OKRs For JIRA: A Complete Guide

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Dec 27, 2022

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OKRs are gaining popularity as a tool to monitor team objectives and goals, but they do not come with a standard system for reporting on them. Although the OKR framework may be traced back to Peter Drucker's Management by Objectives, it was created by Andy Grove and initially used at Intel. This goal-setting technique became famous when John Doerr used it at Google in 1999.

The purpose of the 'O' (or objective) in an OKR is to explain the intended result succinctly so that it may be successfully communicated and thoroughly understood with the minimum amount of information necessary. The aim of an OKR outlines what we want to accomplish, while the key outcomes indicate how success will be measured.

What are the OKR components?

OKR consists of two primary components: Objectives and Key Results.

OKRs Objectives in Jira

These are qualitative descriptions of your desired outcomes. Objectives are broad statements that may inspire or push your agile teams to perform at their best.

Best practises in Objectives setting:

  • Each squad should have no more than five objectives.
  • Objectives are qualitative and aspirational, as opposed to concrete results.
  • Start your OKR practice with "roofshot targets," often known as challenging but attainable goals. Success is attaining all of these objectives.
  • As your OKR practise grows, you should move to "moonshot targets," often known as stretch goals that beyond what is considered achievable. Success requires obtaining 60 to 70 percent of the OKRs.

 Key Results

 These are the quantitative measures used to determine whether your Objectives have been reached.

 Best approaches for establishing Key Results:

  • The most important outcomes are quantifiable and measurable, not to-do lists.
  • Each target should have no more than five major outcomes.

In addition to Objectives and Key Results, an OKR includes Initiative, Grade (or Score), Period (or Cadence), and Owner.


The initiatives and activities that will assist you in achieving Key Results.

Best methods for establishing Initiatives:

  • You may see your team's everyday responsibilities as initiatives. For instance, if you manage projects on Jira, the initiatives are Jira problems.
  • Modify projects that are ineffective in delivering critical outcomes.

Period or Cadence

Period is the frequency with which you examine and grade OKRs during a cycle and produce new ones.

Best practises in Period setting:

  • OKR may feature two planning cycles: a yearly cadence for corporate objectives and a quarterly cadence for team and individual objectives.
  • Conduct weekly check-ins to monitor progress toward your goals.
  • Highly suggested is a shorter term (e.g., two months) for less established enterprises.

Grade or Score

OKRs are normally scored on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0, with 1.0 signifying that an Objective is completely fulfilled.

Best methods for establishing Grades:

  • The optimal OKR grade range is 60–70%. (or 0.6 to 0.7).
  • Consistently scoring below or above the ideal grade indicates that the aims are unclear or insufficiently ambitious, respectively.


Assign an Owner to each Key Result in order to promote responsibility, transparency, and optimal alignment.

Standard procedures for designating an Owner:

  • Every OKR requires an owner.
  • Although workers may cooperate on OKRs, only one person is accountable for achieving the objective.
  • The OKR framework for your organisation must be owned by someone. This individual (also known as the Ambassador) is responsible for its continuous administration and upkeep.
  • As long as they are OKR Subject Matter Experts, the Ambassador may be one of the department managers, HR staff, or even external consultants.


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Benefits of OKRs in JIRA

Managing OKRs for teams and departments in JIRA offers a variety of benefits that accumulate over time.


This approach employs resources that everyone already has access to (assuming your firm uses JIRA), is simple for teams to manage, and is inexpensive to update on a quarterly basis. Facilitates team organisation.

Aids teams to remain organised

A task board that is included in this approach may assist visual learners in keeping track of their commitments. If they're useful, you may also create specific task boards, progress reports, or dashboards. These may be used to measure performance / contributions over time and drive 1:1s.


History, attachments, comments, custom fields, etc. are monitored. Free information about your OKRs, such as when they were created, last modified, etc., is also provided.


Unlocks the ability to create custom Dashboards in JIRA for your department as a whole and for each team, depending on the information you gather about your work. These are quite easy to put up and update as required, and they may be extremely beneficial for decision making. You'll also be able to query data to answer inquiries such as how many OKRs span numerous quarters.


This is basic equipment that is sufficiently generic to be extended to all teams, but can be readily customised to meet the demands and limits of specific teams.

Customizes communication for different audiences — JIRA becomes the system of record for OKRs, but you get numerous free methods to display and convey OKRs. You may simultaneously interact with individuals who need granular detail and others who prefer an overview using the same method.

Advantages of OKRs for managers, individuals, teams, and businesses

OKR Advantages for Individuals

  • Give employees a sense of direction.
  • Push them to provide their best effort.
  • Make them feel a part of the business.

The advantages of OKR for Teams

  • Encourage improved teamwork between teams.
  • Fewer project roadblocks.
  • Ensure that deliverables are finished on time.

OKR Benefits for Managers

  • Permit managers to visibly monitor target progress.
  • assist them in reducing risks and enhancing operations.
  • Give management the authority to decide on the company's strategic course.

OKR's benefits for the business

  • Increase in employee engagement.
  • Boost productivity to increase return on investment.
  • To accomplish more ambitious objectives, retain and develop elite people.

Implementing OKR in Jira for agile teams

Let us now go into great detail on how to use Jira to establish OKRs for your agile teams. Keep in mind that you are building two things here: the appropriate Jira OKR plugin and the OKR framework in your business. The whole OKR installation procedure has been condensed into a 5-step manual.

Identify the Need for OKR

Find out whether your teams and organisation require OKR. This is the first step in implementing OKR in Jira for agile teams.

Receive OKR Buy-In

Gaining everyone's support is crucial since the OKR programme encompasses the whole business. Therefore, explain to them the rationale behind and process for implementing OKR.

Make a plan for the rollout of OKR

Think of a gradual deployment where a pilot team initially evaluates the OKR system. Key OKR artefacts like the alignment style, review period, and grading standards should also be included in the plan.

Select the Appropriate OKR App for Jira

Jira OKR implementation for agile teams may be simple with the proper software. The following characteristics belong in a good Jira OKR management app:

  • Allows for clear OKR alignment throughout the whole organisation.
  • Jira problems from workers are clearly mapped to OKRs for simpler goal monitoring.
  • Removes the need for additional tools like spreadsheets by enabling transparent status updates.
  • Separates employee salary from the OKRs.

Analyze OKR effectiveness

You're used to iteration and continual improvement if you operate in an agile setting. Apply the same idea to the implementation of OKRs. Gather and evaluate employee comments to determine if any corrective measures (such as more training or adjusting the OKR grading criteria) are necessary to enhance your OKR system.

Final word

OKRs are gaining popularity as a tool to monitor team objectives and goals. If you are looking for Jira training, you should head straight to StarAgile as you are going to get the best course online for your Jira certification. Learn with the best professionals in this area and bag jobs with the best companies out there. This will increase your chances of having a successful career in project management, from which you may advance to roles with more responsibilities.

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