Why do OKRs fail? How to set goals for success

by | Jun 18, 2021 | Management , Motivation , OKR | 0 comments

Despite the fact that OKRs were introduced for internal goal management, they often fail because they are not well implemented.

Reasons for the failure of OKRs include lack of preparation prior to implementation and poor goal setting methods.

In this article, I will introduce the reasons why OKRs fail, how to set goals for success, and a management method called “GKA” that covers the disadvantages of OKRs.

Reasons why OKRs fail

There are several reasons why OKRs fail. If we are to review the failures, it is important to thoroughly analyze what caused them to fail when they were introduced.

Here are some of the reasons why OKRs fail and points to keep in mind when implementing them.

The goals you set do not match the current situation

If the goals set in OKRs do not match the current situation, they may not be implemented properly and may become the cause of failure.

If you don’t set goals that match the times, needs, business conditions, and motivation of your employees, you will not be able to operate successfully.

In addition, there are many cases where setting too high a goal causes employees to lose motivation.

OKRs can only function if goals are set properly, and if goals are not set properly, they are more likely to fail, so be careful.

Using OKRs as a tool for personnel evaluation

Use of OKRs as a tool for personnel evaluation may discourage employees from setting high goals in an effort to set achievable goals.

As a result, the achievement rate will be lower than when motivation is high, and the effect of introducing OKRs cannot be maximized.

Instead of using OKRs as a personnel evaluation tool, it is necessary to first establish appropriate goal setting and operation.

If OKRs are to be incorporated as part of the personnel evaluation, it will be necessary to create a system that allows for flexible responses, such as allowing for changes in goals during the term.

How to set goals for successful OKRs

In order to make OKRs successful, we need to optimize the way we set goals. This section will explain the points to keep in mind when setting goals and what an appropriate goal looks like.

Conditions for setting goals

One of the conditions for setting goals is to set goals that will motivate employees.

This is because when motivation is high, it is possible to achieve even higher goals than usual. In particular, it is essential to set goals after taking into account the opinions of each department and each employee, rather than making decisions solely by the management team.

It is said that the optimal goal setting for OKR is to have an achievement rate of 60-70%, so we need to be careful not to set goals that exceed 100%.

Periodic review

It is essential to review the OKR goal setting on a regular basis.

It is necessary to review whether the goals have been set appropriately by reviewing the goals every month to every quarter, evaluating the efforts, and providing feedback on what has been devised.

If the achievement rate is high even during the term, it is important to re-set the target higher, and if it is difficult to achieve, it is important to revise it to match the current situation.

It is also a good idea to share the determined targets and evaluations within the company and accumulate the data as know-how for OKR operation.

GKA to solve the disadvantages of OKRs

OKR is not a suitable goal management method for companies that are not able to regularly review and reflect on their goal setting.

In such cases, we recommend a management method called “GKA”. In this section, we will introduce what GKA is, the key points of its operation, and the recommended tools for GKA operation.

What is GKA?

GKA is a new goal management method based on the concept of OKA, and is characterized by the fact that it does not set numerical targets for the company.

The company presents a vision to employees and operates in a way that employees work toward that vision.

Teams and employees can set challenging goals within a highly flexible vision, and can work with a wide range of ideas.

This is why it can be used in smaller companies that are not suitable for OKR implementation, or in departments where setting numerical goals would be burdensome.

For more information about GKA, please refer to the following page.
From OKR to GKA – the latest tool to achieve your goals

If you want to operate GKA, use Goalous!

If you want to operate GKA, use Goalous is recommended. Goalous is a tool that incorporates the concept and structure of GKA into a social networking service, making it easier to manage goals through GKA. It is a tool that facilitates goal management through GKA.

The photo action function allows employees to share the actions they have taken to achieve their goals, and other employees can also leave comments and reactions.

The photo action function allows employees to share the actions they have taken to achieve their goals, and other employees can also leave comments and reactions. This will help create a sense of team unity as employees work together to achieve their goals.

If you would like to learn more about OKR and GKA, please refer to the following documents.

The document is available at here.


In OKR, goal setting is so important that it is not an exaggeration to say that goal setting determines success.

Instead of simply setting goals that you want to achieve, you need to incorporate the company’s goals into your department, the department’s goals into your team, and the team’s goals into your individual goals.

If you are having trouble implementing OKRs, check to see if your goal setting is appropriate, and start implementing them without tying them to things that can affect your goal setting, such as personnel evaluations.