5 customisable OKR examples for Technical Debt

What are Technical Debt OKRs?

The Objective and Key Results (OKR) framework is a simple goal-setting methodology that was introduced at Intel by Andy Grove in the 70s. It became popular after John Doerr introduced it to Google in the 90s, and it's now used by teams of all sizes to set and track ambitious goals at scale.

OKRs are quickly gaining popularity as a goal-setting framework. But, it's not always easy to know how to write your goals, especially if it's your first time using OKRs.

To aid you in setting your goals, we have compiled a collection of OKR examples customized for Technical Debt. Take a look at the templates below for inspiration and guidance.

If you want to learn more about the framework, you can read our OKR guide online.

Building your own Technical Debt OKRs with AI

While we have some examples available, it's likely that you'll have specific scenarios that aren't covered here. You can use our free AI generator below or our more complete goal-setting system to generate your own OKRs.

Feel free to explore our tools:

Our customisable Technical Debt OKRs examples

You will find in the next section many different Technical Debt Objectives and Key Results. We've included strategic initiatives in our templates to give you a better idea of the different between the key results (how we measure progress), and the initiatives (what we do to achieve the results).

Hope you'll find this helpful!

1. OKR to enhance Webhooks Experience and Address Technical Debt

  • ObjectiveEnhance Webhooks Experience and Address Technical Debt
  • Key ResultIncrease webhook delivery success rate by 10% through optimized error handling
  • TaskEnhance webhook monitoring and alerting system to promptly identify and investigate delivery failures
  • TaskImprove error response messaging to provide clear instructions for troubleshooting and resolving issues
  • TaskAnalyze webhook error logs to identify common errors and create specific error handling strategies
  • TaskImplement automated retry mechanism to resend failed webhook deliveries in case of temporary errors
  • Key ResultReduce webhook response time by 20% by streamlining and optimizing the underlying technology
  • Key ResultReduce technical debt by resolving 50% of identified issues through prioritized backlog refinements
  • Key ResultImplement automated testing for webhooks to ensure compatibility and reduce regression issues
  • TaskIntegrate the automated testing framework with the existing webhook infrastructure
  • TaskContinuously monitor and analyze test results to identify and address any compatibility issues
  • TaskResearch and select a suitable automated testing framework for webhooks
  • TaskDevelop a comprehensive test suite for webhooks to cover all possible scenarios

2. OKR to reduce technical debt

  • ObjectiveReduce significantly the technical debt in our platform
  • Key ResultDedicated 20% of our sprint effort to tackling technical debt
  • Key ResultClose 40 issues tagged as technical debt
  • Key ResultBoost application performance by 40% as a result of the debt culling

3. OKR to substantially reduce technical debt across all projects

  • ObjectiveSubstantially reduce technical debt across all projects
  • Key ResultAchieve 95% test code coverage to identify and correct hidden bugs
  • TaskUse a code coverage tool to measure efficiency
  • TaskRefactor poorly covered code sections
  • TaskWrite comprehensive unit tests for each function or component
  • Key ResultDecrease codebase complexity by 25% using refactoring techniques
  • TaskImplement effective refactoring techniques to simplify code
  • TaskRegularly review and optimize code to maintain simplicity
  • TaskIdentify redundant and inefficient code for elimination
  • Key ResultConduct bi-weekly code reviews to identify and solve 30% of debt issues
  • TaskSchedule bi-weekly code review sessions
  • TaskIdentify issues contributing to code debt
  • TaskImplement solutions for 30% of identified issues

4. OKR to minimize technical debt across all 100 crawlers

  • ObjectiveMinimize technical debt across all 100 crawlers
  • Key ResultReduce the number of crippling bugs by 60% across all active crawlers
  • TaskAllocate more resources for extensive crawler bug testing
  • TaskRoll out regular updates to eliminate known issues
  • TaskImplement rigorous code review before deployment
  • Key ResultDevelop and implement robust refactoring plans for 75% of identified issues
  • TaskImplement refactoring plans across 75% of identified areas
  • TaskIdentify key areas requiring refactoring within the system
  • TaskCreate comprehensive, efficient refactoring plans for these areas
  • Key ResultIdentify and document technical debt in 100% of the crawlers
  • TaskReview all crawler codes to identify technical debt
  • TaskLog debt detail in a central tracking system
  • TaskPrepare a comprehensive technical debt report

5. OKR to tackle technical debt

  • ObjectiveTackle technical debt generated by feature rush
  • Key ResultMigrate 80% of projects to new UI library to reduce UI debt
  • Key ResultReduce percentage of issues tagged as debt by 30%
  • Key ResultReduce debt-related contact rate by 50%

Best practices for managing your Technical Debt OKRs

Generally speaking, your objectives should be ambitious yet achievable, and your key results should be measurable and time-bound (using the SMART framework can be helpful). It is also recommended to list strategic initiatives under your key results, as it'll help you avoid the common mistake of listing projects in your KRs.

Here are a couple of best practices extracted from our OKR implementation guide 👇

Tip #1: Limit the number of key results

Focus can only be achieve by limiting the number of competing priorities. It is crucial that you take the time to identify where you need to move the needle, and avoid adding business-as-usual activities to your OKRs.

We recommend having 3-4 objectives, and 3-4 key results per objective. A platform like Tability can run audits on your data to help you identify the plans that have too many goals.

Tability Insights DashboardTability's audit dashboard will highlight opportunities to improve OKRs

Tip #2: Commit to the weekly check-ins

Having good goals is only half the effort. You'll get significant more value from your OKRs if you commit to a weekly check-in process.

Being able to see trends for your key results will also keep yourself honest.

Tability Insights DashboardTability's check-ins will save you hours and increase transparency

Tip #3: No more than 2 yellow statuses in a row

Yes, this is another tip for goal-tracking instead of goal-setting (but you'll get plenty of OKR examples above). But, once you have your goals defined, it will be your ability to keep the right sense of urgency that will make the difference.

As a rule of thumb, it's best to avoid having more than 2 yellow/at risk statuses in a row.

Make a call on the 3rd update. You should be either back on track, or off track. This sounds harsh but it's the best way to signal risks early enough to fix things.

Best way to track your Technical Debt OKRs

Quarterly OKRs should have weekly updates to get all the benefits from the framework. Reviewing progress periodically has several advantages:

  • It brings the goals back to the top of the mind
  • It will highlight poorly set OKRs
  • It will surface execution risks
  • It improves transparency and accountability

We recommend using a spreadsheet for your first OKRs cycle. You'll need to get familiar with the scoring and tracking first. Then, you can scale your OKRs process by using a proper OKR-tracking tool for it.

A strategy map in TabilityTability's Strategy Map makes it easy to see all your org's OKRs

If you're not yet set on a tool, you can check out the 5 best OKR tracking templates guide to find the best way to monitor progress during the quarter.

More Technical Debt OKR templates

We have more templates to help you draft your team goals and OKRs.

OKRs resources

Here are a list of resources to help you adopt the Objectives and Key Results framework.

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