Moving the OKR flaps before take-off will just keep you grounded

There is so much advice and shared experience about OKR around these days, that it’s hard to know who to believe – so ask us, your trusted OKR Gurus 😉
Unlike a few years back, when we introduce OKR to new teams these days, we often meet someone who has either worked with OKR at a previous employer or who has read the entire internet and knows what Spotify, Google and Go-Pro did to get where they are today.
The beauty of OKR is found in both its simplicity and its scalability, but these powerful success factors can lead to early frustration and disappointment, if you set off in the wrong direction.
Just like playing with all the controls of a plane whilst taking off is dangerous, we heavily recommend you first take flight before engaging in OKR acrobatics. So even if you have some great best practices from your last employer, be careful not to water down the OKR basic principles of ambition, focus, cadence and prioritisation when introducing OKR to a new team.
Put simply, we advise a 3 month cycle with weekly check-ins and between 2 and 4 OKRs per Set. The Objective is never measurable (yes we did just write that), whereas the Key Results always are.
Once you have completed your first couple of cycles, you will understand how swapping to a speedier 6 week OKR cycle or slowing to a heavy 4 month cycle will help or hinder your business. You will know when it makes sense to drop or swap OKRs completely on the fly mid-cycle and when it makes sensed to carry on fighting for those precious Key Results. You will know whether a Weekly or Two-Weekly check-in works best for you and have a good hold on how to craft OKRs which drive cross-team collaboration.
It’s not for no reason that Google has consistently referenced OKR as a key part of their success story from the early days of 100 Googlers in 1999 right up to the tens of thousands working there today.
But please don’t forget that Google also had to start somewhere and have developed their OKR culture over time. Start simple, keep to the core OKR principles and soon you will grow!