OKRs Demystified: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Have you ever searched for an effective way to achieve your goals? And in that search, have you ever stumbled upon the terms “Objectives and Key Results” or “OKRs” but weren’t sure what they represented?

Well, Objectives and Key Results (OKR, alternatively OKRs) is a goal-setting framework that emerged as a solution to help several of the biggest companies in the world, including Google, set their goals.

If you want to learn more about OKRs and how to use them for your personal or company’s purposes, stick with us.

In this guide, we’ll explain: 

  • What Objectives and Key Results are, 
  • How you can write an OKR,
  • What types of OKR models you can set,
  • What the benefits of implementing the OKR framework are,
  • Some examples of OKRs, and much more.
Objectives and key results - cover

What is an OKR? 

As we mentioned, the acronym OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results — a goal-setting methodology whose main drive are its goal-related outcomes. Moreover, it is a popular goal-management and strategic framework meant to help a company, team, or individual implement a goal-based strategy. 

For example, individuals may find special value in using the OKR framework to reach their career goals. Thanks to OKR, individuals can achieve their goals more easily by following objectives and setting key results for those objectives. What’s more, they can also measure their progress toward their goals by tracking how close they are to accomplishing each of their key results — the more key results they accomplish, the closer they are to reaching their objective. 

For instance, if your objective is to develop leadership skills to become a leader, some of your key results (steps you’ll need to take to reach said objective) might include improving your communication skills and attending a leadership training program. 

The OKR model is an indispensable asset to companies as it pulls the entire organization in the same direction and helps companies thrive.

Now, we’ll explain what each component of the OKR planning represents.

The components of the OKR framework explained

The key elements of the OKR methodology are:

  • Objective,
  • Key Result, and
  • Initiative.

Let’s explore each of these elements in more detail.

Component #1: Objective

Objectives define the goal(s) you want to pursue. More specifically, they answer the question of “What?”:

What do I want to accomplish?

Let’s say you’re the CEO of a fast-food franchise and you want to see your fast-food empire grow further. In this example, opening up more restaurants across the country would be a related Objective you will pursue.

You can phrase your objective like this:

Objective: I’ll expand my fast-food empire across the country within a year.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

Looking for some great tools to help you keep track of your goals? Check out our list of the best goal tracker apps below:

Component #2: Key Result

A Key Result is a set of metrics you’ll use to measure your progress towards the Objective. In other words, Key Results can serve as your milestones, and they answer the question of “How?”:

How am I going to accomplish that?

To give you some examples of Key Results, let’s expand on the Objective to grow your fast-food empire across the country within a year and define the Key Results for it:

Key Result 1: Select 50 new candidates for the restaurants within the first two months.

Key Result 2: Train 40 of the best new candidates within 3 months (third, fourth, and fifth months).

Key Result 3: Sign contracts with 30 best new candidates within 2 months (sixth and seventh months).

Key Result 4: Distribute the 30 new employees across the 3 new fast-food restaurants in the franchise within 2 months (eighth and ninth months).

Component #3: Initiative

An Initiative is a specific action or activity you’ll engage in and initiate in order to maintain progress on the Key Results. Initiatives answer the specific question: 

What will I do in order to get there?

If we expand even further on the OKR about the fast-food franchise, here are the Initiatives we might single out:

Initiative 1: Read all the resumes sent to identify the best 50 candidates.

Initiative 2: Plan the training program for the 40 best new candidates.

Initiative 3: Draw the contract for the 30 best new candidates.

Initiative 4: Based on the previously collected data, draw conclusions on where you want to allocate the 30 new employees.

The history of the OKR model

Objectives and Key Results have a rich and important history in the business world.

