10 Best Books on OKRs in 2023

Using modern OKR software tools like Weekdone provides a quality long term solution to working with OKRs – Objectives and Key Results. Still, nothing beats a good OKR book to dig deeper into the methodology. 

Here is the list of the 10 best books on OKRs that will not only help you understand the framework fundamentals, but will also help you incorporate the OKR methodology into your business operations.

Without further ado, let’s get into the list!

1. Step by Step Guide to OKRs

by Weekdone

Free OKR e-book download by Weekdone - OKR Step by Step Guide

This one’s a nice free e-book you can download. It’s a practical guide to goal setting that offers concrete examples to help you start setting impactful and meaningful goals. This book teaches you how to manage your team better and create a feeling of success.

A “How-To” guide to get started with OKRs and to help your team or a company implement the best goal-setting system currently out there.

Filled with a lot of practical examples, this Step by Step Guide to OKRs is a good quick handbook to launch and implement OKRs in your team.

This OKR book answers the following questions:

  • What are OKRs?
  • What is Goal Setting?
  • Benefits of OKRs
  • Getting Started with OKR
  • Writing Good Objectives
  • Setting Key Results
  • How OKRs and KPIs can coexist
  • Committed and Aspirational OKRs
  • Personal OKRs
  • How to Write Actionable OKRs
  • Weekly Plans
  • OKR Alignment
  • OKR Examples
  • The OKR Process
  • The OKR Weekly Check In
  • The OKR Quarterly Review
  • The Secret Behind Successfully Implementing OKRs
  • OKR Implementation Guide
  • Getting an OKR Coach
  • OKR Best Practices and Tips
  • OKR Case Studies

👉 Download the OKR book here.

2. Measure What Matters

by John Doerr

Measure What Matters by John Doerr - OKR Book

John Doerr is rightfully considered one of the most influential preachers of the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) methodology. He is the one who initially introduced the idea to the young founders of Google. And their success story has turned OKRs into a well-known goal-setting methodology for both start-ups and traditional businesses.

The book provides a rare insight as to how the OKR methodology was first developed and came into use. It even details all the ideas and thoughts that went into the initial inception of the methodology. “Measure What Matters” also goes over one of the most forgotten aspects of goal setting. It is not enough to set great goals. You must always keep them in sight. And you must work towards them every day of the week.

Measure What Matters is divided into two parts:

Part 1. OKRs in action. Google, meet OKRs

  • The father of OKRs
  • Operation crush : an Intel story
  • Superpower #1: Focus and commit to priorities
  • Focus : the remind story
  • Commit : the nuna story
  • Superpower #2: Align and connect for teamwork
  • Align : the MyFitnessPal story
  • Connect : the Intuit story
  • Superpower #3: Track for accountability
  • Track : the Gates Foundation story
  • Superpower #4: stretch for amazing
  • Stretch: The Google Chrome story
  • Stretch: The YouTube story

Part 2. The new world of work. Continuous performance management: OKRs and CFRs

  • Ditching annual performance reviews: The Adobe story
  • Baking better every day: the Zume Pizza story
  • Culture
  • Culture change : the Lumeris story
  • Culture change : Bono’s ONE campaign story
  • The goals to come.

👉 You can order this OKR book here.

3. Radical Focus

by Christina R Wodtke and Marty Cagan

Radical Focus - OKR Book about Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results

The first ever OKRs book is a nice quick read to get started with them.

It’s a practical business book in the form of a fable.

Radical Focus tackles the OKR movement and better goal setting through the powerful story of Hanna and Jack’s struggling tea startup. When the two receive an ultimatum from their only investor, they must learn how to employ Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with radical focus to get the right things done.

The author pulls from her experience with Silicon Valley’s hottest companies to teach practical insights on goal setting in a story form. As you see through Hanna and Jack’s story, it’s about creating a framework for regular check-ins, key results, and most of all, the beauty of a good fail. Wodtke adds a bonus section in the second half of the book to lay out her most practical insights into applying Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to your specific workplace and challenges.

 👉 You can order this OKR book here. 

4. The Beginner’s Guide to OKR

by Felipe Castro

OKR Book by Felipe Castro - Beginners Guide to OKR

This OKR book came out as a reaction to the OKR Bible “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr and several other guides. While most OKR guides do a fantastic job of explaining all ins and outs of OKR’s philosophy and addressing some of the most common questions, they lag behind when it comes to actual setting of Objectives and Key Results. 

Castro’s guide gives a straightforward introduction to OKRs and how to get started with them. This book is concise at about 50 pages and especially good for first-time OKR users. Reading it section by section will help you realize how the different OKR building blocks fit together and why great companies such as Google, Spotify, Twitter, Airbnb and LinkedIn adopted OKRs to set goals.

The Beginner’s Guide consists of the following sections: 

  • What is OKR?
  • What are the benefits of using OKR?
  • Strategic vs. Tactical OKRs: Nested Cadences
  • OKRs do not Cascade
  • Success criteria and types of Key Results
  • How ambitious should your OKRs be?
  • Creating Alignment
  • Tracking Results with the Weekly Check-in
  • A Typical OKR Cycle
  • Why you should separate OKR and compensation
  • Common OKR mistakes

 👉 You can download this free OKR book here.

5. High Output Management

by Andrew Grove

OKR Book by Andy Grove - High Output Management

Andrew Grove, a legendary CEO of Intel, shares his lessons learned on leadership, building organizations and allocating your time on the most important tasks for your team. The key takeaway from the book tells that the output of a manager is the output of the individuals or teams of their influence or control. 

