How To Score Your OKRs The Right Way

Keith Roberts

Last updated on July 25th, 2022

Scoring your OKRs should be an easy task, but not sure how to do it? Let’s go over examples and describe the best technique.

score okrs

What you need to score your OKRs

Before you can score your OKRs, here are the things you need (I’ll explain later what to do if you don’t have these):

  1. OKRs with numerical key results

  2. A tracking setup that allows to easily measure progress on the numerical key results

  3. A consensus that what you’re measuring is a true reflection of progress toward the objective

Let’s go over each of them individually.

Scoring OKRs: the numerical key results

If done correctly, the short answer is that you should be able to score your OKRs completely objectively. No “I think we’re this far” or “I believe we’re around this point in terms of progress”.

OKRs consist of objectives and key results and key results should always include some numerical aspect. If you’ve formulated your OKRs without any numbers, scroll down to the section below where we tackle that issue.

How do you score OKRs?

Because the key results in your OKRs include a numerical aspect, you can easily identify how far you’ve come to achieving it. Let’s say your goal was to increase some metric by 50% during the OKR cycle.

The general scale of OKRs goes from 0 to 1 where anything above 0.7 is considered a success. OKRs should in general have a probability of being achieved by around 50% before getting started.

You analyze the metric and see that you’ve increased it by 10% during the first couple of weeks. Great, then you should score your OKR to be (10%/50% = 0.2) equal to 2.

How to score non-numerical OKRs

If you’ve created a non-numerical OKR like the following:

  • Objective: Improve our market position

  • Key result: Launch new product X

  • Key result: Improve our marketing setup and spend

… then you have a small problem. Optimally, you should go back and ask yourself the question: “How do we measure our market position?”.

If you can answer that, then you also know what to include in your key result. Let’s say your answer was: “We receive a report every month about the competition situation in our industry”. Then your OKR should’ve been more in the lines of this:

  • Objective: Improve our market position

  • Key result: Grow market share by 3%

It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

Tracking progress on your OKRs

One of the most important aspects of a successful OKR implementation is to make sure the company can create the proper tracking insights.

An OKR with a key result like the one we mentioned above with “Grow market share by 3%” is not very useful if we don’t have an easy way to track market share.

The team needs to be able to update OKR progress on a weekly or monthly basis without having to do extraordinary work.

Consensus about the “source of truth” for your OKR scoring

Once you’ve ensured that you can actually track your OKRs, it’s important that there exist one and only one source of truth. 

There’s nothing worse than team members or team leads debating whether some metric is actually tracked the right way or if it’s a proper representation of the performance.

So make sure that everyone agrees on how things are tracked. Then the team can start focusing on doing real work and moving the OKR closer to the finish line.

Created by OKR Framework © 2022