To see the origins of this goal-setting framework and how it evolved over the years, here are some of the crucial years related to the history of OKRs:

  • 1954 — the idea behind the Objectives and Key Results methodology started with the Management by Objectives (MBO). MBO is a strategic management model whose purpose is to enhance the performance of a company by defining objectives both the company management and the company employees agree on. 
  • 1968 — Andy Grove, the co-founder of Intel Corporation, took over to develop the MBO further. He molded it into OKRs as we know and use them today.
  • 1974 — John Doerr, today’s famous investor in many top companies, joined Intel Corporation’s sales team and learned how to implement the OKR goal-setting framework.
  • 1980 — John Doerr moved on to Kleiner Perkins, a company that’d go on to invest in Google. 
  • 1999 — Kleiner Perkins invested in Google. Doerr also became an advisor to Google and introduced the OKR concept to Google’s founders. 
  • Today — OKR is still in use at Google today. Other top companies that rely on the OKR framework include Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, Spotify, Adobe, LinkedIn, and many more.

How to write an OKR goal-setting framework

If you don’t know where to start with setting OKRs for your company or your personal purpose, here are some steps you should follow to write effective OKRs.

Step #1: Use well-thought-out Objectives

When we say “well-thought-out” Objectives, we mean that they should be:

  • Clear — your Objectives need to define what you want to accomplish in a concise and straightforward way.    
  • Inspiring — if you’re setting Objectives for your company, they need to be inspirational and exciting for the people who work towards them. This will motivate your employees and drive their performance.
  • Aligned with your company’s vision and mission statements — your company’s Objectives should reflect your company’s values and aspirations. They need to relate to the general idea of what your company wants to accomplish in the future.

Step #2: Set a clear measure for the Key Results

Having a clear measure for your Key Results will allow you to track whether you’re reaching them.

For example, let’s say your Objective is to expand your fast-food empire across the country within a year, so you decide to use “Select new candidates for the restaurants within the first two months.” as your Key Result. This example of a Key Result is not the best option as it is not concrete enough. 

On the other hand, using a Key Result such as “Select 50 new candidates for the restaurants within the first two months.” is much better. By adding a specific number or figure to your Key Results, you’ll be able to follow your progress more easily.

Step #3: Define your Initiatives

Initiatives are a great way to break down your Key Results and decide what actions you need to undertake to live up to your desired milestones. 

To define your Initiatives properly, you should make them:

  • Achievable, and
  • Easily measurable.

For instance, let’s say your Objective is to expand your fast-food empire across the country within a year, and your Key Result for that Objective is — “Select 50 new candidates for the restaurants within the first two months.” 

In this case, the appropriate Initiative that would get you to your Key Result would be — “Read all the resumes sent to identify the best 50 candidates.”

What’s more, you should always have at least 1 Initiative defined for each Key Result, but you can define as many Initiatives as you need to help you stick to a plan.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

In a way, defining Initiatives for a Key Result is similar to breaking down a project into tasks — you can view each Key Result (or, for the purpose of this analogy, “project”) as a set of Initiatives (or, for the purpose of this analogy, “set of tasks”) meant to help you reach or live up to your Key Result. To gain a better understanding of how breaking projects down into tasks works (and to gain a better understanding of how you could define Initiatives for your Key Results), read our blog post:

Step #4: Grade your OKRs

To be able to analyze your Key Results and see whether you should modify them as you approach your Objectives, you need to evaluate their success in some way. 

One of the methods that you can use to score your Key Results is the decimal system. It involves a scale ranging from 0.0 to 1.0. 

On such a scale, we have three categories:

  • 0.0 – 0.3 means a failure, 
  • 0.4 – 0.6 means some progress has been made, and 
  • 0.7 – 1.0 means delivery.
Grading OKRs

For the sake of explanation, let’s go back to the said Objective to grow your fast-food empire across the country. Here’s how you may grade its Key Results using the decimal approach:

Objective: I’ll expand my fast-food empire across the country within a year.

Key Result 1: Select 50 new candidates for the restaurants within the first two months.

I have selected 50 new candidates for the restaurants — that’s a perfect score of 1.0

Key Result 2: Train 40 of the best new candidates within 3 months (third, fourth, and fifth months).

I have trained 36 of the best new candidates — that’s an almost perfect score of 0.9 (36 ÷40).

Key Result 3: Sign contracts with 30 best new candidates within 2 months (sixth and seventh months).

I’ve had 25 best new candidates sign contracts — that’s a fine score of 0.8 (25÷30).

