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Should OKRs be monthly, quarterly or yearly?

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Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a powerful tool used by companies to set goals and track progress. OKRs should be ambitious, measurable, and agile in order to maximize their effectiveness, but when it comes to setting up an OKR cycle, the question remains: should OKRs be monthly, quarterly or yearly? In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of each option and the best-in-class approach to setting up an effective OKR cycle.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Monthly OKRs

Monthly OKRs can be a great way to stay on top of progress, but they can also be too short-term to be effective. Monthly OKRs can be difficult to track, as there is less time to measure progress and make sure objectives are ambitious and measurable.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Quarterly OKRs

Quarterly OKRs are ideal for companies that want to stay agile and innovative. They should be aligned with the company’s overarching mission and goals and include key results to assess progress and identify improvement areas. Regular check-ins and OKR software can help monitor progress and stay on track. Quarterly OKRs allow teams to take innovative and game-changing risks while still having enough time to measure progress and make adjustments if needed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Yearly OKRs

Yearly OKRs should serve as a broad framework or guidance for the year and should inspire quarterly OKRs. They should be ambitious, measurable, and achievable within the year, but not so narrow as to be limiting. Yearly OKRs can help set the direction for the business, but can also be too inflexible and may not allow for unexpected opportunities to be taken advantage of.

The Best-in-Class Approach: Nested Quarterly OKRs within Yearly OKRs

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The best-in-class companies use quarterly OKRs to generate long-term success. The right approach is to set OKRs in a “nested cadences” model, with the company’s mission goal or vision as the biggest doll. Quarterly OKRs should be actionable and include initiatives and weekly plans to drive progress, while annual goals should provide guidance and direction. This model allows for agility and flexibility that annual goals alone cannot provide.

Final Thoughts

OKRs can be a powerful tool for setting and tracking ambitious goals. Companies should choose a cycle that works best for them, but should ensure that the objectives are ambitious and measurable. The ideal OKR cycle is a quarter (3 months) and should be nested within annual goals. With the right approach, companies can use OKRs to generate long-term success.