1% Better With Kris: Weighting OKRs - Unnecessary Complexity

1% Better With Kris is a blog/video series with the CEO of BetterWorks, Kris Duggan. The title references one of BetterWorks’ core values to strive to be “1% Better every day.” In each post, Kris tackles a common question or theme that customers have and demonstrates how he and the employees at BetterWorks addresses them.

The traditional goal setting methodology is one that is annually set, tied to compensation, with a common practice to add weighting to show which outcomes are important. In today’s video, I discuss how weighting OKRs is an unnecessary complexity into today’s modern goal setting world.


Let’s take a look at the following example:

Lisa Salesperson’s 3 objectives:

  1. $300,000 in bookings
  2. Deliver 50 executive prospect meetings
  3. Publish healthcare white paper

If we applied weighting to her three objectives based on the desired outcome, it may look something like 80% towards her bookings, 10% for delivering meetings, and 10% for publishing the white paper. What signal does that send to her? She might de-prioritize her meetings and the whitepaper, which are key inputs which will help her achieve her desired outcomes. If we decided to apply weighting based on her time allocation, that would also create a skewed sense of what is important. Regardless of whether it is an activity or an outcome, the reality is Lisa needs to do all three things and focus on them collectively to maximize her chance at success.

Simplicity in a Complex World

Put your manager hat on, how do you coach a team of individuals with different priorities. This is a very difficult thing to try to standardize. Instead, we should have our teams focus on the top three to five things that they need to accomplish. Let’s capture those as goals and let’s do our best to get as many of them done as possible. Goal setting should be something you do in 5 to 10 minutes. Goals change frequently, our internal data shows that 25% of our goals get changed throughout the quarter. Are you always going to ask your employees to re-weight their goals every time priorities change? Our organization, like many others, is highly cross functional. Our goals are interconnected. If different parts of the organization have different weights, how do you reconcile that? Weighting, as you can see, adds more steps. In our fast paced environments, let’s remove that complexity and allow our employees to just get things done. 

Facilitate weighting in BetterWorks

If your organization does need to leverage some form of weighting, there are ways that you can use BetterWorks’ existing feature set to facilitate organizing and prioritizing your objectives.

  1. Organize your goals to communicate what are the key ways you are going to achieve your goals
  2. Use categories to organize the different types of goals you are focusing on in a clear & concise manner
  3. Use Progress Settings to highlight key performance metrics for an objective, but still keep track of the other activities. These other activities will not take away from the objective’s overall progress.

Adding weights adds unnecessary complexity, let's focus on the simplicity when it comes to goal setting. 

If you have ideas for future 1% Better With Kris videos, I'd love to hear them. Please leave a comment below.   

Check out other 1% Better With Kris videos.


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