Key Result 4: Distribute the 30 new employees across the 3 new fast-food restaurants in the franchise within 2 months (eighth and ninth months).

I’ve distributed the 25 new employees across the 3 new fast-food restaurants in the franchise — once again, that’s a fine score of 0.8 (25÷30).

By grading your OKRs, you get the opportunity to reflect on your progress and see if something needs to be improved.

Types of OKR frameworks

In this section, we’ll see why exactly some OKRs need to score a grade of 1.0 to be marked as a success, and why some only need to score a grade of 0.7. 

As it turns out, it has a lot to do with the type of OKRs you’re setting.

There are several most common types of OKR frameworks that you can use to set your goals, so let’s take a look at them.

Type #1: Committed OKRs

Committed OKRs, as their name suggests, are commitments. In other words, they represent goals you, your team, your department, or your company has agreed to pursue.

Committed OKRs involve:

  • Precise plans, 
  • Schedules, 
  • A budget, and 
  • Resources.

Eventually, they are graded for success.

If their grade falls below 1.0, then your team, your department, or your company arrange a meeting to discuss where you could have made improvements, either in the planning or execution stages of the project.

When defining a commitment, it’s important to make sure the said commitment is worth your efforts and your time. Unless your committed goal is important for your company, your department, or your team, your efforts will likely go unnoticed (and be in vain).

Here’s an example of a committed OKR.

Objective: Deliver the best quality service to all clients.

Key Result 1: Achieve a client satisfaction rate of at least 95% within a three-month period. 

Key Result 2: Ensure all project deliverables are submitted by the deadline 98% of the time.

Key Result 3: Improve consultant response time to client inquiries to under 2 hours. 

Type #2: Aspirational OKRs

Unlike committed OKRs, which are usually highly achievable, aspirational OKRs are goals that are much less predictable and much more risky.

They’re also called “moonshots” or “stretch” goals. They involve more experiments, as well as less direct knowledge about the resources you’ll need and the path you’ll take to reach those goals.

The progress toward an aspirational goal can be slow and may even take several years.
Moreover, you may never fully reach these goals. 

However, even a half-accomplished aspirational goal that pushed you beyond your comfort zone and skill limits is a success if you’ve learned something new along the way. That’s why the expected grade for an aspirational goal is 0.7, in contrast with the stricter 1.0 grade expected from committed goals.

Here’s an example of an aspirational OKR.

Objective: Build and run a non-profit organization that will aim to minimize the gender pay gap in my country.

Key Result 1: Propose an increase in the starting wage of new female employees by %10.

Key Result 2: Propose the introduction of 5 measures that ensure companies refrain from instigating a gender pay gap.

Key Result 3: Propose a 3-step process that decreases the percentage of women over 50 who are paid less when compared to men and younger women.

Type #3: Strategic OKRs

Strategic OKRs are meant to help you carry out and focus on a company-wide goal — one which is usually set by the company’s executive-level managers.

For example, a strategic OKR for a company may include the following Objective: 

Objective: Reduce operational costs to improve profitability within a year.

Some of the appropriate Key Results for this Objective may be: 

Key Result 1: Reduce business travel expenses by 20% within the first 3 months.

Key Result 2: Lower maintenance expenses by 30% within 2 months (fourth and fifth months).

Type #4: Tactical OKRs

Compared to strategic OKRs which are aimed at achieving long-term, high-level goals, tactical OKRs help individuals, teams, and departments carry out their own, lower-level goals. 

Tactical goals tie into a bigger picture — the company-wide strategic goal.

Let’s go back to the abovementioned strategic OKR example that involves a long-term company goal of reducing operational costs. Some of the tactical OKRs for departments that would tie into this strategic OKR may be the following:

  • The HR department will have the objective of restructuring to reduce labor costs, and
  • The accounting department will aim to adopt accounting software to minimize accounting costs.

To reach the objective of restructuring to reduce labor costs, the HR department may use the following key result — “Implement HR outsourcing for 50% of HR tasks.”

Regarding the accounting department, to reach the objective of adopting accounting software to minimize accounting costs, they may use the following key result — “Find the best accounting tool on the market.”

