Operations OKR Examples

Coming up with your Operations OKRs can be a difficult task, so in this blog post, we’ll help you by providing some clear, very concrete OKR examples + tips and tricks, that your Operations team can use as inspiration when creating your OKR.

Achieve stunning packaging efficiency

Key results:

  • Improve avg. order packaging time from 1 minute to 40 seconds
  • Maintain daily avg. packaging error rate of 0.1% throughout the cycle

Optimize running payroll

Key results:

  • Reduce time spent running payroll by 50%

What You’ll Learn About Operations OKR Examples

After you’re done reading this, you should be able to create your own Objectives and Key Results that match where you want your team or organization to go. You’ll learn:

  • Why teams and people within Operations benefit from OKR

  • A great OKR example

  • The key parts that make up an OKR

  • Why you should focus on outcomes instead of outputs

  • … and more OKR examples for Operations

Why Operations Benefit From Using OKR

Operation teams’ main priority is ensuring that the company’s customers are succeeding in solving their problems. Something that OKR can help with.

First, let's take a look at a great example of an Operations OKR and talk about what makes it great.

A Great Operations OKR Example

  • Objective: Increase employee work-life balance

  • Key Result 1: Increase avg. work-life balance review score from 2.5 to 4

The Key Elements To A Great Operations OKR Example

Let’s go over why the example above is a great OKR example for a Operations team. Overall, a great OKR should follow the SMART guidelines of being:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Results-oriented

  • Time-bound

OKR Criteria: Specific

This example is concerned with employee’s balance between work and their life outside work. Areas like these are typically measured through employer review processes or employee survey results. Conducting these gives a great way of quantitatively assessing performance on this metric.

OKR Criteria: Measurable

Because we chose a dedicated metric, it’s a lot easier to check the box that the OKR is measurable. We measure work-life balance based on the survey score and agree that’s how we evaluate balance. There are plenty of other metrics to include, but for now, we focus on this one.

OKR Criteria: Achievable

It’s important to have achievable OKRs. They should always be ambitious, but nothing is more demotivating than unachievable goals. A rule of thumb is that the chance of achieving a Key Result should be around 50% from the start. If you reach 70% and above, it’s considered a success.

OKR Criteria: Results-oriented

Being focused on results is a very important aspect of OKR. It’s so important, that we’ve dedicated an entire section to describing why you should focus on outcomes over outputs below.

OKR Criteria: Time-bound

A key part of defining a goal is also defining when you’re expecting it to be met. For OKR, your goals are usually divided into different cycles and your goals should of course be reached within the end of the cycle.

Focus On Outcomes Over Outputs

As an Operations team, it’s easy to get caught up in focusing your day-to-day work on the outputs of what you do. Doing X gets us Y. But you shouldn’t do that.

OKRs are meant to force you to think about your desired outcome. Then activate the people in your team and democratize how you’ll get there. The key way to turn output-focused goals into outcome-focused goals is to ask “why?”. “Why do we want the output you’re describing?”.

“Negotiate prices on top 10 products” is a goal focused on outputs. Why do we want that? Well, because it’ll get us to a state where we have a more competitive pricing point. Voila, know you have your ingredients for the key results. To give more context, let’s dive into more Operations-focused OKR examples.

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