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Similarities Between Setting OKR Goals And Running A 5K

Settings OKR goals and determining your running pace face the same challenge. You should never do it based on hunches or 0 experience.

Before starting I set out some ‘paces’ I’d like to keep during the run:

  • 1st kilometer: 6:15 min/km

  • 2nd kilometer: 6:00 min/km

  • 3rd kilometer: 5:45 min/km

  • 4th kilometer: 5:30 min/km

  • 5th kilometer: 5:15 min/km

If I’d never built an idea of my pace abilities, I would’ve guessed that I could run it faster. But as the run came to an end, I was breathing heavily, throwing myself on the ground after finishing.

Setting goals in OKR faces the same challenge. If you’ve never done it before, there’s a high chance that you either over or underestimate your abilities to reach ambitious goals.

My smartwatch informed me during my run whether I was going too fast or too slow. Weekly meetings and daily stand-ups do the same for OKR projects.

Having some baseline is crucial to set ambitious goals. Otherwise, you’ll burn out the team or bore people with targets way too easy to hit.