Type #5: Learning OKRs

Learning OKRs are aimed at gaining knowledge and insights rather than pursuing outcome-focused goals. They are used to encourage teams to experiment and gather data to make more informed decisions in the future.

For instance, a learning OKR may include the following Objective:

Objective: Find out how to make the best possible product by gathering important information about users.  

The appropriate Key Results for such Objective may be the following:

Key Result 1: Talk to 100 users.

Key Result 2: Understand their top 3 pain points.

The benefits of implementing OKRs

If you’re not sure whether the OKR methodology will help you plan and conduct your goals, we’ll cover some vital perks of using the OKR model.

Benefit #1: OKRs help your company align its priorities

When the entire company follows the same strategy, everyone knows what they need to do in order to reach a common goal. That’s why the OKR framework ensures everyone in the company moves in the same direction.  

Moreover, OKRs also help companies determine whether employees are focusing on what matters the most — whether it’s the company’s overall strategic goals or the smaller, tactical goals.

Benefit #2: OKRs help you measure your progress

OKRs give you a clear point of reference that tells you how well you, your team members, or your departments are progressing with your respective goals.

With the OKR framework, you cannot only define your objectives and key results but you can also measure their success by grading them. That way, you can evaluate what you’ve accomplished and identify whether you need to adjust some of your key results, for example.  

Grading your OKRs gives you a chance to reflect on your progress and see it realistically, which helps you reach your goals faster.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

If you’re working on a project and aren’t sure how to estimate and track its progress, you can create a project timeline. It’ll help you get a visual breakdown of all the important project elements and finish your project successfully. Learn more about it in our blog post: 

Benefit #3: OKRs help keep your company transparent

By defining public, transparent OKRs for your team and the entire company, everyone will be able to follow what everyone is doing at any given time.

Organizational transparency is important because it creates a sense of togetherness and encourages productivity.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

Did you know that you can increase your productivity by using certain methods and apps? To learn more on this subject, read the following resources:

Benefit #4: OKRs encourage the sense of accountability

This point is actually tied to the previous point we mentioned regarding the importance of the company’s transparency.

When everyone is aware of what everyone is doing at any given time, people are encouraged to stay responsible and accountable with their tasks.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

To learn more about how you can establish and maintain transparency and accountability in your team, make sure you read our blog post:

Benefit #5: OKRs challenge you to be better

OKRs are versatile (they can be committed, aspirational, learning, etc.), and you can use them to challenge your team to strive for results outside of their usual set of skills and knowledge. 

Just make sure you define the right kind of goals that will inspire you and your team to shoot for the stars.

Why do OKRs fail?

Now, despite its benefits, there are specific pitfalls tied to the concept of OKRs that you can easily fall into if you’re not careful. So, let’s see what are some of the biggest reasons why the OKR model can fail.

Reason #1: You set annual OKRs only

A common mistake many companies make is that they rely solely on annual OKRs. 

Although setting annual OKRs on a company level is useful as it allows organizations to work toward bigger-picture goals, you should also set short-term OKRs for your teams, such as quarterly OKRs.

Quarterly OKRs allow for more frequent reassessment of goals. By setting OKRs that span three months, teams can easily adjust their tactics if they notice that they are not aligned with the company’s annual objectives. 

Implementing both annual and quarterly OKRs allows you to follow a long-term vision but also have more flexibility to promptly respond to any changes — whether on the market or in the company itself.

Reason #2: You’re trying to use OKR as a way to force yourself to focus

Objectives and Key Results are a great way to help you direct your focus on something concrete.

However, if your only motive for defining OKRs is finding anything to focus on, you’ll likely fail. That’s because OKRs shouldn’t serve as a cure for your lack of focus — nothing should (or can, sadly).

So, first things first — find something you’re passionate about, something you’ll want to pursue because it’s worthwhile. Then, use it to define your Objectives and Key Results.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

Do you have difficulty staying focused while working? If you want to see how you can stay focused in different circumstances, here are some useful blog posts you should read:

Reason #3: You set too many Objectives

Being overly ambitious and wanting to achieve too many goals is not always the best option for a company. It can affect the focus of employees and cause them to experience burnout

To avoid overwhelming employees, it is recommended that you set no more than 1-5 Objectives per team. Furthermore, each of these Objectives should be supported with 3-5 Key Results. 

