Counterpoint on OKRs as Bad for Small Teams in a Startup

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, tweeted out an interesting counterpoint from Steve Olechowski  about OKRs being bad at the micro level in a startup:

A few notes from the email:

  • OKRs were counterproductive to his small team at Google, felt bureaucratic, and killed productivity one week out of the quarter when people worried about them
  • Macro level OKRs were good for focus
  • When product cycles or iterations are shorter than a quarter, OKRs can incentivize the wrong things
  • Watch the Google Ventures video on OKRs to understand them
  • Overall, he feels small, nimble teams are less nimble with OKRs

OKRs, wildly important goals, and SMART goals are all great methodologies that have their place. The key, as always, is to apply them intelligently.

What else? What are some more thoughts on OKRs as potentially bad for small teams that have shorter time frames?

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