OKR Format – How to Create Your Own OKRs

This site provides OKR examples as reference and inspiration when thinking about your own OKRs. You will not be able to pick out OKRs from this site (or any site at all) and apply them directly to your company or team. You need to learn the methodology of OKRs to truly benefit from it. Otherwise you will be missing the point of OKRs.

Let’s look at the proper OKR format so you can successfully create your own OKRs.

What are Objectives?

Objective is the O in OKR; it is a direction and focus area for one quarter. Or, in other words, your quarterly goal.

Objectives should drive growth, change or innovation in your company or team. They should be motivational, guiding and provide enough clarity.

Objective should not have a number in it – that is what Key Results are for. 

Tip! It helps if your Objective starts with a verb, like Improve cross-team collaboration. 

What are Key Results?

Key Results measure your Objective in reality. Basically, they tell you whether or not you achieved your Objective. 

Key Results should be measurable, so if you don’t have a number in there, it isn’t a Key Result. You should be able to update your Key Results every week to make sure you are on the right track.

Tip! Key Results shouldn’t be binary, and they shouldn’t be KPIs

OKR format for companies

Most companies should have 1-2 overarching Objectives to provide direction for the Team OKRs. You may need more if you are a large company.

Company level Objectives should NOT have Key Results. 

Huh?!? We know, we just blew your mind. 

Company Objectives provide alignment for all the teams in your company (even if a functional team has only one person). They make sure the OKRs your teams write are all pointed in the same direction (towards your Company Objectives). Teams will move your Company Objectives forward with their OKRs. 

OKR format for teams

The basic OKR format for teams is this:

O: [Insert a direction of growth, change or innovation that drives your Company Objectives forward]

KR1: [insert measurable result 1 that proves you met your Objective.]

KR2: [insert measurable result 2 that proves you met your Objective.]

KR3: [insert measurable result 3 that proves you met your Objective.]

Tip! Teams can have up to 5 Key Results under one Objective. The minimum recommendation is 2-3 Key Results.

When creating your OKRs, think of your Company Objective and how your team can help achieve that Objective.

Then ask yourselves two questions:

  1. What can we create, fix or improve?
  2. What problem do we need to solve first? 

Agree on 1-2 Objectives.  Maybe 3 if you have a larger team, but think what you can realistically accomplish in one quarter. Then come up with 3-5 measurable results that prove to everyone in your company that you accomplished your Objective. 

The OKR format – simple but not easy

The OKR format is simple. 

OKR format

Company: 1-2 Company Objectives that will be the direction and focus for one quarter. It should drive innovation, growth or change. It provides the direction for all team Objectives.

Team: 1-2 Objectives for each team that will be the direction and focus for the quarter. It should drive innovation, growth or change. It should help achieve your Company Objectives. 

Each Objective will have 3-5 Key Results that prove (with numbers) that you have achieved your Objectives. 

Now that you have an idea of how to format OKRs, cruise this site for OKR examples. Remember, these are just examples! They aren’t meant to be copied and pasted. 

OKRs are about improving your organization, and no one can write them for you. That is why it is important to learn the process of OKR goal-setting and its main principles. 

Learn more about the process of OKR goal-setting and its main principles in Weekdone’s free ebook, Step by Step Guide to OKRs.