In any context, objectives (or outcomes) are essential as they give guidance or direction; instead of focusing on solutions.
(Solutions in the broad meaning: a product or service, an improvement, a feature, a functionality, …)
We want to track progress concerning objectives, not only solutions. Quite often, solutions are proposed or defined without an objective in mind. To reach a specific objective, multiple solutions are possible.
When teams are given an objective, they can think for themselves about possible solutions and which solutions fit the best in the current environment (system, product, service, …). In general, teams who own part of the problem statement and the solution space are more motivated, focused, and creative, as they feel ownership.
OKRs = Objectives + Key Results
It is a method of defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes.
- Objectives are what the organization or individual want to accomplish, and are typically subjective, qualitative. Objectives can be ambitious, can be challenging.
- Key results are concrete, specific, and measurable. They describe how you will accomplish the related objective, and measure whether you accomplished the objective or not.
The clue is that Objectives Key Results can be defined on several levels in the organization: for example, executive management, departments, products or services, teams.