How to build OKRs?

Building OKRs is a matter of method. Rising Goal explains the steps you need to take to achieve impact.

Instructions for use. Rising Goal offers you a hands-on process for you to set relevant OKRs and achieve the desired impact.


Where to start?

Prepare the ground. Whatever the size of your business, your maturity in your market or your business, the first idea to have in mind is the following. The definition and implementation of OKRs is favored by your management method. The method is very sensitive to this. In this case, the wise choice to make is to opt for a mixed top-down and bottom-up model. This design pattern is called Alignment. It differs from the traditional approach of setting goals by cascade. Read more about cascading & alignment in the OKR model.

Concretely, it instills a favorable mindset to the culture of OKRs throughout the organization.

Its principle is simple. It is based on a basic premise. All employees must be considered as stakeholders of the OKRs. Whatever their role and hierarchical level, they are the issuers, contributors and pilots. An immediate gain then appears: the feeling of responsibility and a better commitment. Clearly, to achieve impact, OKRs must be co-constructed.

How to build OKRs?

The principle of co-construction

In the context just mentioned:

  1. The executive team has big ambitions for the future of the company. “Where are we going?” the vision, then “how are we going?”, that’s the strategy!
  2. Corporate OKRs shall be established for the year. They are communicated to everyone.
  3. Based on them, the teams, including the executive team, set out their own objectives to be achieved. Every quarter.
  4. Team OKRs are emerging.

The OKR method has two layers of objectives: that of enterprise OKRs (the common destination, which impacts everyone) and that of team OKRs (the multitude of steps to be achieved locally).

Let us now look at what we have to establish concretely.

Corporate OKRs

Their scope is general to the company. They can also be established at the level of business units or department, rarely below. Their ambition is common to the entire organization. Their horizon is a maximum of 1 year, sometimes 6 months.

Team OKRs

Their scope is that of the different teams. Their ambition is illustrated by actions to be implemented and prioritized. Their horizon is about three months.

Together, these two layers install a dynamic. They commit the company in a unique project. The ambition is global, directed towards the same course. The counter-production of individual victories is excluded.

Whatever their scope, OKRs consist of two principles to be defined:

O for Objective (Objective)

KR for Key Results (Key Results)

Building Corporate OKRs

  1. Set the “O” first

The objective projects the general direction of the company. It is introduced by an action verb (reach, develop, improve, etc.). You need to clarify the question “Where are we going?” You have to think about in the broad sense of the organization.

What could you refer to? To a scale-up, to the implementation of an innovation, to the notoriety of your company, to the penetration of a new market…

  1. Then set the “KRs”

The key results bring a concrete dimension. They put the objectives into perspective. They specify the targeted performance through a metric (a volume, a quantity). This metric will make it possible to follow the progress towards the objective.

What could you refer to? A number of visitors, a conversion rate, an average basket…

Read the OKR Model for good practices on Objectives and Key Results.

For Example

Corporate Objective

Successful launch of our new strategic product to position ourselves as an outsider in market X at the end of the year

Key Result #1

Our new product represents 10% of our global revenues

Key Result #2

Increase the company average deal size by 20% with upsells

Key Result #3

Win a “Best Product of the Year” award at the X conference

Building Team OKRs

  1. Again, start by setting the “O’s”

Here, the teams contribute directly to their identification. Invite them to specify how they can contribute to the corporate OKRs, at their level, in the next 3 months.

Increase the level of security, launch an MVP, reposition a particular product, improve customer support…

  1. Finally, define the “KRs”

Ask your teams now to assess the right level of performance to achieve according to the “O” set. The proposed metrics must be balanced: ambitious enough to achieve results and accessible enough to avoid discouragement.


Let’s take a closer look at this with our corporate OKR. The company already has a beta product, and is preparing for its launch.

Executive Team Objective

Be ready to accelerate by the end of the year for the launch of our product

Key Result #1

Establish 3 strategic partnerships in this new market to gain visibility

Key Result #2

Close the Series B funding round with a minimum of €5 million

Key Result #3

Develop the product team with perfect knowledge to allow a high-level quality onboarding of users

Product Team Objective

Find our product/market fit for our main persona

Key Result #1

Improve user-testing feedbacks score from 5 to 8/10

Key Result #2

Test top 5 ideas that come from problems interview that match our target

Key Result #3

New UX product tour with 15 new customers extends first use by 20′

OKR Examples

You can find this and other examples in our saas solution

Define team OKRs with each new cycle

The impact is also achieved through the monitoring of OKRs. They are therefore measured regularly (typically once a week for a team OKR). The objective is considered achieved when it shows a 70% advancement.

At the end of each quarter, it will be time for each team, after a review of the quarter, to design its new OKRs. This time, the OKRs will be based on the progress towards the company’s objectives and the learnings that have taken place during the past cycle.

Need help setting your OKRs?

Rising Goal, with its ecosystem of coaches, offers OKR coaching throughout your OKR journey, whatever your needs.