A guide to objectives and key results (OKRs)

An illustration by Ad Esse Consulting. Four people sit round a table, talking about targets on the wall

An Objective is what you want to achieve, and a Key Result is how you plan to measure that you have achieved your Objective. Monitoring your OKRs will help you to celebrate success and identify any barriers to overcome.

What are OKRs?

An objective is what you want to achieve and is always qualitative and aspirational. They are something that the organisation or team aims to achieve (not numbers based). Whereas key results are always qualitative and tell you if you’ve achieved your objective because they are measurable. You usually have 3-5 key results per objectives.

An example of OKRs

If your objective is to improve your fitness in 2021, your key results could be:

  1. Run 100k this winter
  2. Complete six sporting events in 2021
  3. Do Joe Wicks HIT workouts 4x per week


Each OKR will have a ‘cadence’ (timeframe) which could be monthly, quarterly, annually etc. This is the period after which you hope to have achieved the objective.

Further resources

Start-up Lab workshop: How Google sets goals: OKRs – YouTube video

What Matters: OKR Google playbook – Examples & templates

What Matters: OKR Online Course – Getting Started With OKRs 101

If you need any help with setting your objectives and key results, ask us. Email hello@ad-esse.com or use our Contact page.

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