OKR versus OGSM

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OKR versus OGSM
Caterina Maluenda, Project Manager, Netherlands

OKR is a goal management method that helps you achieve the goals of your organization. By linking your objectives to measurable results, you ensure that these objectives are actually achieved. Where OGSM is a deepening of Management by Objectives, OKR is actually a simplification of this.

What is OKR

OKR is therefore a method to manage your goals. With OKR you link your goals to measurable results so that it is clear, insightful and clear to everyone how the objective is progressing and when it has been achieved. With OKR you create direction and alignment within your organization. The aim is to make sure that everyone knows which direction we are going and where the priorities lie.

What does OKR stand for?

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. OKR’s Objectives are the long-term goals that are based on your vision and mission. They are descriptions of what you want to achieve. They should be short, ambitious, directional and understandable. If your Objective doesn’t motivate and challenge the team, it’s not a good Objective.
OKR’s Key Results are the measurements of the Objectives. If you get a Key Result, it must contribute to one of the Objectives. OKR’s Key Results provide an indication of the Objective’s progression. They must be measurable, ambitious and above all impressionable.
In addition to OKR’s Objective and Key Results, OKR also offers Initiatives. These are actually the to-do’s that you should draw up that will help you achieve your Key Results and thus contribute to achieving your goals.

How did OKR originate?

Like OGSM, OKR originated from Management by Objectives. While Management by Objectives was conceived by Peter Drucker, Andrew Grove first spoke about OKR in his book High Output Management. When Andrew Grove founded his own company ‘Intel’, he also introduced this way of goal management in his own company. Here John Doerr got to know and work with the method. John Doerr eventually introduced this method to Google and nowadays the OKR method is used by many large companies such as Spotify and Netflix.
The better alternative to OKR; OGSM
People who are familiar with OGSM will notice that OKR is very similar to OGSM. This is because both methods stem from Management by Objectives. Where OKR is a simplification of MBO, OGSM is a deepening of MBO.
OKR is mainly useful for managing a handful of goals and OGSM really helps you set up a complete strategic plan.

How does OKR compare to OGSM?
Where OKR only has Goals, Measures and Actions, OGSM also has a Head of Objective and Strategies. Having one clear head Objective helps create even more direction and ensures that your goals really contribute to where the organization wants to go. By also including strategies in your plan, you get much clearer how you can achieve your goals. If you only have measures, you only know when the objectives have been achieved and it is therefore not clear how you are going to achieve them.

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Other Views by this Author: OGSM for Health Care | OGSM for MBA / BBA Students | Cascading an OGSM | What is OGSM and How Does it Work?

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