OKRs for Startups
As Visible’s team has grown from 1 to 7 over the past couple of months I want to make sure that our near-term direction is heading towards the companies larger vision. I want the entire company to be laser focused on moving the business forward. Additionally, I don’t want us to be so tied up in trying to accomplish the big vision that we don’t do any one thing particularly well.
With all of this in mind I figured now is a better time that ever to setup goals for the company. I’ve done goal setting at previous companies but found that nothing ever really stuck & it usually proved to be burdensome for both employees and managers.
I wanted to find a framework that was easy for a startup like ourselves to implement/track, quantitative and was valuable for everyone in the company. I messaged a couple friends of mine and heard about the success they had with OKRs (Objective and Key Results). At first the acronym made it sound like consultant jargon or a b-school case study. However, after some digging and research it sounded like OKRs were flexible enough to work for startups but powerful enough that they would scale as the company grows.
I’ve summarized my findings below in a quick deck I put together on what OKRs are, the benefits, how to grade them, etc.
We’ve done one cycle of OKRs at Visible and I’ve found them to be incredibly powerful. I’d recommend them to any entrepreneur (especially first time ones like myself). They helped clarify my thinking and really articulate to the rest of the company our strategy, mission and what is really important.
A lot has been written about OKRs. You can find some other great resources here:
https://medium.com/startup-tools/okrs-5afdc298bc28 (great template included!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJB83EZtAjc (>1hr long, download and watch on the plane!)