottom line.

Your goal will be attained through activities, initiatives, plans, projects, deliverables, milestones, or tactics. Although your output cannot be used to gauge your success, you can assess the value they add to your company’s operations.

Because of this, your attention should be on the outcomes, which are the quantifiable results you anticipate from your output.

It is easier to prioritize tasks and work more efficiently when you are aware of your goals. Because of this, the OKR framework excels at bringing teams together and keeping the attention on what matters most.

Interrelationship Between OKRs And Other Measurement Frameworks

It is easier to understand the meaning and context of OKRs when it’s compared with other measurement frameworks and business tools:


KPIs are still important, even though OKRs exist alongside them and have their own functions. In order to monitor business performance metrics, KPIs are required, and OKRs specify the areas that need to be improved.

Because of this, many best-in-class businesses use various tools to manage their business objectives. Using spreadsheets and/or data analytics platforms to track KPIs and specialized software like Weekdone to define and monitor OKRs would be the ideal combination.

To communicate updates on your most crucial monetary goals, you can also record your KPIs to the KPI block in Weekdone. You can set your OKRs in a different view to make it simpler for the team to stay on task and develop initiatives to advance the Key Results.

how to write okrs

OKRs Vs. Task Management

It might be tempting to arrange tasks for all teams in a hierarchical view of job responsibilities in an effort to bring everyone together toward the same objective.

You should be aware that this hierarchical view is a waterfall structure of cascaded outputs (i.e. tasks and activities) and KPI objectives, not OKRs. This method merely keeps track of activities without explaining how they increase business value.

If you are wondering where to begin and “How to come up with OKRs”, follow this simple process:

  1. Create a Company Objective
  2. Allow teams to develop their objectives and key results based on the company objective. Keep in mind that team-level goals, not individual ones, must be used to set OKRs.
  3. Make sure teams document their efforts to achieve Key Results.
  4. Align company and team objectives

You do not have to cascade tasks and assign responsibilities when using the OKR hierarchy. As a leader, you can decide on the course of your company while allowing teams to develop their own OKRs to support those goals.

What Characteristics Characterize An Effective OKR?

Let’s get into the specifics of what distinguishes good OKRs from bad ones now that you are familiar with the format of an OKR. You may have noticed that each key result in our example culture OKR is quantifiable, specific, and time-bound. These are a few key characteristics that make up good OKRs:


A good OKR must, at its core, be measurable. If your OKRs aren’t distinctly measurable, it will be challenging to determine your success. How will you know if your OKRs were successful if you don’t know whether you’ve been successful? Or where to go next?

Keep tabs on how you’re doing in relation to the goal. Make sure there is a quantifiable way to measure success, whether it be a score like eNPS, the number of support tickets for a product, or the number of customer interviews conducted.


It is not appropriate to lower expectations when writing effective OKRs. The mantra “no risk, no reward” applies to OKRs.

Writing effective OKRs often involves setting stretch objectives for the team. These are goals that are slightly beyond what you and your team think you’re capable of accomplishing. But don’t worry about getting that 100%. Later in the post, we’ll discuss what OKR success looks like.


This isn’t the time to get fancy; every OKR you set must be simple enough for your team to comprehend. Clear, concise, and easily readable OKRs are required. The goal should be clear, and the key findings should demonstrate your tracking methods and the data you are tracking without further explanation.

Consistently Reviewed

It will be very challenging to achieve your OKRs if no one remembers them.

The most critical part of writing OKRs isn’t how you write them. It’s how you use them. Regularly reviewing OKRs will ensure that they remain important and that your team is aware of your progress. As part of weekly stand-up meetings or 1:1s, we advise including OKR review.

5 Steps To Write Great OKRs

The process of developing OKRs ought to be collaborative. Here is a step-by-step instruction manual to help you prepare for writing OKRs with your team.

how to write okrs

Step 1: Have The Goal Conversation

Sit down with your team and ask them, “What three tasks must we complete in the upcoming three months?” Then, keep asking them why it’s important, and ask them several times.

Leaders can get their teams to share valuable information about the specific goal they’re working to achieve by repeatedly asking them “why.” If your team collectively understands the “why” on a deeper level, you’re likely to end up with better active statements and gain greater commitment.

For example, perhaps one objective is “An iOS application will be released.” That’s a fantastic goal, but it doesn’t inspire me. So we ask the question, “Why does that matter?”

The more profound answer is, “It matters because there’s been a drop-off in customer engagement and our customers prefer mobile” Or, “it matters because to stay viable in the market, we need to have a mobile presence and a native app to meet our customers where they expect us to be.”

So a new objective might be, “By releasing a fantastic iOS app, we’ll win back our customers.”

Step 2: Prepare Draft Goals And Share Them With The Team

To start the discussion, publish a draft of the objectives in advance and then solicit feedback from your team. At times, reviewing work in progress is much harder than staring at a blank sheet of paper.

During this sharing exercise, instead of asking, “Have, you got any queries or remarks?” consider asking your team to “please suggest one or more variations that would improve this objective.” Allowing your team to participate and have their opinions taken into account when creating the OKRs.

Step 3: Conduct A Team Brainstorm To Set Key Results

Including the team in the process of setting key results is a good idea. A brainstorming session for OKRs instills a sense of ownership in your team, encourages accountability, and motivates them to be invested in the goals they establish.

Step 4: Debate Key Result Ideas Collectively

Bring out the sticky notes or the digital whiteboard when defining the key outcomes for each goal. Until you find the right degree of difficulty to challenge the team, have each team member make notes, then take turns sharing and discussing their metrics.

Step 5: Don’t “cascade” OKRs Down The Org Chart

Cascading OKRs throughout the organization is alluring. However, teams are not thinking creatively, taking risks, or demonstrating initiative if all of your objectives can be arranged into a pretty parent-child tree. Additionally, it prevents organizational alignment and widespread buy-in.

Instead, think about bottom-up OKR development alignment. Before gathering the organization to discuss and challenge how well teams at every level of the organization are aligning their OKRs with your overarching vision, invite them to define their own. It’s acceptable that not all OKRs within the organization will coincide with the corporate level.

In the end, you want to establish a process where teams feel empowered to develop their OKRs and then challenge teams throughout the organization to make sure they are concentrating on the appropriate priorities at the appropriate time. Your company will advance thanks to this process, which promotes original thought and calculated risk-taking.


By involving everyone in the goal-setting process, the OKR approach goes beyond simply developing Objectives and Key Results. It needs to be taken into account as a strategy for creating an open and transparent culture. This guarantees that everyone is on task, setting priorities, and working to realize a common goal.

Keep in mind that it’s important to recognize successes and draw lessons from setbacks. When you succeed, acknowledge your team’s leaders and auxiliary members in front of the group. Utilize the chance to tie the victory to the larger context of why it matters, and be sure to conduct retrospectives to determine what worked and what didn’t and how you can make the goal-setting process better moving forward.