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Engineering OKR Examples

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7 min read
Coding outline illustration to demonstrate OKR examples for engineering

Why choose OKRs for engineers

The collaborative goal setting framework OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) help engineers achieve ambitious goals and measure results. Engineering OKRs' chief benefit is alignment, as a result enhancing focus and making the process inclusive for all team members.

Learn more about what OKRs are and how to use them

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When it comes to engineering, the OKR framework improves the effectiveness and integrity of your product, service, or the engineering team itself. Engineering OKRs break down silos and streamline data management processes.

By positioning “why” statements at the core, OKRs help center goals around the wants and needs of the customer. Engineering teams benefit as the features and product improvements they create will solve their customer-specific problems. 

How to solve engineering challenges with OKRs

As a product or service scales, it becomes more complex. Complexity can lead to complications and the siloing of critical information needed to do the job. 

Engineer OKRs make data accessible and promote visibility of desired outcomes, driving full-scale alignment.

Another challenge engineering teams face is typical for output-oriented teams — measuring impact. Function-specific OKRs for engineers solve this problem. 

By making each function’s data transparent and accessible, OKRs create department-wide awareness of who is doing what and how the team’s performance looks in real-time.

Engineer OKRs reduce data management’s time drain, focusing engineering teams on executing tasks that drive impact. 

While OKRs for engineer don’t traditionally focus on the day-to-day responsibilities, they help uncover the impact of each task or output beyond face value.

This impact is demonstrated in key result progress — connecting the “why” to the “what” is the superpower of engineering team OKRs.

Setting OKRs for engineering teams

The size of your organization will have a direct impact on the type of engineering OKRs you create:

  • Startups are better suited to focus on developing the product or service 
  • Enterprises can focus on optimizing processes, services, or products

Top-down engineering OKRs are the most common. Because role expectations are strongly connected to product output, engineering leaders at the VP or C-level largely assume the role of crafting OKRs and providing the vision for the teams. 

Combined with the right OKR platform, OKRs ensure maximum efficiency in your engineering team process.

In contrast to common advice, task-based key results are well-suited to engineering team OKRs. As long as the key results are connected to a clear outcome-focused objective, task-based engineering OKRs can still connect outputs to impact.  

Engineering OKR focus areas

Engineering teams OKRs can focus their high output development process through function-specific distinctions:

  • Product
  • Performance
  • Quality assurance
  • Education
  • Security
  • UX/UI
  • Engineering/Developer Community

Check out all our examples of OKRs for engineering. 

Engineering OKR examples

OKRs for engineering teams: product

  • Objective: Improve the quality of our product
  • Key result 1: Reduce the average number of new bug reports from 72 per month to 60 per month
  • Key result 2: Increase the crash-free ratio from 96% to 99% for the new release
  • Key result 3: Reduce average QA rejections per-feature from 1.7 to 1.0
  • Key result 4: Increase code coverage from 35% to 50%

OKRs for engineering teams: performance

Engineering OKR example 1

  • Objective: Accelerate the development team speed
  • Key result 1: Increase sprint velocity from 42 to 60 points
  • Key result 2: Reduce the average number of bugs per feature from 1.7 to 1
  • Key result 3: Reduce average code review time by 30%
  • Key result 4: Reduce "design-blocked" flag to <2% of planned features

Engineering OKR example 2

  • Objective: Increase the automation of the deployment
  • Key result 1: Set up and implement automatic CI and CD with CloudBees
  • Key result 2: 100% of logged errors reported to Sentry
  • Key result 3: Reduce Travis build times <5m for all projects
  • Key result 4: Reduce "design-blocked" flag to <2% of planned features

Engineering OKR example 3

  • Objective: Improve the quality of the development process
  • Key result 1: 100% of projects use standard style and linting rules
  • Key result 2: 100% of pull requests are reviewed and explicitly approved
  • Key result 3: Research and implement single code-style for all the engineering teams
  • Key result 4: Set up automatic CI and CD with Jenkins

Engineering OKR example 4

  • Objective: Refactor old reporting CRM module
  • Key result 1: Create the refactoring plan
  • Key result 2: 80% of components ported from AngularJS to React
  • Key result 3: 100% of reporting routes (/api) migrated to new paths
  • Key result 4: Reduce the response time for old APIs from 890 ms to 300 ms (on average)

OKRs for engineering teams: quality assurance

Engineering OKR example 1

  • Objective: Drive quality for features in our new release
  • Key result 1: Proactively find >20 bugs
  • Key result 2: Implement the new QA automation tool and run new process on 50% of code base
  • Key result 3: Reduce critical bugs reported from 5 to 2

Engineering OKR example 2

  • Objective: Maintain an agile process
  • Key result 1: Implement workflow graph for 75% of existing processes
  • Key result 2: Certify 100% of team members on migrated database
  • Key result 3: Create 25 knowledge base articles

