That Google is one of the largest companies in the world, everyone already knows. But what was the secret behind the company that revolutionized the technology market? What have you done in the past 20 years that has changed the way we see the world and how executives run their companies? What made Google’s success?

No more suspense: the name of this methodology is OKR! And here, we are going to talk a little bit about the method behind Google’s success!

Google started in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, when both were doctoral students at Stanford University in California, United States. The company was born with the mission of “organizing the world’s information so that it is universally accessible and useful for everyone”.

From 1996 until today (2020), Google left a research project inside a university for a company valued at 1 trillion dollars! In all this time, the company received investments, developed its business, went public on the stock exchange, bought companies to expand the market (YouTube was one of them, you know?), Changed its management, almost was sold and became one of best-known brands in the world!

Like you, at your company, Google also faces many challenges daily. And during its growth, to maintain the culture and direct all teams to the same path, it was necessary to use a method that combined agility, transparency, and focus on the objective. It was then that they started using OKRs.

OKR: the tool that changed Google

OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a management tool that helps the company to move towards a culture focused on results! It was launched to the market by Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, in the book “High Output Management”. The success of the methodology is due to another person, who knew the method while working at Intel, with Grove, but who took it to Google: John Doerr! John was mostly responsible for implementing the methodology and making it the most loved by executives!

But what is this methodology?

John, in his book “Evaluate What Matters: How Google, Bono Vox and the Gates Foundation, shook the world with OKRs” explains that we can summarize OKRs in the following sentence:

“I will _____, which can be measured by _____.”

This sentence demonstrates the structure of an OKR, composed of an Objective (I will), accompanied by Key Results (… which can be measured by). Like this is how the company’s OKRs are created.

Goals are aspirational phrases, where the company determines why it is doing what it does. It has to be inspiring!

KRs are goals that the company will use to measure whether the objective is being achieved or not.

Below we will show an example (an OKR from the Roads Growth team) for you to understand better what this method is that made Google transform the world of management.

  • I will: TELL PEOPLE HOW ROADS WORKS!
    • which can be measured by:
      • Reach 3k viewers at the website
      • Reach 10% conversion to MQL
      • Reach leads from 3 countries

But why did this method transform Google and delight companies?

First of all, OKR is an agile methodology. Contrary to traditional management methods, which propose gigantic 3 to 5-year plans, which are very massive and, most of the time, it does not match the time that the market changes (after all, the world today is at a different speed is not ?). OKR proposes cycles of 3 to 12 months and monitors the progress of the objectives monthly. This brings a more excellent dynamic to the company and keeps it always up to date with market news!

Also, we summarize here some reasons that led Google to be the great diffuser of the OKR methodology:

  • The clarity in objectives for all employees;
  • Greater transparency among all sectors of the company;
  • Understanding how each department is contributing to the company’s results;
  • Short feedback cycles, enabling continuous improvements with each period;
  • Sense of belonging of employees, knowing that they are impacting the company’s results;
  • Simplification of business strategy;
  • Waste reduction, by defining a shorter cycle of objectives and therefore less harmful to the company in case of changes in the market;
  • Decreased time spent conducting strategy-setting meetings

Now that you know how Google’s success came aboutn, you can apply OKRs! We made this e-book to teach you how to implement OKRs in your company.

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