OKRs are not enough, time to OKRi

When it comes to setting goals and achieving success, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) have emerged as a powerful framework. However, we believe there’s one crucial element that often gets overlooked – Initiatives. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of including Initiatives (or OKRIs) alongside Objectives and Key Results in your planning cycle, and how they can lead to more convincing and achievable outcomes.

The Importance of OKRs and Initiatives

OKRs are undeniably effective in setting measurable objectives and tracking progress towards them. But it’s the addition of clear-headed Initiatives that truly enhances the credibility of your OKRs. Initiatives are the actionable steps that map out how you’ll achieve your Objectives. Next time you communicate your OKRs, make sure to present a credible list of time-bound Initiatives that will steer you towards success.

Going Beyond OKRs

To take your OKR process one step further, consider integrating Initiatives, bets, or hypotheses into an opportunity solution tree or driver tree. This approach ensures that your team explores the problem space thoroughly before prioritizing cherry-picked Initiatives. By incorporating generative and evaluative research, you’ll make well-informed decisions that lead to more impactful outcomes.

Lessons from Product at Heart Conference

At the recent Product at Heart conference, Jeff Gothelf highlighted a common issue with adopting OKRs – the organizational culture. The true essence of OKRs lies in focusing on outcomes and empowering teams to explore and validate hypotheses through a discovery process. The pitfall arises when organizations become fixated on outputs rather than outcomes, leading to the failure of OKRs.

Balancing Outcomes and Outputs

Drawing from our experiences in implementing OKRs in multiple companies, we’ve found that a balance between outcomes and outputs is crucial. While outcomes drive the vision, outputs provide the necessary plan and accountability. Teams must avoid setting vague goals and prioritize the OKR without a well-thought-out plan of action. To succeed, combine both outcomes and tangible initiatives.

Steering Towards Success

Without tangible initiatives, OKRs remain mere hopes and dreams. Merely proposing OKRs without a clear plan to achieve them is like floating in the general direction without any oars. It’s essential to focus on both setting ambitious goals and defining the steps to accomplish them. This combination ensures a purposeful journey towards success.


Incorporating Initiatives (OKRIs) alongside Objectives and Key Results is the key to maximizing the potential of OKRs. A solid plan of action instills credibility and turns goals into achievable milestones. Remember, outcomes matter, but so do outputs. Strike a balance, prioritize tangible initiatives, and propel your team towards success with the powerful combination of OKRs and Initiatives.

Next steps

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Keywords: OKRs, Objectives, Key Results, Initiatives, Measurable objectives, Stakeholders, Time-bound initiatives, Opportunity solution tree, Driver tree, PM (Product Manager), Product at Heart conference, Outcome-focused culture, Autonomy in teams, Discovery process, Validating hypotheses, Outputs vs. outcomes, Improving conversion rate, Tangible initiatives, Planning for goals, Prioritizing features.


August 2, 2023

Written by

Paul Alvares

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