Sound Bites

OKRs in the Rhythm of Business

with Deidre Paknad, WorkBoard CEO

OKRS (or Objectives and Key Results) are a mechanism or technique for aligning on what a team and an organization are trying to accomplish in a given time period, and the measures of success in that time period.

  • The Os — the Objectives — are the statements of intent and direction.
  • The KRs — the Key Results — are the measurable outcomes the team or organization would like to achieve in a 90-day period. Given our big ideas and our big intent, what are the best possible outcomes in the next 90 days?

OKRs help galvanize choices, empowering the team to trade off what would be interesting with what would be great. They give the team clarity on what they are trying to achieve.

OKRs are a part of — but not the entire — operating rhythm, or rhythm of the business.

The rhythm of the business is the entire set of activities that we use to:

  • Align on the strategy
  • Focus efforts and energies in the quarter
  • Drive accountability month-to-month
  • Zoom in week-to-week to:
    • de-risk things that are in the way of strategy achievement, and
    • optimize those things that are going really well so we can accelerate strategy achievement.