When you Google objectives and key results (OKRs), you probably come up with a long list of benefits. The search results will tell you that OKRs can help your organization speed up performance, boost employee engagement, and align your team with shared goals.
But after developing your OKRs and putting them to the test, you might feel frustrated if you end up with lackluster results. This sometimes happens when businesses set unrealistic objectives or key results that don’t help them progress toward their goals. Setting up an OKR scoring system can help avoid that disconnect and keep your goal management process on track.
Here’s our guide on why you need to score your OKRs and the most popular OKR scoring methods.
📈 Track and score your OKRs to make meaningful progress toward your goals
Use Leapsome’s OKR management tool to set recurring goal cycles and get automatic updates on progress.
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What is OKR scoring?
OKR scoring is the practice of setting criteria to measure the success of your objectives and key results. It’s an integral part of OKR management because it indicates:
- If an organization is meeting or steadily progressing toward its goals
- If an organization’s objectives and key results are having their intended impact
For instance, your objective could be becoming your area’s leading car insurance provider, and one of your key results could be generating 100 leads. But you might generate 50 leads one month and 85 the next. OKR scoring can help you decide which of those numbers represents significant progress by letting you assign values to the numbers. So, you can determine that 50 means you made progress and 80 means you met your aim.
🤝 Typically, organizations score OKRs three times a quarter during their monthly team OKR check-in meetings. They use OKR management software like Leapsome and resources like OKR Google Sheet templates to map out their strategies.
The benefits of scoring OKRs
This list of advantages that come with OKR grading and tracking shows how essential the process is to OKR management.
- Extra agility: OKR scoring means you regularly assess the initiatives you’re taking to reach your goals. That way, you’ll notice when you’re not getting your expected results sooner and be able to adjust your strategy more quickly.
- Easier OKR tracking: If you regularly record data about your key results, it’s easier to zero in on trends and patterns, like consistently high scores for one specific OKR.
- Clearer targets: When you set an OKR, employees might interpret successful completion differently. Defining success means the whole team knows what good progress looks like for your company. But don’t forget to train all employees on what objectives and key results are and how to implement them, so everyone has a thorough understanding of your OKRs scoring system.
- Greater accountability: When your team has clear goals, it’s simpler for them to pinpoint where they need assistance or are falling short. Then, they can either seek support or take steps to get their initiatives back on track.
- Greater motivation: OKR scoring measures success, which gives your team a better picture of the impact their work is having. And when everyone can see their efforts are contributing to great results, it can inspire them to perform even better.
- More alignment: OKR scoring gives you objective proof when you reach a milestone. That means fewer disputes over whether you’ve completed a goal and easier OKR planning for next quarter.
- Better indications of what worked well and what needs improvement: OKR scoring shows what you should do more and what you should do less. If you regularly meet around 70% of your key results, you know your current strategy is working. But if you get consistently low scores, you should choose a less challenging objective or change how you approach it.
- A higher likelihood of achieving your goals: All the benefits above make OKR management more efficient and effective. This raises the chances of completing all objectives by your deadline.
💡 Need a dynamic OKR management process?
Leapsome’s OKR software provides a flexible framework for managing your goals.
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How to score OKRs
Whether you’re just starting with OKRs or optimizing your existing OKR system, you need to choose an OKR scoring method that aligns with your business model. Consider a simple method for startups and small businesses and a more complex one for larger or fast-growing organizations.
Five methods for grading & scoring OKRs
If you’re choosing an OKR scoring method to work with, these are the most popular options.
1. Traditional grading scale
Traditional OKR scoring uses a scale from 0.0 to 1.0, with 1.0 being the highest. The scale is color-coded, so low is red, average is amber, and high is green. You can also label each color to represent statuses like at risk, off target, and on target, or use statements as pictured in the illustration below.
Once you establish your key results, align them with your scale. In the graphic below, the first key result is to “generate 10 leads per week.” To make that key result match up with the traditional OKR grading scale, 0.1 could represent one lead, 0.2 could represent two leads, and so on.
