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Setting Goals with OKRs

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to manage their time and achieve their goals, and here’s how to do it with OKRs.

“OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a method of defining and tracking progress towards objectives. Its main goal is to connect company, team, and personal objectives to measurable results, making people move together in the right direction.”  — Wikipedia

OKRs were pioneered by Intel and are the lifeblood of how Google and other successful businesses operate. Here’s the basic idea:

Objectives are our big goals that define where you’re headed.

  • For best results make them measurable
  • Set a time limit, usually 90 days
  • Only work on a few at a time

Key Results are the metrics we need to hit in order to achieve our objectives:

  • Quantifiable, measurable, and time-bound outcomes
  • Set these aggressively, so that you achieve either around 70% or 10x.

Key Actions are specific activities that you will take in order to achieve your key results.

  • These should also be measurable and time-bound
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly activities needed to hit your Key Results metrics
  • Be ready to change these if they’re not working—you have 90 days to figure it out

The magic here is how quickly we can map out where we want to be and how to measure progress. Now we can filter all of our possible activities for the next 90 days by whether or not they’re helping us achieve our objective. If an activity isn’t moving us closer to our goal then maybe we should skip it.

OKR Example:

Objective: Quit my day job in 3 months

Key Result 1: Raise $25k in friends and family money in 3 months

  • Key Action #1: Sketch out a lean canvas and run it past 5 advisors – Week 1 & 2
  • Key Action #2: Put together a pitch deck – Week 3 & 4
  • Key Action #3: Meet with at least 2 potential investors per week until we’re funded – Week 5 – 12

Key Result 2: Find a technical co-founder in 3 months

  • Key Action #1: Join FounderDating + other business networking sites – Week 1
  • Key Action #2: Go to at least one tech meetup per week – 3 months
  • Key Action #3: Get at least 1 personal introduction per week – 3 months

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