Workplace Hack: Objective Key Results

This workplace hack was developed by Intel and later adopted by Google as a way to define and track objectives and outcomes.

The Objective Key Results (OKRs) method involves setting objectives and assigning quantifiable “key results” that will help you reach them.

When Rick Klau worked on Blogger at Google, he used OKRs to help him meet objectives.

For example, Rick identified one of his main objectives as “Accelerate Blogger revenue growth”. Blogger needed to make money and Rick had to identify ways that he could make make this happen. So he set some key results, including:

  • Launching a “monetize tab” to make it easier for users to monetize using AdSense
  • Running 3 revenue specific experiments to learn what drives revenue growth

Rick says that key results should be measurable…

“Key Results are measurable; they should be easy to grade with a number (at Google we use a 0 – 1.0 scale to grade each key result at the end of a quarter)… The “sweet spot” for an OKR grade is .6 – .7; if someone consistently gets 1.0, their OKRs aren’t ambitious enough. Low grades shouldn’t be punished; see them as data to help refine the next quarter’s OKRs.”

To follow this workplace hack, identify your main objectives and the key results that will allow you to meet them. Make sure your key results are quantifiable and that you know how you will measure them, and what metrics indicate success or failure.

Have you tried OKRs? Share your experiences in the comments below.


This hack is part of a series of weekly workplace hacks that teaches you about collaboration, productivity and time saving tips. Published every Wednesday.

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