Then, track your key results and use the scale to score them. In the example below, the company had low scores at the start of the month, with mostly red 0.2s. However, toward the end of the month, they scored higher green numbers.
To tally up each key result’s score for the month, calculate the average by adding up the number for each week and dividing it by 4 (the number of weeks). For instance, the first key result would be (0.2 + 0.2 + 0.9 + 0.8) ÷ 4 = 0.5.
To get the objective’s score for the month, add up the score for each key result and divide it by 3 (the number of key results). That would be (0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5) ÷ 3 = 0.5. As you can see, the company is progressing toward its objective but hasn’t reached the target yet, so management may need to revise their OKRs.
2. Andy Grove method
The Andy Grove method takes a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ approach to scoring OKRs. Let’s say your objective is to gain 1 million clients by the end of the year. If you registered 950,000 clients, that’s a ‘no’ — you didn’t meet your goal.
There are pros and cons to this approach. It’s clear and easy to implement, but it doesn’t match the complexity of many companies’ goal management systems. Plus, the Andy Grove method may demoralize your team if they just fall short of an objective.
3. Grading by key results type
Grading by key results combines the two methods above — you decide whether a key result is more suited to a scale or a binary system and score them accordingly. For instance, you might have the following key results:
- Make US$3 million in sales
- Reduce client churn to 6%
- Launch an app
As the first and second key results are measurable, you can put them on a scale. But the third key result is binary because you either launch an app or don’t.
4. Predictive or confidence scoring
Predictive scoring bases OKR scores on how confident you feel about completing your objectives. You start the quarter with OKRs you feel 50% sure about achieving. Then, as you progress, you keep rating your confidence levels based on your successes up to that point and the new data you receive.
If you’ve set effective OKRs, your confidence level and percentage should rise throughout the quarter. If not, you can warn team members that your objectives are at risk and rethink your initiatives.
5. No-grade approach
The no-grade approach is exactly what it sounds like. Most key results have built-in measurement systems you can use for your OKR scoring. For example, if your key result was to increase sales, you’d measure how much revenue your company was making in sales. And if your key result was making your sales pipeline more efficient, you’d measure how long it takes to convert leads on average.
The no-grade approach may be the most time-effective OKR scoring method for smaller organizations.
Score & grade your OKRs with Leapsome
OKR scoring plays a critical role in the OKR management process. Without it, you risk setting unachievable objectives and demoralizing your team.
Leapsome provides a flexible framework for OKR management that allows you to set, track, and score your OKRs. You can establish and automate an OKR cycle and get reminders for important meetings like monthly check-ins. You can also easily request feedback from other team members on OKRs you need to score. Leapsome will put you on track to achieve your objectives.
🧐 Want a clearer picture of your OKR progress?
Requesting feedback from your people is simple with Leapsome’s OKR management platform.
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Frequently asked questions about OKR scoring
How do you score OKRs?
You can score OKRs using a scale or a binary system. The traditional method scores OKRs on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0 — with 1.0 meaning the team achieved its objective. However, the Andy Grove method uses a binary ‘yes’ or ‘no’ scoring system. Other approaches include:
- Grading by key results type
- Predictive or confidence scoring
- The no-grade approach
How strictly should OKRs be graded?
You should grade your OKRs strictly while remaining flexible enough to adapt your OKR scoring system when necessary. Ideally, you should consistently hit a target between 60 and 80%. Lower OKR scores indicate that your objectives are unrealistic or that you aren’t working toward them effectively. In contrast, higher OKR scores signal that your objectives are too attainable and you need a greater challenge.
Can an OKR be over 100%?
No, an OKR can’t be over 100% because most OKR software doesn’t recognize results above 100. But consistently scoring 100% indicates your objectives aren’t challenging enough, so you should always aim for a score between 60 and 80%.