Community Management

How to Structure Community OKRs and Why They’re Needed

April 28, 2023

Podcast Host, The Community-Led Growth Show

I believe it’s vital for a business to have clear Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), or some form of goal-setting framework, in place for two reasons beyond ensuring organization-wide alignment. OKRs need to focus on the business outcomes, and this is no different for community professionals. Community must be designed to impact outcomes while balancing the needs of your members and allocated resources as a strategic, value-add Go-To-Market (GTM) function. For Community professionals, those reasons are:

  1. By having clear, meaningful OKRs in place, it allows the Community team to advocate for additional resources – money, tools, people, etc. With clear OKRs in place and thoughtful design of community programs, you will be able to track tangible outcomes achieved that may result in additional resources becoming available.
  2. Secondly, and arguably the more important of the two reasons, is that it ensures your performance management and compensation conversations are based on your outcomes against your OKRs. This is key because it limits the possibility for bias and emotions to creep into these critical moments as an employee of a business. 

Shoutout to my time at Lattice for helping me learn why OKRs & Goals are valuable as an employee, so these conversations are grounded in reality – the facts.

Best Practices for Building OKRs

Let’s first define what OKRs are before diving into how to build meaningful ones for your community. OKRs, a common goal-setting framework, are utilized by organizations to set and track desired outcomes across all levels. Here’s my explanation of  OKRs. And, yes, I’m about to use sports to help illustrate it.

  • 🥅 Objective – What do I want to achieve?

The Objectives part of OKRs are supposed to be your aspirational goal(s) you’re working to achieve (e.g., win every game) within a specific timeframe (e.g., the season).

  • 📋 Key Result – How will I achieve it?

The Key Results of OKRs are meant to be the clear, measurable outcomes you plan to do to achieve your Objective(s) (e.g., run 3 miles at a 6-minute even split twice a week during the season).

  • 🏃 Actions – What work do I need to do to achieve it?

The Objectives and Key Results are the two key elements that create OKRs. However, I like to then add for myself, and others, the point to think about the specific work item(s) (e.g., begin running a mile at a 6-minute pace before the season starts) you’ll do to hit the Key Result, hopefully, ultimately leading to the successful achievement of your Objective.

Pro Tip: Whether using OKRs in your organization makes sense or not, your clearly articulated goals should be standardized through a goal-setting framework that is adopted company-wide. It’s vital to work with your manager and peers when developing them for your function. This ensures that they’re aligned to business outcomes set by the executive team.

Examples of Community OKRs for 4 Types of Communities

Now that you’ve learned what OKRs are, how to structure them, and why I believe they’re necessary for Community professionals, let’s jump into a few examples of OKRs for 4 types of communities typically found in the B2B tech/SaaS space: 

Developer Relations

  • Objective: Increase the number of technology partners and service providers listed on our ecosystem page (outcome for the year).
  • Key Result: Build and launch a formal process for people and organizations to submit a widget or product to be added to the ecosystem page in Q2.
  • Action: In February, hold the kickoff call with leaders from Product, Community/Developer Relations, RevOps, Marketing, and Customer Experience on building the V1 of the process.

Community of Practice

  • Objective: Increase brand awareness in the enterprise segment (outcome for the year).
  • Key Result: Add 500 new members to our community from the enterprise segment in Q3.
  • Action: Review current enterprise customers, identifying all ideal community members, and send an email with enterprise-specific copy, highlighting the value of the community for them. 

Community of Customers

  • Objective: Increase brand awareness across new markets and regions (outcome for the year).
  • Key Result: Launch 5 new customer success stories featuring advocates from non-ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) companies (region and/or market).
  • Action: Partner with Customer Marketing & Advocacy peer to review advocates in the community with company-wide product adoption data to prioritize requests for participation.

Community of Product

  • Objective: Build a world-class product to support customers in all markets, regions, and segments (outcome for the year).
  • Key Result: Host a virtual product roadmap showcase in July at least 3 different times to make it accessible for the global customer base.
  • Action: Product Marketing team members and Product Managers review and prioritize product feedback from community members to incorporate into the development of the annual product roadmap.

With the examples above and a Quarterly OKRs Template from Lattice, I hope you feel equipped and ready to build meaningful OKRs for the community function in your organization to support strategic business outcomes.

Joel Primack
Podcast Host, The Community-Led Growth Show

April 28, 2023

Let’s stay in touch

Subscribe to receive community insights, invitations to our webinars, and monthly Talkbase product updates.

We’ll help get you started.
Schedule a demo with our team today!