Laura Iñiguez, Content Manager at Hirebook
Laura is a content and social media strategist with deep experience in Employee Engagement, People Management, and Culture. She works with Hirebook to bring their innovative best practices to life through content, videos, and webinars seen by thousands around the globe.
Pub: January 5 2022
Upd: November 14 2022
Software engineering is about enactment, about accomplishing something meaningful not just to end-users, but to your engineers and your organization. As in every department, engineering teams and software engineers must accomplish objectives to meet the organization’s needs and ultimately achieve success.
OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) have proven to increase performance and team engagement by setting clear goals with measurable results, therefore aligning the entire organization. In fact, OKRs had their origin at Intel, an engineering-led organization. John Doerr, in his book “Measure What Matters”, describes how they used OKRs at Intel and won the microprocessor battle in the ’80s.
Even though technology has evolved a lot since the inception of OKRs, their methodology is still growing strong. The OKRs goal-setting framework is perfect for software engineers since they often have a lot of objectives to accomplish in different time periods and with a different amount of key results to keep them on track.
Objectives and Key Results create leverage for every team across an organization, including the software engineering team. Team-level and department-level Objectives help software engineers work collectively and stay on course, while individual Objectives are stimulating and boost team members to reach greater results than they previously thought achievable.
Translating Engineering Team Goals into OKRs
We’re used to setting all types of goals: organizational goals, personal development goals, career goals… But when dissecting your strategy, and assigning goals and OKRs for the software engineering team, you should consider the following:
- Company vision and mission - restated into one or two big long-term objectives.
- Team / department goals - restated into short term OKRs.
- Individual goals - restated into short-term OKRs.
Goals are usually considered as more long-term objectives, taking even a few years to accomplish; and they usually derive from the mission of the company. While an OKR is still a goal, it’s commonly set quarterly at an individual and team level, presenting in a straightforward description of what needs to be achieved and how, and it’s composed of:
- 1 Objective - What has to be achieved over a period of time (usually a Quarter).
- 3-5 Key Results - How the success of the objective will be measured.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to get your software engineering team started on OKRs, keep scrolling through:
OKR Software: The Ultimate Guide
Everything you need to know about OKR Software functionalities and how to choose the best for your organization
OKRs Examples for the Software Engineering Team:
Objective: Optimize our Tech Stack
- Analyze current tech stack for optimizations
- Identify and eliminate 2 low-usage tools
- Create process map for new hires
Objective: Deliver features according to scope
- All features delivered on time
- Budget variance within 5%
- 95% customer satisfaction with new features
Objective: Reduce hang time for customers on the mobile app
- Redesign database for quicker access
- Rewrite filtering with database optimizations
- <1000ms hang time
Objective: Move to typescript
- 100% front-end developers trained
- 75% full-stack developers trained
- Use typescript on 3 new projects
- % reduction in bugs for QA