OKRs for Engineering Teams

Your engineering team faces a set of challenges unique to its field. The OKR method can be a powerful and effective tool to align your engineering team’s objectives against the types of objectives and goals seen in other departmental pursuits.
The OKR method is an objective management tool that breaks down goals into Objectives and Key Results. Objectives serve as the overarching ultimate goal, the final product that you want your engineering team to achieve, whereas the Key Results provide the step-by-step, measurable and quantifiable milestones to ultimately reach the final objective.

Ideally your objective should feel just almost out of reach — it should be attainable but highly ambitious. This is what drives your engineering team to new levels.

So, an OKR for your engineering team may look like this:

Objective: Create an Entirely New Product

  • Key result: generate three product mockups in quarter one
  • Key result: create test models of each product
  • Key result: identify the best candidate for our company’s next product launch

Your team’s productivity and march toward its objective must be driven by a clearly defined timeline and cadence in order to continually progress toward the final objective and provide a framework for regularly tracking, reporting and measuring.

Your timeline must spell out your overall objective time frame, but must also break down specific check in points to evaluate and measure progress toward key results.

The use of OKRs in the engineering field paves the way for exploring new technological advancements and engaging with the higher-level OKRs that have landed in your engineering department.

OKRs are particularly conducive to productivity in a technology-based department given that the bread and butter of an effective OKR are measurable, quantifiable and finite key results. For a field like engineering in which so much of your team’s output and daily productivity revolved around hard data, technology and the correction of quantifiable problems, your OKR methods can serve your engineering teams particularly well.

So for Example, Your Engineering Team’s Objective may be:

  • Remove glitchy effects from frontend technology.
  • And your key result may look something like:
  • Identify and agree upon one framework.
  • Or any other number of ways to define your engineering team’s effectiveness.
  • OKR can also prove particularly effective for defining your engineering team’s overall purpose, mission, and vision as a whole.

Due to the nature of the work involved, your engineering team relies heavily on a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork to accomplish its regular daily tasks. The heavily customizable nature of the OKR method allows you to help your engineering team really bolster its internal culture, and to connect to other departments in the same way. It’s just one of the myriad ways in which the OKR method can streamline efforts across multiple departments, including your engineering department.

Doing things right is important. But doing the right things is vital.


Doing things right is important. But doing the right things is vital.