OKR Writing Guide

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Criteria Overview

OKRs are deceptively difficult to write well. This rubric serves as a guide for writing good OKRs based on best practices. For more details, see the Roobrick blog on writing OKRs.

If you like this rubric, you may also like the Mission Statement Writing Guide.

Criteria Details

Objective: form

Succinct (preferably not longer than a single line).

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Objective: sentiment

Expresses goals and intents.

Aligns with higher level goals (e.g. company OKRs, mission statement, …).

Aggressive yet realistic.

The successful achievement of an objective must provide clear value to stakeholders.

Should be framed with aspirations that exceeds the expectations of customers.

Must not prescribe execution.

Objective: clarity

Must be unambiguous.

Must be tangible. It should be obvious to a rational observer whether an objective has been achieved.

Key results: form

A single objective should generally have multiple key results to capture various viewpoints.

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Key results must be independent from one another in terms of how they are understood and measured.

Key results: sentiment

Must be aspirational.

Must describe outcomes, not activities (avoid words like “consult,” “help,” “analyze,” or “participate,”).

Key results: clarity

Must be measurable.

Key results: coverage

Completion of all key results must result in the attainment of the objective.

Key results: milestones

Should identify dates that align to plans rather than reporting periods.

Key results: scoring criteria

Must be based on available, credible data such that evidence of completion can be ascertained.

The same criteria must be applied to the entire range rather than defining separate criteria that are additive.

Targets should be stated in absolute terms. For example, "increase Xyz from 25% to 50%" rather than "2x increase of Xyz".

Key results: grading schema

Should align to: * Disappointing: 0 to 0.3 * Getting there: 0.4 to 0.6 * Great outcome: 0.7 * Exceeded expectations: 0.8 to 1.0