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No, we still don't have OKRs completely figured out but we're still learning (Part II)

3 months ago - Laura Lundell

This is continued from our original OKR post.

Disclaimer: Our original title, “How we finally got OKRs to work for our startup” is a bit misleading. It sounds like after a few short months we’d successfully figured out how to OKRs and have never made any mistakes since. Not so, but any misguided attempts in thinking we’ve got them all figured out have led to more valuable learnings so it’s still a work in progress.

Quarter 2 OKRs

After starting out Quarter 2 with some worthy goals, a few weeks in we realized that some of our goals were still stagnant—hadn’t quite achieved the progress we were aiming for.

Were we simply not accomplishing any meaningful work? Spending our time on the wrong tasks? Or were our Key Results well-intentioned yet misguided from the get-go?

But this time we decided to take action sooner before we ended another quarter with nothing much to show for our time.

We asked ourselves a seemingly straightforward question:

“What is the one thing we need the most in our company right now?”

Sales. Easy answer. This became the new, singular objective.
And our Key Results?
Create 10 Pieces of Sales Collateral
Input 600 Qualified Leads on Sales List
Write 10 Blog Posts

Which of our current OKRs actually supported that goal?

Experiments. This certainly fit in well to our mission. We left this unstated, though but carried it with us in our mindset moving forward.

Then what were the other 2 about? While they weren’t entirely meaningless (again, it took several hours to carefully craft and choose them) this allowed us the needed perspective to recognize they were not helping us reach our No. 1 priority.

Hmm, let’s rethink this

We were definitely making progress but were the numbers we were targeting unnecessarily high?

On one hand, we argued that yes, maybe they were but wasn’t that the point. We could finish out the quarter with the numbers we originally set and chalk it up as yet another learning experience.

On the other hand, arbitrarily high numbers were unnecessary and we could learn our lesson now and take action rather than waiting it out. (Although the perfectionists among us didn’t take to the idea of achieving such a small percentage of stated goals.)

End Result

Was the quarter a failure or partial success?

In the end, we’d created 5 pieces of collateral, 226 on our qualified leads list and had 17 blog posts in queue.


While we certainly don’t have OKRs all figured out, each step is taking us closer to

As we grow and welcome new team members to Attently, the way we go about discussing, deciding and executing OKRs will change but we welcome the learning process. Because if there’s one thing Attently is good at doing as a startup, it’s adapting to an an ever changing set of circumstances and new information as we continue to learn, experiment, and grow.

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