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The internal grading system that Google uses for its employees was revealed! John Doer, one of the investors of Google when it was just starting, presented the concept of organizational system to the said company and he called it OKRs which means Objectives and Key Results. Google has been using the system ever since.

Actually, the idea of OKRs first started in Intel. These are a simple method to create and manage a structure for individuals, teams, and companies. OKRs does not only limit its principles to company but it can also be applied in one’s personal life as well.

The internal grading system was fully explained in one presentation by Google Ventures partner Rick Klau and it was indeed fascinating. The system is easy to follow, simple and direct.

First thing to consider is determining your Objective. Afterwards, you device a set of “Key Results” that are realistic to aid you in reaching your objective.


For the objective, it should be measurable and concrete. Set values in your goals not just mere definitions like for example, you don’t say “I want an awesome website!” but instead you must put in mind that “I want to increase the viewership of my website by 30%!”

Klau for instance had a set of quarterly objectives for Blogger which was hi project in Google. During that time, it had a major fall-out due to the presence of other blogging platforms such as Tumblr which was gaining more popularity as compared to his project. Thus Klau came up with key results:


Google’s OKRs are done both annually and quarterly according to Klau. The difference is that annual OKRs can evolve while the quarterly OKRs is permanent. Google also has a classification of OKRs according to personal, managerial, team and company level. These all work coherently together for a smooth sailing interaction of different levels.

At the end of every quarter, one gets to grade his key results with a 0-1 scale and the ideal score is 0.6-0.7. If your score is one it means the key result is too easy while if you score below 0.4, you don’t take whatever you’re doing seriously.


Here’s an example of Klau’s personal OKRs with the grading:


To fully understand the whole concept, you can watch the video of the whole presentation below:


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