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Objectives and Key Results by Ben Lamorte, Paul R. Niven

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Chapter SixMaking OKRs Sustainable

DON'T THINK OF OKRs AS A PROJECT

When you think of the word project, what comes to mind? Probably something along the lines of a planned undertaking utilizing both human and financial resources that has a defined beginning, finite scope, and anticipated end date. In the corporate world, projects—sometimes referred to as initiatives—typically reflect all of those characteristics, and are a common accompaniment to your daily work life.

OKRs reflect many of the attributes noted above, with the primary exception of one, and that is “anticipated end date.” Your OKRs program will have to begin on some unique day, it will entail the use of financial and human resources, and the implementation will be carefully planned. What you should not do, however, is assign an anticipated end date. Projects come to a natural end, whether successfully completed or not; at some point the endeavor is terminated. OKRs on the other hand should be ingrained in your culture, and ultimately become part of the way you do business on an ongoing basis.

An OKRs implementation is never really complete because your business is never finished. Is there ever a point at which you can confidently declare victory? A glorious day when you've vanquished your competitors far and wide, achieved complete domination of the market, and surpassed all of your customers' wildest hopes and expectations? Of course not, because the environment in which you operate is constantly shifting under ...

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