20 Tips revisited from the OKR Forum

The OKR Forum was the first OKR event in The Netherlands with a range of OKR experts from around the globe.

20 okr tips

Lessons drawn from case studies presented by some of the world’s top OKR practitioners at Objectives and Key Results (OKR) Forum, World Trade Centre Amsterdam, November 2018:  *

Melanie Wessels, Booking.com:

  1. Focus: less is definitely more. Don’t make launching and running OKRs overwhelming, stick to a simple model and keep working on the business as usual.
  2. Ensure the Leadership Team are role models, fully bought in and working with OKRs themselves.
  3. Have a nominated OKR Coach on board, or at least at hand during the peak time of OKR setting.

Felipe Castro, Founder of Lean Performance:

  1. OKRs should not be a to-do list or New Year’s resolutions; OKRs are about keeping the score, and by the way, you don’t need to wait for the perfect metric.
  2. The best companies hold a strategy session right before setting their OKRs.
  3. A typically strong cross-functional OKR team from the tech world would include a product manager, an engineer and a UX designer.

Alla Alimova, Global Senior Product Manager, eBay:

  1. Remember the FAST acronym: all the best OKRs are focussed, aligned, stretching and can be tracked,
  2. DON’T wait for the silver bullet, get frustrated or stay in your own bubble of activity.
  3. DO just get on with it, keep positive, fail fast and often and stay connected with your peers and leaders.

Christoph van der Klaauw, Chief Operating Officer at Travelbird.com:

  1. Establish the “Why?” before OKRs are introduced. Why do you need them?
  2. Never have more than three Key Results per initiative.
  3. OKRs should not be used as an HR tool for performance management, nor confused with sales targets which work well enough on their own.

Ben Lamorte, OKR consultant and co-author of  the book “Objectives and Key Results”:

  1. Leaders must know exactly where they are going and be able to convey this direction clearly at all times.
  2. The impact of the team rather than individual drives successful OKRs, especially in the early days of introducing them.
  3. The quality of the outcome was more important than the need to have set-in-stone OKRs. Change OKRS mid-quarter if it makes sense. It’s the conversation that’s the most important.

Bart den Haak, IT Leadership Consultant & OKR Master at ING and founder of movingtheneedle.com

  1. Set WIG objectives (Wildly Important Goals).
  2. See initiatives as “bets” which may or may not move the metric needle. Negative results he called impediments. It’s good to try stuff!
  3. Choose leading not lagging metrics, just measure the things that can move the needle in the right direction.

Johannes Mueller, CE0 WORKPATH

  1. The future world of work is changing from formal hierarchies to a continuous focus on value creation networks for customer
  2. Find easy to use and engaging tools for lightweight company communication of OKRs.

*A subjective and personal reflection on the Objectives and Key Results(OKR) Forum, World Trade Centre Amsterdam Zuid, 25.10.2018

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