If you set too many Objectives, your employees may lose focus, and your OKRs may start working against you — turning your OKR undertaking into a costly mistake.

Reason #4: You’re using OKRs as a performance evaluation tool

OKRs are meant to challenge your team and increase innovation — not serve as a performance evaluation tool.

Although one of the points of OKRs is tracking the team’s progress toward achieving certain goals, the OKR methodology does not aim to measure how well each team member is performing in their role.

After all, OKRs are mainly a collaborative and continuous undertaking. Therefore, trying to use them as a performance evaluation tool for your team members can only decrease their productivity levels. It can also slow them down on their way toward a common goal.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

In case you want to evaluate your own performance or the performance of your employees but aren’t sure how to do it, here are some tips that could be of use to you:

Reason #5: You don’t have the relevant data available

The OKR framework needs relevant, precise data in order to function. After all, your Key Results are a quantitative measure and as such are always associated with specific numbers and figures.

Let’s say you want to grow your website. The question you should ask yourself is — do you have access to the metrics that will help you track and measure your progress? 

What’s even more important is that this data is available to the people in your team who’ll be working toward the goal of growing the website. Unless all relevant people have access to this data, they will not be able to measure their progress properly and tweak their actions accordingly.

And as a result, you’ll all likely miss the mark with the said objective. 

What are good examples of OKR models?

Knowing how to set up and follow OKRs is of great importance. But, you might need something more specific to sink your teeth in before you start crafting your own OKR model.

So, here are several examples of department-oriented OKRs for you to find inspiration in — no matter whether you work in:

  • Sales, 
  • Marketing, 
  • Product management, or 
  • HR.

We also included an example of a personal OKR framework that you can use to pursue goals related to your personal life.

Example #1: OKR for Sales

Objective: Increase recurring revenue.

Key Result 1: Increase the total recurring revenue to $500k per month.

Key Result 2: Increase the average user subscription to $500 per month.

Key Result 3: Increase the overall share of subscriptions on a monthly basis by 50%, by the end of the third month.

Initiative: Pay for strategically placed ads that market the newest products and services to an expanded target market.

Example #2: OKR for Marketing

Objective: Enhance the content strategy of your blog.

Key Result 1: Write 10 new blog posts per month.

Key Result 2: Publish a new eBook every month.

Key Result 3: Increase the number of blog subscribers by 50% by the end of the first quarter of the year.

Initiative: Research the keywords the highest-ranked competitive blogs in your niche rank for and aim to replicate their success by writing about related topics.

Example #3: OKR for Product Management

Objective: Launch version 2 of the main product in your repertoire successfully.

Key Result 1: Get 5,000 new signups in the first month after the launch.

Key Result 2: Get product reviews in 10 reputable product review publications.

Key Result 3: Have 50% of users who sign up for the trial version move to a paid version by the end of their trial period.

Initiative: Reach out to 30 reputable product review publications with a press kit describing version 2 of your main product.

Example #4: OKR for HR

Objective: Improve the happiness and satisfaction levels of the company employees, in order to increase performance and engagement levels.

Key Result 1: Plan and implement team meetings once a week where you’ll discuss the best ways to motivate the team.

Key Result 2: Interview all the employees once a week to understand whether they have everything they need to carry out their job responsibilities.

Key Result 3: Offer a daily exercise routine when you’ll do yoga or carry out plank exercises.

Initiative: Research the methods other companies use to increase employee satisfaction and happiness.

Example #5: OKR for Personal Goals

Objective: Spend more time with my partner.

Key Result 1: Get home from work on time for dinner at least 15 weekdays per month.

Key Result 2: Arrange date night every Saturday when you’ll go to the movies or visit restaurants.

Key Result 3: Make time for a spa weekend once every month.

Initiative: Visit a booking website and go through the best spa offers in your region.

Objectives and Key Results templates

An OKR template is a reusable guide that helps you set Objectives and Key Results for your company or team. 

