OKRs Examples

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Operations

OKRs for Operations

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Why use OKRs for operations

Operations teams are responsible for creating more efficient processes in an organisation. An operations manager’s job is to effectively prioritise strategic areas for improvement without restricting the flexibility at the core of the role.

OKRs enable operations teams to identify and focus on specific quarterly goals. They help shift the focus on the systems needing the most fine-tuning, exposing inefficiencies and ambiguities. 

On a more targeted level, objectives link operations team efforts to an overarching strategy, and key results provide operations teams with useful metrics for productivity and efficiency.

How to write OKRs for operation teams

Step 1. Understand OKRs

When broken down into steps, OKRs are easier to manage. Remember three points: Objectives (O), Key Results (KRs) and projects.

  • Objectives: Broad statements that define the direction for the quarter.
  • Key Results: Milestones or indicators of success.
  • Projects: The tasks that will help you achieve Key Results.

For a more in-depth explanation, see our comprehensive guide to writing OKRs.

Step 2. Pick a captain

Choosing a team captain isn’t limited to high-school sports — OKRs work best when there’s a pilot to help keep the operations team on track. 

The OKRs leader should have a good understanding of OKRs and why the framework is valuable. The team captain should be ready to support the team while everyone learns the basics. 

Start small — aim for a couple of Objectives for the quarter and ground them with three Key Results each. Encourage weekly check-ins for the best results.

Step 3. Define your Objectives

How do you decide on what your quarterly focus should be? One way is by using the AARRR framework. Five stages are identified in this framework: acquisition, activation, retention, referral and revenue. 

  • Acquisition: How do customers find us?
  • Activation: How do those that find us become customers?
  • Retention: How often do customers return?
  • Referral: How often do customers refer us?
  • Revenues: How much money are we making?

Operations teams will have to dip their fingers into all the honey pots, but revenue may be their main focus.

Step 4. Outline your Key Results

To accompany your Objectives, list Key Results. Good Key Results follow SMART guidelines — they’re specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

To help you visualise, we’ve created a template for writing SMART Key Results:

  • Improve <metric> from X to Y

Remember — Key Results should define the success of your metrics. Once you’ve drafted your metrics, check them against your objectives to test their relevancy. 

Step 5. List your projects

Here’s the easy part — think about what you can do to make progress on your Key Results and create a to-do list. This should be as short or long as suits you and your team, but keep in mind that a lengthy list may discourage first-timers. 

Here’s a guide to managing your tasks in the Tability app.

Examples of operations OKRs

You may be thinking, “That's a lot of info,” so let's paint a picture. As you write your first OKRs, focus on outcomes and accountability rather than projects. The following examples illustrate that process and reveal what OKRs look like for operations teams.

OKRs examples for process improvement

Process improvement is the bread and butter of operations teams. A process optimisation approach involves examining and improving organisational processes in order to optimise team performance. This ultimately improves the efficiency of the workplace and by proxy, the experience of end-users. Here’s a broad OKRs example to improve team efficiency.

Objective

Create a internal system for knowledge sharing

Key result

Create 25 internal articles for knowledge sharing

Key result

Run 5 internal workshops on better communications or collaboration

Key result

Team completed 40 total hours of video courses

OKR examples for sales operations

The role of sales operations is to support and enable sales representatives to sell more effectively and improve overall profitability. Here is an example of an OKR plan for a sales operations manager.

Objective

Turn sales into an efficient engine

Key result

Reduce Customer Acquistion Costs from $740 to $350

Key result

Increase inbound sales by 30%

Key result

Reduce the sales cycle from 9 to 3 months

OKR examples for customer operations

Customer operations teams help companies build and implement better customer service strategies and functions. A good example of the quarterly focus and plan for customer operations teams is shown below.

Objective

Be known for having legendary support

Key result

Improve CSAT from 70% to 85%

Key result

Reduce first response time to 1h

Key result

Improve average resolution time to be under 5h

Need some inspiration for your goals?

Check hundreds of OKRs examples and templates to help your set ambitious goals.

Tracking your OKRs

Writing OKRs without tracking is like committing to something but not following through. Keeping track of your OKRs weekly is crucial to success. Weekly check-ins keep operations teams accountable, exposing downward trends and allowing you to correct them.

But check-ins are easier said than done. The whole operations team must be able to implement them easily for them to be effective. While online software isn’t fundamental to OKRs, spreadsheets, formulas and manual updates may make your team resent OKRs.

Introducing Tability — our online OKRs assistant that keeps things simple with built-in check-ins and reminders. Our software automates the OKRs framework, making it easier for your operations team to buy in.

Tability will act as your accountability buddy


What other operations metrics can you use?

It's time to select the best metrics for your operations team's success. We've compiled the best metrics for operations success that you can use.

You may wish to start with these:

Administrative costs

A business’ administrative expenses, such as executive salaries and the cost of running the organisation.

Customer retention

How many customers become repeat customers, and how engaged are they?

Gross profit margin

The amount of money left over after subtracting the cost of goods sold.

Operational expenses

A business’ operational expenses, such as the cost of materials and labour.

Policy compliance

How well employees adhere to financial, legal and company policies.

Productivity

How well employees manage their time and complete their tasks.

Quality of work

A team, individual or organisation's performance and output.

Return on advertising

How much money is earned versus spent on marketing and advertising.

Stop wasting your OKRs. Focus on the right work and accomplish your goals.

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