How to Use OKRs to Set Goals For Business Teams


Objectives and key results (OKRs) are among the most popular objective setting frameworks used by businesses today to plan and measure their work. The method is effective for planning and measuring team success. However, OKRs tend to fall short when companies apply them at an individual level instead of the team level. These steps should help you use OKRs for setting business team goals.

  1. You Need to Do Your Prepping

You should start by collecting data and creating a collaborative document. This is especially true for remote teams. You can always make use of the provided templates or create one of your own. Create a collaboration for in-person teams that you plan on sharing during the OKR session.

Work with your team to decide which time period you are setting the OKRs for. Make sure you communicate it effectively whether the company runs on monthly or quarterly goal settings. Most experts recommend quarterly goal settings. This can be in the form of project roadmaps, broader company goals, customer feedback, customer metrics, or previous OKRs.

Make sure you use the organizational OKRs as a benchmark while setting your team OKRs. This will ensure a successful fill rate.

  1. Set the Meeting

This is an important step. You need to set the stage before you begin communicating the OKRs. Ask all the team members to remember that it is important to think about the value the organization wants to achieve for their clients, customers and the people served. Also, remind them about the way success is measured in terms of achieving those values.

  1. Choose or Brainstorm Objectives

Ask your teammates the fields they think are potentially untapped and can bring more value to customers. Make sure you keep the question specific by mentioning a time period, like the next quarter. Add relevant brainstorm objectives to the collaboration document. You can summarize different ideas by grouping similar key objectives together.

You need to decide on key objectives once you have a few key results. OKR approach doesn’t allow for more than 7 key results at one time. Each objective needs to be mentioned clearly.

  1. Assign Owners to Improve Fill Rate

You can enhance results by assigning each key result to an individual member of the team. The Key Results as a whole belong to the entire team, but the owner would be responsible for tracking their individual and the team’s progress on it.

Assigning ownership can help in improving your success rates since it ensures that key results get scored periodically. You can also make sure your team is ambitious enough to set achievable goals. At the same time, you need to ensure that the team finds the goals challenging enough to stay motivated.

  1. Follow Up is Important

This is the last step of setting up OKRs for a business team. You need to make sure you save the OKRs where stakeholders and team members can find them easily. You should also review your OKRs each month and set up team meetings to understand individual progress.


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