Who is accountable for OKRs?

who is accountable for OKRs

Who should be OKR owners (accountable people) in an organization?

When it comes to accountability for OKRs, the following individuals play key roles:

1. Top leadership

CEO or Executives: Ultimate responsibility lies with top leadership to set overarching company objectives that align with the organizational vision and strategy.

2. Department heads or business unit leaders

Functional leaders or heads of departments: These individuals are accountable for cascading company objectives into specific and measurable departmental or business unit objectives.

3. Team managers

Team managers or supervisors: At the team level, managers take ownership of defining clear Key Results tied to the team’s contribution to the departmental or company objectives.

4. Individual owners

Here are three examples:

Sales representatives: Accountable for key results tied to sales targets, client acquisition, and revenue generation.

Marketing specialists: Responsible for key results associated with campaign performance, lead generation, and brand visibility.

Developers: Own key results related to product development, feature delivery, and technical milestones.

5. Individual contributors

Employees or team members: While not owners, individual contributors play a crucial role in achieving Key Results. They are responsible for executing tasks and initiatives that contribute to the overall success of the OKRs.

6. OKR Champions or Coaches

Designated OKR coaches: Assigning individuals to champion the OKR process, ensuring alignment, and providing guidance to teams can enhance accountability and successful implementation.

What is the role of OKR owners?

Here’s a concise breakdown of the day-to-day and bigger responsibilities of an OKR owner

Day-to-day responsibilities of an OKR owner

  • Alignment: Ensure that individual and team objectives align with the overall organizational goals and strategies.
  • Progress tracking: Monitor and track the progress of Key Results regularly, identifying any potential roadblocks or deviations.
  • Communication: Facilitate effective communication within the team, keeping everyone informed about the status of OKRs and any adjustments needed.
  • Feedback loop: Establish a continuous feedback loop to address challenges, celebrate achievements, and make real-time adjustments to optimize performance.
  • Prioritization: Assist team members in prioritizing tasks and initiatives based on their impact on Key Results and strategic objectives.
  • Adaptability: Be agile and adaptable, ready to pivot strategies or adjust Key Results based on changing circumstances or feedback.
  • Resource Allocation: Ensure that team resources are appropriately allocated to key initiatives and optimize resource distribution to maximize the impact on key results.
  • Continuous improvement: Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and key results and drive a culture of continuous improvement, seeking ways to enhance OKR processes.

Bigger responsibilities of an OKR owner

  • Strategic alignment: Ensure OKRs align directly with the organization’s long-term vision and strategic objectives.
  • Resource allocation: Collaborate with other teams or departments to optimize resource allocation and ensure the necessary support for achieving OKRs.
  • Performance evaluation: Use OKR data to evaluate team and individual performance, providing insights for continuous improvement and talent development.
  • Learning and improvement: Foster a culture of learning and improvement by analyzing the outcomes of OKRs, identifying successes and failures, and applying these insights to future planning.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Facilitate collaboration across different departments or teams to promote a holistic approach to achieving organizational goals.
  • Risk management: Identify potential risks and challenges that may impact the achievement of OKRs and develop mitigation strategies.


Accountability for OKRs lies collectively with leadership, managers, and individual contributors. Leadership sets the overarching objectives, managers align team goals, and individual contributors execute and deliver results.

Successful OKR implementation requires a shared commitment to transparency, communication, and a culture of accountability at all levels of the organization.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of OKRs depends on the collaborative efforts of every stakeholder within the organization.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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