As we already explained in one of the subheadings above, you can set Objectives and Key Results once a year (for the entire company) or quarterly (for your team).

To help you set your company’s or team’s OKR model, we created two Objectives and Key Results templates:

  • Company OKR (an annual) template, and
  • Team OKR (quarterly) template.

You can download both of these templates for free below.

Company OKR annual template

Annual goals are important because they allow both managers and employees to have a better understanding of the company’s long-term goals.

To reach yearly Objectives, you need to decide what team or teams will be responsible for achieving a particular Key Result. Therefore, yearly goals ensure both accountability and transparency as well.

Company OKR template

⬇️ Download the Company OKR template (Google Sheets)

Here’s how to fill out the Company OKR annual template:

  • First, add your company’s name, as well as your company’s mission and vision statements. When you add them to your OKR plan, it’ll be much easier to set your yearly company Objectives.
  • Next, fill out your yearly Objectives. Try to think of up to 3 main Objectives that you want your company to accomplish this year.
  • Then, add up to 3 Key Results for each yearly Objective. It’s worth mentioning that, at this stage, you should write down the team or several teams that will be responsible for achieving each Key Result.
  • Besides, remember to add a priority for each Key Result in the Quarter column. Choose between Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4.

Company OKR template doesn’t include Initiatives and an OKR scoring system. Here’s why: although the annual plan applies to all the teams within the company, it’s up to each team to align their quarterly OKR plan with the company’s yearly plan. 

To create their quarterly plans successfully, each team needs to note down specific Initiatives as well as score their OKRs.

Team OKR quarterly template

When it comes to the Team OKR quarterly template, it encompasses three months.

Having quarterly goals is crucial because it makes company’s long-term goals feel more attainable. 

Moreover, each time the team reaches quarterly goals, they have an opportunity to celebrate their success. Thus, these milestones will also improve collaboration within the team

As for team managers, quarterly goals help them see whether all employees are on the right track to reaching the company’s and team’s goals.

Team OKR template

⬇️ Download the Team OKR template (Google Sheets)

Here’s how to fill out the Team OKR quarterly template:

  • Enter the Timeframe start (the first month) and the Timeframe end (the last month). Also, you can enter your team’s name, which can be the Marketing team, Sales team, or any other.
  • Team managers should gather all team members and brainstorm team Objectives. You should have up to 3 team Objectives that need to be aligned with the company’s yearly Objectives.
  • Then, take a look at your Objectives and assign up to 3 Key Results for each Objective. Key Results are vital because when you accomplish your Key Results, you’ll know you’ve reached your Objective.
  • Remember to assign a Key Result Owner — a team member who will track the team’s progress on a said Key Result.
  • In addition, you should grade each Key Result (Key Results score column), which is why this template provides you with a brief OKR scoring instruction in the upper right corner.
  • Finally, set Initiatives — specific activities that will help you and your team achieve your Objectives. You can have 3-5 Initiatives for each Objective.

Frequently asked questions about OKRs

To give you more information about OKRs, in this section, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions related to how the OKR framework differs from other popular goal-setting and management frameworks.

What is the difference between KPI and OKR?

You may often run into an “OKR vs KPI” debate — these two concepts are frequently compared and sometimes even confused with each other. 

However, as both concepts deal with objectives, it’s actually more possible to relate the two than contrast or compare them.

Namely, OKRs are goal management and strategic frameworks, while KPIs are measurements that exist within the said frameworks. The purpose of KPI is to indicate whether the company is successful in achieving its main objectives.

Moreover, OKRs define the process that leads to the goal, and KPIs measure an individual or team’s performance and progress towards the said goal.

In addition, you can also use a failed KPI to define a Key Result. 

For example, let’s say you want each team member of your support team to spend 20 minutes on a single ticket max.  

KPI: Spend 20 minutes (this applies to each team member) on a ticket.

However, if the time tracking results of your support team show that they need closer to 33 minutes on average to respond to a ticket, then you’re in the position to define a Key Result to strive for. 

Key Result: Decrease the amount of time each support team member spends on a ticket from 33 minutes to 20 minutes.

