Key Result versus Activities for achieving KR

22 Apr 2020 | Agile Culture


I realised several people confuse “Key Results” with “Activities for achieving Key Results”. Many times I am facilitating a session for a team to define their OKRs. And I have seen this confusion again and again.

Do not confuse “Key Result” with “Activities to achieve Key Result”. Tweet This.

Check the following good OKR example (from Felipe Castro OKR article):


Objective: Create an Awesome Customer Experience

Key Result: Improve Net Promoter Score from X to Y.

N0w, imagine i was on that team responsible for improving such KR, then I came up with the following:

Activity for achieving this key result: Create a new subscription model.


To create a new subscription model is an activity which I believe will help achieve the KR. In fact, there might be other activities which might improve that KR.


The point is, on the OKR session, you should focus on defining the KR. Then, later on, you should brainstorm on the activities for achieving these KRs.


Even if you know the activity to achieve an KR, try not to describe the KR in terms of that activity. Instead, describe it based on they results you expect to achieve.


On the best scenario, you run the activity to achieve the KR and celebrate you made good progress on achieving it.


But, on the other hand, if you don’t achieve it with the activity you had originally thought about, you still have a chance to think about other options to help you achieve the KR.


There is nothing wrong with keeping your options open, especially because you are very clear about your KR. So, my advice:


Do not describe a KR in terms of an activity to achieve the result, instead describe it in terms of the key result itself.




















Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books about Lean Strategy and Delivery). He's also the creator of FunRetrospectives.com , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here .
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