OKR Methodology – PART 2 – Output & Autonomy

(for context/preamble see Part 1)


In terms of total business activities and individual employee’s work-day, the previously mentioned OKR book states:

  • pg.38 “at lower levels peoples OKR’s might encompass close to 100% of their work output but managers had additional day-to-day responsibilities” that were basic/intuitive (employee morale, operations, etc.)
  • Pg.45 “of Intel’s two thousand employees at the time, more than half were detailed to the Operation Crush OKR. Everyone else was on call.”
  • Pg.264 “If there are important activities on your team or significant fraction of its efforts that aren’t covered by OKRs, then add more”.

QUESTION#7 : What percentage of total business activities should be OKR related vs non-OKR related in your opinion? What specific scenarios would change your answer? Have you been in a workplace where lowest level employees spent 100% of their workday on OKR related activities while higher-ups had both OKR and non-OKR activities going on during their work week? What did you learn from that experience and how do you feel about ALL levels of a company having the same percentage of OKR and non-OKR related activities?

In the OKR book previously mentioned it states the following regarding “Top-Down” or “Bottom-Up” approaches to goal setting as well as what proportion of each might be used:

  • Pg.88 “an optimal OKR system frees contributors to set at least some of their own Objectives and most or all of their KR’s”
  • Pg.88 “high functioning teams thrive on a creative tension between top-down and bottom-up goal setting, a mix of aligned and unaligned OKRs. In times of operational urgency, when just doing takes precedence, organizations may choose to be more directive.”
  • Pg.89 “the mix of top-down and bottom-up goals generally settles at around 50%.”
  • Pg.104 at Intuit “users align roughly half of their OKR’s with the goals of higher-ups or their department.”

QUESTION#8 : How do cross team dependencies (not vertical alignments) get sorted out within your company? If individuals/teams are writing OKRs that depend on other individuals/teams who/how does this get refereed, especially so no one gets over-burdened?

QUESTION#9 : In your experience what specific scenarios or stages of business are better for “top-down” vs “bottom-up” OKRs or a combination of both? If both then how do you systematically accomplish this? I believe Jackie Bavaro’s Asana article about Asana’s method offered one potential solution for this.


. . . see Part 3 HERE