Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

What are OKRs?

OKRs are our quarterly goals to execute our strategy. To make sure our goals are clearly defined and aligned throughout the organization. For more information see Wikipedia and Google Drive (GitLab internal). The OKRs are our quarterly goals

Format

Owner: Key Result as a sentence. Metric

Levels

We only list your key results, these have your (team) name on them. Your objectives are the key results under which your key results are nested, these should normally be owned by your manager. We do OKRs up to the team or director level, we don't do individual OKRs. Part of the individual performance review is the answer to: how much did this person contribute to the team key objects? We have no more than five layers in our team structure. Because we go no further than the team level we end up with a maximum 4 layers of indentation on this page (this layer count excludes the three company/CEO objectives). The match of one "nested" key result with the "parent" key result doesn't have to be perfect. Every team should have at most 9 key results. To make counting easier only mention the team and people when they are the owner. The advantage of this format is that the OKRs of the whole company will fit on 3 pages, making it much easier to have an overview.

Updating

The key results are updated continually throughout the quarter when needed. Everyone is welcome to a suggestion to improve them. To update: make a merge request and assign it to the CEO. If you're a team member or in the core team please post a link to the MR in the #ceo channel.

At the top of the OKRs is a link to the state of the OKRs at the start of the quarter so people can see a diff.

Timeline of how we draft the OKRs:

  1. Executive team pushes updates to this page: 4 weeks before the start of the quarter
  2. Executive team 90 minute planning meeting: 3 weeks before the start of the quarter
  3. Discuss with the board and the teams: 2 weeks before the start of the quarter
  4. Executive team 'how to achieve' presentations: 1 week before the start of the quarter
  5. Add Key Results to top of 1:1 agenda's: before the start of the quarter
  6. Present OKRs at a functional group update: first week of the quarter
  7. Present 'how to achieve' at a functional group update: during first three weeks of the quarter
  8. Review previous quarter and next during board meeting: after the start of the quarter

Critical acclaim

Spontaneous chat messages from team members after introducing this:

2017-Q3

Summary: With a great team make a popular next generation product that grows revenue.

Objective 1: Grow incremental ACV according to plan.

Objective 3: Great team.

2017-Q4 DRAFT

Objective 1: Grow incremental ACV according to plan.

Objective 3: Great team.