OKRs example template board

OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. It’s a system for tracking your desired objectives and keeping yourself and your team accountable.  
OKRs are meant to set strategy and goals over a specified amount of time for an organization and teams. At the end of a work period, your OKRs provide a reference to evaluate how well you did in executing your objectives.

Objectives: Any initiative has an objective. The goal of setting an objective is to write out what you hope to accomplish such that at a later time you can easily tell if you have reached, or have a clear path to reaching, that objective.

Key Results: Assuming your Objectives are well thought through, Key Results are the secret sauce to using OKRs. Key Results are numerically-based expressions of success or progress towards an Objective.

In summary:

  • Objectives are ambitious and may feel somewhat uncomfortable
  • Key results are measurable and should be easy to grade with a number (Google uses a scale of 0 – 1.0)
  • OKRs are public so that everyone in the organization can see what others are working on
  • The “sweet spot” for an OKR grade is 60% – 70%; if someone consistently fully attains their objectives, their OKRs aren’t ambitious enough and they need to think bigger
  • Low grades should be viewed as data to help refine the next OKRs
  • OKRs are not synonymous with employee evaluations
  • OKRs are not a shared to-do list
  • Why should we use OKRs?

Studies have shown that committing to a goal can help improve employee performance. But more specifically, research reveals that setting challenging and specific goals can further enhance employee engagement in attaining those goals. Google often uses “Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs) to try to set ambitious goals and track progress.

Can you tell me more about it?

Here is a link to a Youtube video demonstrating how to use Cardsmith as your OKR tracker:  https://youtu.be/3LUQQJ2Vuj0

Read this article by niket on Medium. We pulled a lot of content from this article for the card. It’s a pretty quick read and goes deeper without taking forever to get to the points about OKRs.


Watch this video by Google Ventures. It’s an hour and some long, which means it’s good for a long walk or a few walks. 😀 Google Ventures Startup Lab | GV partner Rick Klau covers the value of setting objectives and key results (OKRs) and how this has been done at Google since 1999. Understand the key attributes of effective OKRs and how to apply them in your own organization.