Why are OKRs so popular?

Learn Google’s, Amazon’s, and Facebook’s chosen Management Framework



Until the late 1970s, when Andrew (Andy) Grove (at the time Executive Vice President of Intel) introduced the OKRs as a new goal-setting technique, businesses were using the Management by Objectives (MBO) framework, established by Peter Drucker in 1954. Grove’s framework aimed at improving an organization’s performance by defining Objectives that were created and mutually agreed upon between management and employees.


However, as Grove came to observe, the MBO technique was insufficient to ensure that the Objectives set at the beginning of each year were, indeed, fulfilled, as organizations would struggle with tracking the Objectives and keeping employees involved and motivated.


In his search for a more efficient strategy that would enable businesses to set and achieve measurable, specific goals, and using the MBO technique as the foundation of his methodology, Grove added Key Results to the Objectives and shortened the feedback cycle from yearly to quarterly. This way, he ensured proper and timely tracking of the Objectives. This new methodology, which Grove initially called “Intel’s MBO” or “iMBO”, was actively endorsed by John Doerr, who joined Intel in 1974 as an electrical engineer and in 1999 (by then he has joined Kleiner Perkins, one of the initial Google’s investors) introduced the OKR framework to Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin.


Following Intel and Google, no wonder some of the world’s leading companies such as Netflix, LinkedIn, Amazon, Nike, Oracle, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe, Dell, and Samsung, have implemented successfully the OKRs methodology to innovate, grow and achieve their moon-shot goals (Castro 2019, Doerr, 2018, den Haak 2021).





altoValue’s take:


At altoValue, we consider OKRs as the most successful agile management, planning, and execution system to focus on top priorities, accelerate growth, achieve results, and have teams aligned and motivated.


We focus on guiding and motivating companies towards achieving their most audacious Strategic Goals and transforming their businesses in a more lean and agile manner through the implementation of a unique OKRs-driven Management Framework®. Our customers have repeatedly emphasized how the implementation of OKRs has increased their growth rate, it has helped them define and clarify both their ultimate goal and the strategy to achieve it, and how it has enabled them to start implementing their best future version.


Ready to get started with OKRs? Learn the basics of OKRs in our intro to Objectives & Key Results!




References:

Castro F. (2019). The Beginner's Guide To OKR.


Doerr, J. (2018). Measure what matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs. Penguin.


den Haak B. (2021). Moving the Needle with Lean OKRs: Setting Objectives and Key Results to Reach Your Most Ambitious Goal. Business Expert Press.