the Ultimate OKR Cheat Sheet

Getting started on your OKR journey is hard enough! Do you have a single point of reference to help guide your understanding of OKR? Do you have something you can share with others to make your OKR workshop a breeze? Are the OKRs you're writing up to snuff and making an impact? This is why we created the OKR Cheat Sheet!

What is the OKR Cheat Sheet?

The OKR Cheat Sheet brings the core concepts into a simple one pager. Bring it to your next OKR workshop and make OKR setting easier for your team! Here's how:

  1. Understand OKR Early - Use the OKR Cheat Sheet as a reference point when exploring OKR and to cement your thoughts.
  2. Use it for OKR setting - Make facilitation easier by bringing the OKR Cheat Sheet into your OKR setting workshops
  3. Review your OKRs - Once you've set your OKR, make sure it's great quality and meaningful! Use the quality check list with what makes a great quality OKR.

Does the OKR Cheat Sheet outline the OKR Process?

We want to make this easy to follow as possible. We outline the detailed OKR setting process in our in our complete OKR setting guide. If you're looking for just the rapid view, here's what the cheatsheet outlines:

  1. Strategy review and discuss priorities - Alignment starts before end of quarter. Start with a casual discussion about what priorities you have coming up and the problems you'd like to solve.
  1. Executive team lessons learned and set company OKR - Retrospective on last cycle and set OKR for quarter ahead.
  1. Teams review company OKR, provide feedback &, set their OKR - Teams align to company OKR & capture dependencies on other teams.
  1. Monitor progress  - Check progress regularly with a weekly check-ins. Perform a deep review mid quarter.
  1. Aim for 70% achievement across your Key Results - Learn to excel, make it safe to fail. Target 70% achievement on average.

How does the OKR Cheat Sheet help me write quality OKRs?

The OKR Cheat Sheet includes a complete checklist on how two write a high quality OKR. We use the mnemonic RADICAL IMPACT.

Objective

A simple and inspiring statement of what we need to achieve to create a valuable business outcome. It consists of the following traits:

  • Inspirational - It excites the team members and gives them a big picture and exciting outcome to strive for.
  • Manageable outcomes - Make sure that it is in-fact achievable within the quarter! It should stretch the team and demand some different thinking, but it shouldn't be impossible. You should be able to read it and know if you've achieved it.
  • Provides focus - It should create a lens for the business / team to know what is important / not important.
  • Action oriented - It should enable people to create their own action plans on how to achieve it.
  • Change, not maintain - We want to be using OKRs to change the business for the better. It should never be about keeping up a minimum level of performance.
  • Time bound - Don't make it a motherhood statement or something perpetual. You should be able to nail it in the quarter.


Key Results

A Key Result is 2 to 5 measures which indicate progress on delivering the Objective. We know we’re making valuable progress as they metrics which measure the outcome being achieved. The are not an activity-based list of items to be done. They consist of the following traits:

  • Results based - Does it measure an outcome has actually been achieved? Key Results should never simply list the work to be done.
  • Aligned - If achieved, would the objective be achieved? Are they collectively exhaustive to validate success of the Objective?
  • Directly measurable - Can we easily measure the metric and see the impact of our work? Is it relatively simple to measure?
  • Indicates progress - Does it actually show I'm making progress on the OKR? Do the numbers move as a result of your work or are they highly variable and therefore cannot be easily tied back.
  • Challenging - On average we're aiming for a 70% achievement rate of the stretch. We want to really open our eyes up to what is possible. Think out of the box. Doing this well will lead us to success and encourage innovation.
  • Accountability clarity - Does the team have influence over the Key Results and are they the ones doing the actual work? It's perfectly normal for teams to need support from others, but they need to be able to do the bulk of the work. If they're entirely dependent on another team to do the work, then they're basically setting an OKR for the other team! 
  • Leading indicator - Are you using a leading indicator that you can influence within the quarter? If for example you have a sales cycle of 3 months, then a sales target is a real lagging indicator which you cannot influence within that quarter.

How the OKR Cheat Sheet helps you successfully embed OKR?

The OKR Cheat Sheet helps you embed OKR by introducing some of the key OKR Meetings. This includes how to introduce a weekly confidence scoring and checking in with your team. This ceremony turns your team into a heat seeking missile. They can constantly course correct to hit the target. The team does this by voting on how confident they are that the Key Result will be achieved. If they're low confidence, then they come up with a plan to increase the odds of success.

The cheatsheet includes our suggested Scoring scale:  

  • 1 - High confidence the Key Result will be achieved
  • 0.7 - It’s likely we’ll achieve this Key Result or get pretty close to it
  • 0.4 - It will be a challenge to achieve this Key Result
  • 0 - It’s unlikely to be achieved

Get your OKR Cheat Sheet Now!

Level up your OKR setting game with the Ultimate OKR Cheat Sheet! Use it to help your understanding of OKR and share it with your team during OKR setting season!

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