OKR Examples

Sample objectives and Key Results (OKRs) by department
Our Examples


Why Choose OKRs for your Engineering Team

OKRs or Objectives and Key Results are a collaborative goal-setting tool used by engineering teams and other departments to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. OKRs are how you track progress, create alignment, and encourage engagement around measurable goals.

OKRs can be a superpower for creating an environment where employees are able to work with purpose. Companies like Intel, LinkedIn and Airbnb have achieved amazing results with OKRs, but less often discussed is the fact that deploying a goal framework in the right way can create a vastly better working environment.

The OKR methodology is very simple, and when used properly, OKRs can help your engineering team create things like high output management, team alignment and increased communication in all your business goals.

Writing & Implementing OKRs for your Engineering Team

When it comes to creating and writing incredible OKRs consider the following formula: We will __(Objective)__ as measured by __(these Key Results)__.

Designed to fit the needs of any organization size, department or industry, OKRs work the same for setting goals throughout many company levels. They can also be used by individuals or small teams to achieve results. .

Objectives need to be clear, actionable and  (ideally) inspiring, while also actionable and time-bound. 

Key results determine whether an Objective has succeeded or failed. They are quantifiable, measurable and time-bound, so that it's easy for the team to gauge progress. Contributors on the KRs should measure progress regularly (ideally weekly), and then at the end of the OKR period (typically a quarter), there’s a regular grading of the KR and retrospective. 

When it comes to writing and setting OKRs, it's a good idea to make it collaborative. By conducting a brainstorming session, it engages your engineering team, gives your team a level of ownership and drives accountability for those results. Ultimately, you want to create a process where teams feel empowered to create their OKRs and then challenge teams across the business to ensure they’re focused on the right priorities at the right time. This process encourages creative thinking and informed risk-taking, all to push your engineering team forward.

Engineering OKRs: Best Practices & Examples

When getting started with engineering OKRs, we get common questions like “how do I write a good engineering team OKR?” or “can you give me a good example of an engineering QA OKR?” To answer these questions, we created a list of example engineering OKRs so you can have some inspiration as you begin to write your own company, department and team OKRs

Engineering OKRs for Product

OBJECTIVE: Improve the quality of our product

Key Results:

  • Reduce the average number of new bug reports from 72 per month to 60 per month
  • Increase the crash-free ratio from 96% to 99% for the new release
  • Reduce average QA rejections per-feature from 1.7 to 1.0
  • Increase code coverage from 35% to 50%

Engineering OKRs for Performance

OBJECTIVE: Accelerate the development team speed

Key Results:

  • Increase Sprint velocity from 42 to 60 points
  • Reduce the average number of bugs per feature from 1.7 to 1
  • Reduce average code review time by 30%
  • Reduce "design-blocked" flag to <2% of planned features

OBJECTIVE: Increase the automation of the deployment

Key Results:

  • Set up and implement automatic CI and CD with CloudBees
  • 100% of logged errors reported to Sentry
  • Reduce Travis build times <5m for all projects
  • Reduce "design-blocked" flag to <2% of planned features

OBJECTIVE: Improve the quality of the development process

Key Results:

  • 100% of projects use standard style and linting rules
  • 100% of Pull Requests are reviewed and explicitly approved
  • Research and implement single code-style for all the engineering teams
  • Set up automatic CI and CD with Jenkins

OBJECTIVE: Refactor old reporting CRM module

Key Results:

  • Create the refactoring plan
  • 80% of components ported from AngularJS to React
  • 100% of reporting routes (/api) migrated to new paths
  • Reduce the response time for old APIs from 890 ms to 300 ms (on average)

Engineering OKRs for Quality Assurance

OBJECTIVE: Drive Quality for Features in Our New Release

Key Results:

  • Proactively find >20 bugs
  • Implement the new QA automation tool and run new process on 50% of code base
  • Reduce critical bugs reported from 5 to 2

OBJECTIVE: Maintain an Agile Process

Key Results:

  • Implement workflow graph for 75% of existing processes
  • Certify 100% of team members on migrated database
  • Create 25 Knowledge Base articles

Engineering OKRs for Education

OBJECTIVE: Continuously improve and grow as a team

Key Results:

  • Competency matrix covers all existing roles (3)
  • "A player" job descriptions cover existing and planned roles (4)
  • 10K views of blog articles sharing our recent performance testing and insights
  • Speak on the local JS meetup

OBJECTIVE: Boost team members career development

Key Results:

  • Increase the promotion rate by 20% this year
  • Career roadmaps exist for 5 most popular positions
  • Increase the 1-on-1s satisfaction for the "career development" question from 7.3 to 9.0

OBJECTIVE: Launch internal Education Camp

Key Results:

  • Conduct 6 interview with tech leads to figure out the most critical educational needs
  • Roadmap outlines monthly educational events/activities (12)
  • Conduct the first EduCamp for Engineering team on the Security topic
  • Achieve 9.0 satisfaction and effectiveness score of the first module

Engineering/Developer Community 

OBJECTIVE: Become a socially responsible organization

Key Results:

  • 10K views of blog articles on educational engineering
  • 5 of our team members volunteer in the local tree-planting event
  • Hire 2 juniors for the summer internship

OBJECTIVE: Contribute to the open-source community

Key Results:

  • Open-source our Image processing library and receive 100 stars on Github
  • Merge 10 pull-requests to the public repositories
  • Release and achieve 5,000 views on our Guide on Security Testing

Engineering OKRs for Security

OBJECTIVE: Achieve SOC 2 Compliance

Key Results:

  • Document process to resolve security issues
  • Successfully train 5 Engineers on security compliance
  • Complete Pen testing with fewer than 3 vulnerabilities found

How Koan Simplifies OKRs For Engineering Teams

An ideal OKR software tool will build and reinforce great practices while fitting in seamlessly with the way your engineering team already works. Teams who use a software-based OKR tool have improved alignment and work better together. By having purpose-built software for the job of goal tracking, you’ll avoid a ton of time spent running around and getting updates. 

Get started with Koan for free today.

Ready to get started?
Join thousands of companies discovering more purposeful work with Koan.
Get Started