Driving Cross-Functional OKRs

Next year, I intend to establish cross-functional OKRs for our company. If my leadership can support me, I presume I will be the key force behind coaching and process planning, which includes making sure meetings are scheduled and prepared.

Anyone with that experience like to offer some do’s & don’ts?


I’ve started working on one such application, and this is what I’ve been doing:

  1. Connect all ongoing projects with my North Star metrics (this comes from the vision, mission and strategy).
  2. Establish the business objectives or OKRs that the product or SBU will be expected to meet within the time range that you have planned. For a quarter, I am. The business goals must be the source of this (requirement).
  3. Get agreement from all stakeholders, including the leadership team, p&l owners, salespeople, engineers, and customers.
  4. Prioritize projects by relating them to these outcomes, both present and proposed.
  5. Execute and evaluate the outcomes on a regular basis. a regular newsletter

Hope this works well in your scenario too. All the best!


Thank you @RisaButler. What should one do with, say, sales OKRs, which may be concerned with the sales process? I’m attempting to demonstrate how all departments can collaborate to achieve the company’s OKRs, but what I wind up with are team OKRs that frequently have less to do with the product and more to do with the specifics of the individual teams. Can I do that?"


Here’s my two cents, some do’s and don’ts to consider when implementing cross-functional OKRs in your organization:


  1. Involve all stakeholders: Make sure that all departments and individuals who will be impacted by the OKRs are involved in the process from the beginning. This includes both leadership and individual contributors.
  2. Set measurable objectives: Ensure that all objectives and key results (OKRs) are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  3. Align with company goals: Ensure that the OKRs align with the overall goals of the company and that everyone understands how their individual objectives contribute to the overall success of the organization.
  4. Focus on outcomes, not outputs: Make sure that the OKRs focus on the outcomes that are desired, rather than the outputs that are produced. This helps ensure that the focus is on results, not just on activity.
  5. Track progress: Regularly track progress towards achieving the OKRs and adjust as necessary to stay on track.


  1. Don’t set too many OKRs: Keep the number of objectives and key results to a manageable level, so that people can focus on the most important priorities.
  2. Don’t set unrealistic objectives: Ensure that all objectives are achievable and realistic, given the resources and time available.
  3. Don’t focus solely on individual performance: While it’s important to track individual progress towards achieving OKRs, it’s also important to foster collaboration and teamwork among departments and individuals.
  4. Don’t ignore feedback: Be open to feedback and adjust the OKRs as necessary based on feedback from stakeholders.
  5. Don’t forget to celebrate successes: Celebrate successes and acknowledge individuals and teams who have contributed to achieving the OKRs. This helps to foster a culture of collaboration and motivation for future achievements.

I hope these tips help you in implementing cross-functional OKRs for your organization!


That’s perfectly OK, and as the product manager, that’s exactly what you need to do. non-authoritative influence. It depends on how you persuade the sales teams to incorporate these OKRs into their own because you wouldn’t have much control over them.


With OKRs, less is more. At the corporate level, you should only have three; any more will cause you to lose concentration.

The team/product OKR should align to the corporate OKR (s).

OKRs for each individual contributor should be in line with the team’s OKRs.

Choose personal or team OKRs that you have direct control over; avoid choosing OKRs that you have no control over.


My main piece of advice is to make sure that everyone’s OKRs are acceptable to one another.

We all had OKRs, and we put them into practise. There was a glaring discrepancy between the engineering team’s and our OKRs due to the way they were stated. In essence, OKRs pushed the two teams to not collaborate. :cry:

Why did that take place? OKRs were mentioned, however they essentially have to be top-down, meaning that each reportee sets goals that align with their manager’s OKRs. The managers in my organization started developing their own OKRs on their own, so the process became bottom-up.


I can see doing it with company and team OKRs, with the company key results serving as the teams’ goals.


I run OKRs in my company which is more than 200 people strong. Executives come first, followed by department leaders. Without the support and buy-in of the leadership, you are doomed to failure.

We manage Product and Tech as a single department. Each cross-functional squad (pm, pd, ba, engineering, pmm, data) establishes bottom-up quarterly team OKRs that are in line with the purpose, product strategy, and annual company OKRs for the squad.

The three yearly corporate OKRs are similar for all the other departments, but each team sets its own quarterly team goals.

We make an effort to avoid or minimize dependencies and make sure that each team has the independent resources they require to be successful. For example, setting separate OKRs for PM, PD, and engineering would be a fool’s errand given that they are all fully resourced into a cross-functional squad.

You might need to lead the team OKR setting workshops at first and get deeply involved in the process until they develop the necessary skills to handle the process independently as a team.

Also, I’d advise using an iterative test and earn strategy and starting small. Start with a few teams, test the procedure, show the value, and then move forward.

It should go without saying that you also need a solid plan of action!


I’ll explain how I was able to align almost all of the capabilities along our value chain. Of course, we had our critics, but overall, this was a success because we are now working on OKRs that were derived using the process described below.

I issued an organization survey to all stakeholders before to the start of the project, asking them about their challenges, priorities, and other information. After getting the responses, I sorted them according to common themes. You’d be shocked at how aligned people are in theory but not in practice. I then held a meeting with all the concerned parties and presented the responses. The themes evolved into the goals, which were then followed by a communal definition of the actions needed to achieve the goals. Because you offered everyone a voice, everyone is on board.

The entire time, I was watching for opportunities to insert my own goals and searching for connections between the KPI—or “direction”—you believe the company should take and what they have indicated is significant to them. This assumes you’ve done your research on the goals you consider crucial and have the evidence to prove it.


At my former organisation, I developed and led cross-functional okrs for two distinct product tracks. My best advice is to create the presentation before getting input from all important parties. Any of the important decision-makers should not be seeing the OKRs for the first time when their teams commit to them during the call.

In order to keep the entire programme accountable for execution, I would also like to remind stakeholders that the progress towards this will be reviewed, say, on a quarterly basis.

Offer your assistance in doing the grunt work necessary to repair it if the team is falling short in any one of the important results. Instead of criticising a team or track on a call, this helps you gain credibility.

Read John Doers’ book; it’s fantastic!


Excellent inputs from @EvaRichardson, @DhirajMehta, @Pankaj-Jain & @MichaelYoffe. Thank you so much.
@DianneStinger Thank you too. Didi you mean “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr? I’ll definitely take a look at that.

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Our goals are aligned. That the company’s objective is to “produce customer success.” Goals up to that level would be set by each department head, and those goals would then cascade down to individual contributors, managers, and directors. ICs can understand how their efforts are contributing to the organization’s overall success. The business aim would be the target for OKRs, and the KRs would then become the objectives for department heads as they moved down the reporting hierarchy.

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Oh I see @Nathanendicott. Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for your insight.

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