Wikimedia Engineering/OKR

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OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a method of defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes.[1] It is a useful and effective way to define and frame goals. We are gradually introducing this format -- it has been used for the top priorities for some time, and is the expected format for Wikimedia Foundation product/engineering team goals from Q4 of fiscal year 2015 onwards. We will tweak the exact implementation as we go, and create opportunities for the organization to practice its adoption.

WMF Product/Engineering goals format[edit]

WMF Product/Engineering goals should be formatted as follows (feel free to copy the table):

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status

For the Q4 cycle, please add the single most objective for your team in this format.

Example[edit]

A made-up example:

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Vastly improve reader experience for logged-in users Average page load time for Barack Obama article on English Wikipedia reduced from 6 seconds to 2 seconds for logged-in users
  • Performance team
  • Operations team
June 2015 In progress In progress

Guidance[edit]

Objectives are goals for moving your team, the WMF, and/or Wikimedia forward. In writing the objective, you are saying "I will lead my team/the WMF/Wikimedia/etc to achieve this objective"

Objectives should be:

  • Inspiring to your team
  • Clear and concise
  • Be memorable
  • Written in a way that any reader can understand and visualize the value

Objectives should NOT be:

  • Unspecific (e.g., no ability to measure success/failure)
  • Too specific (e.g., breaking down every feature you deliver)
  • Lacking in compelling value

Key results[edit]

Key results are measurable milestones that track progress towards your objective.

Key results should be:

  • Binary - it is either achieved or it's not; there is no in-between
  • Well-defined, concrete deliverable that proves results
  • An objectively measurable metric

Key results should not be:

  • Squishy - not totally clear if it happened, or didn't
  • Describe abstract milestones rather than specific deliverables
  • Of too small or too large a scope

Operational teams and maintenance work[edit]

If your team is very heavy on operational / reactive work and has no time for additive initiatives, it is fine to call out a goal that is operational or reactive in nature for now. (This may simply be an indicator that your team lacks capacity to do anything but fire-fighting.) If, on the other hand, you feel fully confident in your ability to perform your operational or reactive responsibilities, please call out the highest impact initiative that adds to Wikimedia's overall impact.

References[edit]