While KPI tells you if your employees have been successful in reaching a certain objective, OKR helps you implement a strategy and define milestones you need to meet to reach your company’s goals. In that sense, you can use KPI to see how well your employees are currently performing and then use that information to define milestones to strive for (your OKR).  

Is OKR better than KPI? (and if it is, why?)

Although both OKR and KPI frameworks are important for achieving a goal, the OKR framework is more likely to help you decide whether a project was a success or not.

To help illustrate this point, let’s take a look at one of the most famous business projects in the movie industry — the movie Titanic.

While Titanic was still in development, the KPIs defined by its studio were the following:

  • Expected Budget: $100 million, and
  • Expected Release date: July 2, 1997.

Let’s assume that the expected OKR for filming Titanic involved making a highly acclaimed and profitable movie that would make it rain with money and Oscars.

Some of the Key Results included in this OKR may be the following:

Key Result 1: Make $1 billion at the global box office.

Key Result 2: Win Academy awards.

Now, here is the final score for the KPIs:

  • Real Budget: $200 million, and
  • Real Release date: December 19, 1997.

Given that the people who worked on the movie failed to meet their expected KPIs (Titanic exceeded the budget by half and missed the release date by a little more than 6 months), they weren’t as successful as expected. 

So, even though you may mark the process of making the movie Titanic as a failure in the sense that it didn’t live up to its expected budget and release date, no one can deny that the overall outcome of this project was more than successful. Titanic is the first movie in history to pass the $1 billion mark at the global box office and one of the three movies in the world to win 11 Academy Awards.

Therefore, while Titanic missed the mark with its KPIs, it more than made up for it with its OKRs — and that’s what really mattered in the end.

Although KPI provides metrics that could lead to achieving a specific goal, if we want to concentrate on the bigger picture and have a flexible strategy, OKR might be a better option.  

What is the difference between OKR and SMART?

SMART goals are goals that are: 

  • Specific, 
  • Measurable,
  • Attainable, 
  • Relevant, and 
  • Time-bound. 

SMART goals are great to help you define both business and personal goals, and then decide whether these goals are worth your time or even possible to pursue.

When it comes to the “OKR vs SMART” debate, it mostly boils down to one main difference. While SMART goals help you focus on one goal, OKR helps you assess your goals in the context of other goals and circumstances in your company. 

In any case, it’s still recommended to filter your OKRs through the SMART filter and make sure your objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

💡Clockify Pro Tip

You can read more about how to set SMART goals (as well as make use of 10 actionable templates) in our blog post:

What is the difference between OKR and Scrum?

According to the Scrum Alliance definition, Scrum is an Agile framework meant to help teams tackle complex projects, such as software development projects, for example.

The main difference between OKRs and Scrum is that OKRs can be used by individuals, teams, or departments, while Scrum is a framework typically intended for team collaboration.

Furthermore, Scrum is mainly used for complex projects, while the OKR model can be used for a wide range of projects.

Using the OKR framework ensures company alignment and increases its overall productivity

When set properly, the OKR framework can do a lot for your company as it can:

  • Help your company align its priorities and keep your company transparent,
  • Encourage a sense of accountability and increase productivity, and
  • Enable you to make more effective and informed decisions.

Implementing a strategy that allows your company to set, track, and ultimately achieve its goals will surely help your company grow and thrive. 

Furthermore, if you want to easily track your personal or business goals, you can always use goal tracking tools.

Clockify is a free goal tracker app that allows you to track the time you spend on your goals but also create multiple projects, measure project profitability, track project estimates, and much more. It comes with plenty of options and different plans to help you complete your projects successfully and achieve everything you hoped for and more.

Marija  Kojic

Marija Kojic is a productivity writer who's always researching about various productivity techniques and time management tips in order to find the best ones to write about. She can often be found testing and writing about apps meant to enhance the workflow of freelancers, remote workers, and regular employees. Appeared in G2 Crowd Learning Hub, The Good Men Project, and Pick the Brain, among other places.


Free time tracker

Time tracking software used by millions. Clockify is a time tracker and timesheet app that lets you track work hours across projects.

Clockify time tracker
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