Creating OKR’s for the First Time

Krishna Aerabati

Director, Software Engineering at Relativity



We wanted to do our OKR's right, like other big companies such as Google, but not everyone knew how to come up with OKR's.

Actions taken

  • The company asked us to read a book on OKR's in order to guide us in formulating them on our own.
  • We partook in some brainstorming sessions to look at our objectives as an organization. Once we agreed on the objectives, they were taken down a level to managers like me. I had to look at them based on the projects I was doing at the time and question how those projects would fit into these company wide goals.
  • Based on our agreements about the objectives and key results we were able to figure out how we were going to measure success. We broke things down to a per quarter basis based on the things we wanted to accomplish by the end of the year.

Lessons learned

  • It is important to design OKRs at the correct time for the organization. The company wide objectives that we had come up with did not always perfectly align themselves with individual objectives. From this, we were able to learn to create our new objectives with issues taken from the last quarter of the previous year.
  • It is better to have milestones for measuring the sucess of your OKR's than a year long plan.
  • Identify the teams that are good for your objectives and only have those teams commit themselves to the key results.
  • Nobody had experience and we knew we wouldn't get the process right the first time, but we still needed to start from somewhere.

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Krishna Aerabati

Director, Software Engineering at Relativity

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