OKRs for engineering teams: education

Engineering OKR example 1

  • Objective: Continuously improve and grow as a team
  • Key result 1: Competency matrix covers all existing roles (3)
  • Key result 2: "A player" job descriptions cover existing and planned roles (4)
  • Key result 3: 10K views of blog articles sharing our recent performance testing and insights
  • Key result 4: Speak on the local JS meetup

Engineering OKR example 2

  • Objective: Boost team members career development
  • Key result 1: Increase the promotion rate by 20% this year
  • Key result 2: Career roadmaps exist for 5 most popular positions
  • Key result 3: Increase the 1-on-1s satisfaction for the "career development" question from 7.3 to 9.0

Engineering OKR example 3

  • Objective: Launch internal education camp
  • Key result 1: Conduct 6 interview with tech leads to figure out the most critical educational needs
  • Key result 2: Roadmap outlines monthly educational events/activities (12)
  • Key result 3: Conduct the first EduCamp for engineering team on the security topic
  • Key result 4: Achieve 9.0 satisfaction and effectiveness score of the first module

OKRs for engineering teams: security

Engineering OKR example 1

  • Objective: Achieve SOC 2 compliance
  • Key result 1: Document process to resolve security issues
  • Key result 2: Successfully train 5 Engineers on security compliance
  • Key result 3: Complete Pen testing with fewer than 3 vulnerabilities found

Engineering OKR example 2

  • Objective: Increase data security
  • Key result 1: Decrease data breach incidents from 2 to 0
  • Key result 2: Increase data recovery rate from 93% to 100%
  • Key result 3: Decrease backup time by 75% 

OKRs for engineering teams: UX/UI

Engineering OKR example 1

  • Objective: Create a Feature Prototype by Q1 start
  • Key result 1: Prepare checklist of necessary elements
  • Key result 2: Confirm our design toolbox is up-to-date
  • Key result 3: 100% completion on weekly feedback and reports
  • Key result 4: Maintain a process log for changes and development

Engineering OKR example 2

  • Objective: Improve design team performance
  • Key result 1: Host 10 total training sessions for all members
  • Key result 2: Reduce design time by 5%
  • Key result 3: Document a public record of design bottlenecks 

OKRs for engineering teams: community 

Engineering OKR example 1

  • Objective: Become a socially responsible organization
  • Key result 1: 10K views of blog articles on educational engineering
  • Key result 2: 5 of our team members volunteer in the local tree-planting event
  • Key result 3: Hire 2 juniors for the summer internship

Engineering OKR example 2

  • Objective: Contribute to the open-source community
  • Key result 1: Open-source our Image processing library and receive 100 stars on Github
  • Key result 2: Merge 10 pull-requests to the public repositories
  • Key result 3: Release and achieve 5,000 views on our guide on security testing

OKR examples for software engineers

Software engineer OKR example 1

  • Objective: Elevate User Delight Through Software Excellence
  • KR 1: Reduce app crashes per user to <1%
  • KR 2: Achieve a 20% reduction in the number of critical and high-priority bugs reported by customers
  • KR 3: Increase the app’s overall rating on user review platforms by at least 0.5 points on a 5-point scale

Software engineer OKR example 2

  • Objective: Craft High-Quality Software with Ease
  • KR 1: Increase code coverage to 80%
  • KR 2: All teams deploy >1 per week
  • KR 3: Reduce deploy time to <20 hours

Software engineer OKR example 3

  • Objective: Elevate Our Readiness to Handle the Unexpected
  • KR 1: Reduce the mean time to detect (MTTD) by 20%
  • KR 2: Conduct quarterly simulated incident scenarios, achieving a 90% or higher success rate in resolving them within predefined response times
  • KR 3: Drive Incident Escalation Rate to <10%

Creating engineering OKRs with OKR software

OKR software can supercharge your engineering team's performance — particularly when it comes to OKR communication. It facilitates quick, transparent, and feedback-driven interactions, streamlining collaborative initiatives around joint goals.

For a preview, let's take a quick look at how engineering OKR examples would look within a dedicated OKR software solution like Quantive Results:Engineering OKR examples

How Quantive simplifies OKRs for engineering teams

Quantive empowers modern organizations to turn their ambitions into reality through strategic agility. It's where strategy, teams, and data come together to drive effective decision-making, streamline execution, and maximize performance.  

As your company navigates today’s competitive landscape, you need an Always-On Strategy to continuously bridge the gap between current and desired business outcomes. Quantive brings together the technology, expertise, and passion to transform your strategy from a static plan to a feedback-driven engine for growth.  

Whether you’re a visionary start-up, a mid-market business looking to conquer, or a large enterprise facing disruption, Quantive keeps you ahead — every step of the way. For more information, visit www.quantive.com

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