Key Results are quarterly outcomes by which success is measured for an objective. They provide clarity on where a team should focus their work, and tell us when we declare victory. Key results use the measurement From value - To Target which can be updated on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
Key Result Best Practices
- Key results shouldn’t be action items, or be subject to interpretation.
- There should be 4 - 6 key results for each objective.
- A team should define their key results keeping the best possible in mind.
- Best possible: What would be awesome to achieve this quarter? Best possible results likely won’t be hit 100%, as the main importance is discussing learnings for the quarter.
- Update Key Results consistently on a weekly basis (when applicable), to inform your team and others of your progress to achievement.
- Provide a narrative and additional context into why the number is the way it is when you update key results.
Questions to Shift Key Results From Outputs to Outcomes:
- How would we know we were successful?
- What would be really great this quarter?
- Is this both our best and possible result?
- What would we have more of if we were successful?
- What would we have less of if we were successful?
Example Key Results to Setup a Baseline for Subsequent Quarters
- Baseline measurement
- Instrument a process to measure
- Receive approval and funding for a project or initiative
- Be fully staffed for the initiative
- Present MVP demo to key stakeholders for a go/no-go decision
Anatomy of a Key Result
- Description (what is being measured?)
- Starting value
- Best possible target value
- Unit of measure ($, #, %)
- Measurement frequency (risk, focus, and change adjusted)
- Data source (person, system, workstream)
- Total or last progress (add each increment or report last)
Pick the type of result that best suits what you're measuring. This may be a basic count that one person will provide, collected data from several people, or a result calculated from workstreams or other apps.
Choose What to Measure
As you create key results in the OKR Wizard, the default is a basic count or percentage, but you can expand on these measurements.
Basic count or percentage from one person is the default key result type. For example:
- Sales revenue from Jorge
- Number of developers hired from Alice
- Completion of an IT infrastructure overhaul from Percy.
Marking a Key Result as 'Committed'
Enabled by default for all accounts, you can easily distinguish between best possible and committed targets with committed key results. Your RAG status will follow a more aggressive curve and at the end of the quarter will only be green if you achieve 100% of your target. This is helpful for financial targets, SLAs, or similar targets that you have a commitment to hit.
Note: Key results that support Committed Targets are Result from a Person, Key Result Roll-Ups, and Set Multiple Targets where the data being provided is by a person rather than a connected Datastream.