Key Results Overview


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. 

Learn how to set basic results here.

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.

Advanced Key Result Options

Learn more about key result options available when creating a key result. 

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