The book is concise, straight to the point, and full of real, actionable insights you can do as a manager. The information is presented with a minimum dose of fuss and a maximum dose of reality.

The structure of this book goes as follows:

Part 1. The breakfast factory

  • The basics of production: delivering breakfast (or a college graduate, or a compiler, or a convicted criminal …)
  • Managing the breakfast factory

Part 2. Management is a team game

  • Managerial leverage
  • Meetings: the medium of managerial work
  • Decisions, decisions
  • Planning: today’s actions for tomorrow’s output

Part 3. Team of teams

  • The breakfast factory goes national 
  • Hybrid organizations
  • Dual reporting
  • Modes of control

Part 4. The players

  • The sports analogy
  • Task-relevant maturity
  • Performance appraisal: manager as judge and jury
  • Two difficult tasks
  • Compensation as task-relevant feedback

👉 You can order this OKR book here.

6. Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs

by Paul R. Niven and Ben Lamorte

OKR Book - Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs

This OKR book is the first full-fledged reference guide on Objectives and Key Results, a critical thinking framework designed to help organizations create value through focus, alignment, and better communication.

Written by two leading OKRs consultants and researchers, this book provides a one-stop resource for organizations looking to quantify qualitative goals and ensure each team focuses their efforts to make measurable progress on their most important goals.

You’ll learn how OKRs came to be. And how leading companies use them every day to help teams and employees stretch their thinking about what’s possible, build their goal-setting muscles and achieve results that reflect their full potential. From the basic framework to a detailed dissection of best practices, this informative guide walks you through real-world implementations to help you get the most out of OKRs.

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to OKRs
  • Chapter 2: Preparing for Your OKRs Journey
  • Chapter 3: Creating Effective OKRs
  • Chapter 4: Connecting OKRs to Drive Alignment 
  • Chapter 5: Managing with OKRs
  • Chapter 6: Making OKRs Sustainable
  • Chapter 7: Case Studies in OKRs Use

👉 You can order this OKR book here. 

7. How to Measure Anything

by Douglas W. Hubbard

How to Measure Anything - Douglas Hubbard OKR Book

This book serves as “basic statistics for business” and provides a general framework for approaching measurement tasks, including certain techniques and practical examples. 

Hubbard strongly defends the case that everything can be measured, even though the method may not be obvious at first glance. The author’s definition of measurement means any number or figure that reduces risk compared to your previous state.

The book structure basically consists of a step-by-step plan on how to decompose the problem, define what’s business critical to measure, estimate what you think you’ll measure, measure just enough, not a lot and do something with what you’ve learned.

Douglas W. Hubbard broke the structure up into 4 sections:

  • Measurement: The Solution Exists
  • Before You Measure 
  • Measurement Methods 
  • Beyond the Basics 

👉 You can order this book here. 

8. Start Less, Finish More

by Dan Montgomery

OKR Book - Start Less Finish More by Dan Monntgomery: Building Strategic Agility with Objectives and Key Results

Business strategy often stagnates because it’s challenging to adjust, or it doesn’t take off because teams can’t connect their work to the strategy. The way to make your strategy happen is to keep it agile: knowing where you want to go while staying open and flexible about how you get there.

Finish More shows you how to spend less time preparing and more time doing, iterating and adapting your strategic plan using OKRs – the goal setting method that built Silicon Valley.

This is a great easy breakdown of a strategy and OKRs into actionable steps, offering framework, examples, and useful guidance.

This OKR books consists of 8 chapters:

  • Embracing Uncertainty
  • Strategy
  • Assess
  • Focus
  • Commit
  • Act
  • Learn
  • Building the Agile Strategy Management Cycle

👉 You can order this OKR book here. 

9. The OKRs Field Book

by Ben Lamorte

The OKRs Field Book for OKR Coaches - Ben Lamorte

This book is perfect for external coaches, business mentors and internal coaches looking for a scalable structure to help their clients succeed with OKRs.

Ben Lamorte, an internationally recognized OKRs coach, provides a comprehensive framework to guide teams through the phases and steps necessary to make their OKR coaching project a success. 

That’s how Ben packed his knowledge and expertise into the book:

  • Structure an OKRs coaching engagement using a three-phased approach
  • Avoid common pitfalls such as cascading OKRs based on the org chart
  • Ensure your client asks the right questions at each step of the OKRs cycle

👉 You can order this OKR book here. 

10. Succeeding with OKRs in Agile

by Allan Kelly

Succeeding with OKRs in Agile - OKR Book

OKRs and agile methodologies work well together because they are both outcome oriented and results focused. That’s why this book helps define what success of achieving an OKR is supposed to mean, and serving a greater vision than just focusing on delivery.

In this book Allan Kelly doesn’t sell OKRs and tell you why they are great. The author describes his practical experience working with an agile team adopting OKRs, day-by-day, quarter-by-quarter. 

The book begins with a solid and practical introduction to OKRs. Allan also includes good tips about focus and flow and avoiding common mistakes. He calls out the value of focusing constraints, covers the difficulties between business-as-usual and OKRs, and highlights the tradeoffs between yearly and quarterly cadences. 

👉 You can order this OKR book here. 

These are our suggestions. Grab them. Read them. Enjoy your OKRs.

Looking for a further read on OKRs?

4 real life OKR case studies

More OKR resources to read: