Case study: division alignment to company OKR

In this hand-drawn diagram, we zoomed in 3 OKR examples for the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020):

  1. Company/top-line OKR: 2 Objectives (O) and 5 Key Results (KR)
  2. Operations (Ops) OKR: 2 O and 4 KR
  3. Human Resources (HR) OKR: 1 O and 2 KR

The Ops OKR and HR OKR are often called department or division OKR. The terms department and division are used interchangeably here.

A division OKR is formulated to support and align with the top-line OKR.

Let's highlight the importance of the colorful arrow lines in the diagram above. They are connecting each division's KR with the top-line KR.

Each arrow line explicitly represents an alignment.

About the blue arrow lines in the diagram

The blue arrow lines represent a (vertical) alignment from the Ops OKR to top-line OKR.


  • The arrow line connecting from OPS KR 1.1 (or in short, OPS1.1) to top-line 1.1. This means, OPS1.1 was formulated to support the company to achieve its KR 1.1
  • OPS2.2 points to two (2) top-line KR. In other words, achieving OPS2.2 will help the company to achieve the target in top-line KR1.3 and KR2.1 i.e. 2 top-line KR at the same time

About the green arrow lines in the diagram

The green arrow lines represent a (vertical) alignment from the HR OKR to top-line OKR.


  • The same concept in Ops also applies here: HR1.1 aligns with one (1) top-line KR2.1, and H1.2 to top-line KR2.2

Further thoughts

An organization typically has a few departments such as Ops, HR, Product, Sales, Marketing, and so on. The alignment above is expected to happen for those departments as well.

Once a division OKR is formulated and aligned with the top-line OKR, that particular division will independently* have a choice whether to adopt OKR to individual level. If they did, many positive benefits await them.

*A division might start adopting individual OKR in its own division whenever it is ready. That is, it does not need to wait until all divisions are ready.


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