Common OKR mistakes

Those are the most common mistakes we encounter in OKR implementations, starting with the most basic ones:

  • Too many OKRs or Key Results

OKR is not a laundry list of everything do you. It is a representation of your top priorities. Less is more here.

  • Setting non-measurable Key Results

Remember John Doerr’s Formula, every Key Result has to be measurable.

  • Setting OKRs top-down

OKRs do not cascade. If you are looking for a top-down approach, OKR is not for you.

  • “Set it and Forget it”

Don’t treat your OKRs as new year’s resolutions. OKR has to be part of the culture of your organization, and has to be tracked at a regular cadence.

  • Creating OKRs in silos

Teams have to talk to each other when setting OKRs, otherwise achieving alignment will be impossible.

  • Including OKRs in a compensation formula

OKR is not an employee evaluation tool. OKR is a management tool.

  • Including tasks as Key Results

A Key Result is not something that you do, it is the successful outcome of what you did.

  • Trying to blindly copy Google

There is not a single way to adopt OKR. Even inside Google different teams use OKR in different ways. Understand the principles involved and adapt your implementation to your organization.