OKR Examples

Engineering OKR Examples

Sample OKRs along with relevant discussions, organised by function

OKR 1 (1)

Engineering

Engineering departments, bolstered by the history of Silicon Valley, surge ahead with the adoption of OKRs. This agile form of goal setting for an engineering department fosters creative problem solving ideology, and here are few real world engineering OKR examples.

The levels of OKRs are indicative & can be different for different organizations and teams depending on the size, stage & maturity of OKR processes in the organization.

Team Level OKRs

Objectives Key Results Observations
Create a high performing engineering team
  1. Hire 10 new engineers by end of Q2 FY 2017-18
  2. Agree & document performance measurement metrics for individual contributions
  3. Increase knowledge & enhance skill sets of team members by ensuring each one participates in at least one of the industry-wide hackathons
The objective can be applicable to any engineering company. What sets this OKR apart are the key results which measure success. These key results will differ across teams, and it can be either a team level objective or a company level depending on the size & stage of the company. If an engineering company is at an early stage, this can be a top level objective.
Increase quality of releases and and make sure they are timely
  1. Less than 2 major priority bugs found in production
  2. Increase unit test coverage to 75 % from current 45 %
  3. Engineering teams contribute 1200 code reviews by end of every sprint
  4. Not a single release to go beyond planned date, meeting the condition that story points delivered every release are at least 90
This objective too can be quite common to any software team. The 4th key result, for example, provides a hard boundary on release dates, but offsets it with a story limit of 90, so that it shouldn’t happen at the cost of delivery points.
Increase efficiency of QA processes
  1. Test cases for all P1, P2 stories are completed & handed over to dev before development starts (compliance to be measured every sprint) 1 week before release date, no blocker & critical bugs should be open
  2. Bug leakage to production for critical issues is less than 1%
  3. Less than 3 bugs reported by end users per release
While the first key result is detailed, it is difficult to measure, and is almost never practiced. Such objectives/KRs need an explicit measuring schedule, like ‘every sprint’ mentioned in the
Increase data security and prevent breakdown incidents
  1. 100% data recovery due to daily backup of critical data
  2. Number of breakdowns reduced to 1 per quarter
  3. Upgrade processes and reduce data migration time by 80%
Key results that are impossible to be measured, like the 2nd one, leave too many things open to interpretation.
Increase infrastructure reliability
  1. Provide state-of-the-art tools and software to increase productivity by 30%
  2. Reduce breakdowns in the peak hours by 90% (in the last 6 months some of the APAC users have experienced intermittent outages during US-Mountain time office hours)
  3. Conduct a training program for employees to impose best practices in infrastructure configurations (we want to avoid a repeat of the John Doe incident, where an inefficient configuration led to burnout of application servers)
Providing context with the key results can be a quick reminder of their importance, and it also can surface contextual data that may actually help in achieving the key result. These additional bits of information can be added in the KR description too.
Implement Agile project management across the engineering organization
  1. All the projects within engg department are fully agile before end of quarter (definition of ‘fully agile’ is available in objective id OBJ-123)
  2. External agile coaches are hired, 1 coach for every 2.5 projects
  3. Tweaks, deployment parameters for Acme agile (our flavor of agile) are agreed upon, documented with all project managers & COO
A KR that clearly articulates relationship with another objective, needs a proper OKR software that offers the linking/alignment feature.

Individual level OKRs

Objectives Key Results Observations
Build a product that our customers love & is successful
  1. Achieve Net Promotor Score (NPS) of 925% pre-sign ups come from existing customers Get 1 referral for every 3 customers (aka viral coefficient)
Accuracy in the measuring of KRs improves the chances of achieving them & thereby the objective, and suits engineering teams that are more inclined to measuring numbers.
Increase quality of coding
  1. 40% reduction in runtime warnings
    Create a checklist of standard procedure to follow
  2. Introduce a test automation framework that runs all tests on each code commit
  3. Practice mindful thinking and meditation to increase concentration and productivity
KRs can also focus on ancillary aspects, like wellness – and including it in relevant cases can help boost morale.
Improve performance of the product
  1. Reduce number of critical bugs by 15%
    Increase stability of performance from 25% to 35% (definition is available in the description)
  2. Create FAQ sheet and enable customers to optimise use of the product