Denis Jakus

making tech less cryptic

CTO x Unique People

Denis Jakus

making tech less cryptic

CTO x Unique People

CTO Note

Elevate your team by setting SMART goals 🎯3 min read

19 December 2023 Management
Elevate your team by setting SMART goals 🎯3 min read

How do you handle a team? When you have finally hired and assembled the team, the real struggle begins.

Let’s put it this way. It’s only now that real work starts.

Assembling a team was a hard task but keeping the team running as smoothly as possible, is a real challenge, and can make or break your project or even a company.

Welcome to OKR and setting SMART goals!


To make your employees strive you have to set some SMART objectives or better to say OKR (objective key results).

Which will be tracked and measured during a certain period. I suggest quarterly progress review and by the end of a year give some overall assessment.

OKR Framework

The OKR framework was introduced by Intel CEO Andy Grove and brought to Google by venture capitalist John Doerr. Today OKRs are used by many companies, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, UBER..


Objectives are the ultimate goal, the North Star for that period. We should be able to review the objectives at the end of the period and, without the need for interpretation, understand whether we have been successful and to what degree.

This should be as close to black and white as possible in terms of the score – a traffic light system can work well for this:

  • Green: nailed it
  • Amber: delayed/in progress
  • Red: missed

Objectives must be massive and transformational. They should be risky and make you uncomfortable. They often involve committing time and money to something that may not work and might not happen. If you look at your OKRs and feel super confident you’ll achieve them, then you’re not thinking big enough. Objectives should not contain numbers and they should be inspirational.

Time allocations

There are different levels of focus on OKRs vs operational tasks, depending on roles and positions within the organization. More junior staff will typically be spending 80 percent of their time on operational tasks, whereas a more senior team leader or manager may be focusing 80 percent on OKRs.

Key results

Key results are the KPIs of the objectives. They are the things that tell you that you have achieved the objectives. They must be measurable – if it doesn’t have a number, then it is not a key result (“made it better” is not a key result). The only exception is for key results that are binary for things that are either hit or miss, like “launch website”.

Set annual and quarterly OKRs.

At the end of each quarter and year, you must grade your OKRs.

The mechanics of grading

Each objective and key result should get a score between 0 and 1.

Here are some example scores:

  • Zero = complete fail or OKR just wasn’t done
  • 0.6 = satisfactory result
  • 0.7 = good result
  • 1 = nailed/100% result

Key results get a score each and then the objective relating to those key results gets the average score of the KRs.

Don’t take OKRs as a way of being measured on your work or measure your team on theirs. They should help you monitor and manage the direction and effectiveness of everybody’s efforts.

So be honest, be supercritical, and be proud.

Nurture your team as you are here for them!

Denis J.

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