OKRs Writing Traps

Writing OKRs requires practice and managers tend to easily fall into the below traps:

  1. Marking Committed OkRs as Aspirational OKRs increases the chances of failure as the team may not take them seriously and mistakenly assume that it is okay to not achieve 100% completion.
  2. Marking Aspirational OKRs as Committed OKRs causes "priority-inversion" and defensiveness in team as they allocate more resources to the Aspirational OKRs.
  3. Business As Usual (BAU) OKRs meaning the team maintains status quo and the OKRs do not reflect the real business priorities and customer needs.
  4. Sandbagging, meaning the team picks OKRs that are just enough aspirational so that team can achieve them within the current resources. Committed + Aspirational OKRs should take more than the team's available time and resources otherwise they are effectively committed OKRs.
  5. Low Value Objectives (LVOs) are the OKRs that when achieved do not add any clear business value and hence there is no reason to expend resources on them. For example, "Reduce TAT by 2 hours" is low value and does not provide clear economic benefit. A superior objective could be "Reduce TAT by 2 hours and save 1 FTE that can be released to project XYZ"
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