OKR Objectives and Key Results, Pyramid Guide

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OKR, which stands for Objectives and Key Results, is a goal-setting framework that helps organizations define and track objectives alongside measurable results. The Scheme Guide to OKR breaks this framework down into hierarchical layers, ensuring clarity from high-level objectives down to actionable key results. By visualizing OKRs in a scheme structure, teams can prioritize their efforts, align their strategies, and achieve more effective outcomes.

The Complete Guide to OKR Objectives and Key Results: The Pyramid Approach

The OKR framework emerged as an agile method for goal setting, popularized by figures like John Doerr and platforms such as Intel. The fundamental principle behind this approach revolves around setting Objectives that are broad, qualitative, and inspiring, and defining Key Results, which are specific, measurable outcomes that signify progress toward the objective.

The Pyramid Guide: Cascading OKRs

  1. Understanding the Cascade: At the top of the scheme, we find the organizational OKRs that outline the company’s vision. As we move downwards, the OKRs become more specific, transitioning into team-level OKRs and finally individual OKRs. This descent represents the cascade of objectives from higher to lower levels of the organization.
  2. Use the Scheme of Clarity: This visual tool helps organizations introduce OKRs seamlessly, ensuring that everyone in the organization has clear, aligned, and measurable goals. When setting OKRs, remember to define 3-5 key results per objective to maintain clarity.

Pinterest’s Approach to OKRs

Under the leadership of Naveen Gavini, Pinterest revamped its OKR process. Dubbed Pinterest’s Pyramid OKRs, this approach drew inspiration from John Doerr’s teachings. The motto, “I’ve shared our setup,” emphasized the importance of transparency in goal management.

Setting and Measuring OKRs

  1. Defining Objectives: Consider what you want to achieve in the long term. This should resonate with the organization’s roadmap and long-term goals.
  2. Determining Key Results: For every objective, define two to five key results. These represent measurable outcomes that will indicate progress toward the stated objective.
  3. Review & Cadence: Quarterly OKRs are typical, but the OKR review cadence might differ based on the organization’s preferences. At the end of each quarter (or your chosen period), take time to discuss achievements, learnings, and future goals.

Benefits of Using the OKR Method

  • Alignment Across Levels: Cascading OKRs ensure that company goals align with team and individual goals.
  • Motivation: OKRs challenge the team, setting ambitious stretch goals.
  • Clarity and Focus: OKRs help teams prioritize efforts, moving from a broad vision to actionable tasks.


While OKRs and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) both measure success, they have distinct roles. KPIs gauge the performance of ongoing processes, while OKRs signify what the organization wants to achieve within a set timeframe. It’s essential to understand the difference and use both effectively.

Getting Started with OKRs

For those new to the OKR method, an OKR coach can provide valuable insights. As Andy Grove, one of the pioneers behind OKRs at Intel stated, the OKR cycle is a continuous journey of setting and achieving goals. Embrace this new way of working, and as you progress, remember the saying: “I’ve shared our setup with others in my position, and almost every one of us has benefited.”

In essence, the OKR method is more than just a tool—it’s an organizational transformation. The Pyramid Guide brings a structured way to introduce, use, and benefit from OKRs across all levels of the organization. As you embark on this journey, let this guide serve as your roadmap to success.


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