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Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs: Learn about the two types of OKRs

Introduction

Amy Ngo

Amy Ngo

Amy is a Digital Marketer here at Focus. She is a contributor to the blog and does outreach via social media to spread the word about OKRs.


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Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs: Learn about the two types of OKRs

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Title Image "Moonshot and Roofshot OKR" with astronaut riding a rocket in space. Red and Purple theme.

We always hear that we should shoot for the stars, but what does that really mean? It’s great to set big goals but how big should you aim for? What are these Moonshots and Roofshot OKRs and in which context should you apply them? Which one is right for my company or team? These are all good questions and you’ve come to the right place.

Now that you know about OKRs and the basics of making OKRs, let’s go even more in-depth. This article introduces and describes the differences of Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs. These are the two types of OKRs that you can make. Read about the fundamentals you need to know about Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs and the guide to utilizing them correctly. At the end of the article, there are extra tips for your team to have successful OKRs.

A quick refresher on the fundamentals of OKRs:

OKRs are Objectives and Key Results.

First, the objective is where the team wants to be or what the teams wants to achieve.

Secondly, key results are the metrics or milestones that track how the objective is going to be fulfilled. These are meaningful performance measurement tools. For each objective, there should be at least 3 key results. There can be up to 5 Key results, but 3 is recommend.

OKR is a goal setting framework that adapts to work for your team. It values the bigger picture and measures what matters. Transparency is key and this structure gives everyone a clear goal to focus on. OKRs also provide a clear explanation or impact of what the team’s achievement of the key results will bring.

You can read more on Focus and why our company revolves around OKRs: Founder’s Story.

This article covers 5 main sections:

  1. Moonshot OKRS
  2. Roofshot OKRs
  3. Table Comparison
  4. How to use Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs
  5. Extra Tips

Moonshot OKRs

Moonshot OKRs are those that seem overly ambitious. These stretched and aspirational goals challenge your team. It’s a new project that no one has touched upon yet. It pushes everyone’s limits and set a new definition for what’s possible. Since it requires the team to “shoot for the moon” and as a result, the goal will seem almost out of reach.

The pathway to this goal is undefined, unstable, risky and require experience.

Often time all the resources are not listed out and the research you have is limited. Your team has to pave the path and should start off having no real knowledge of the step by step of how to attain the end goal. This type of OKR is fluid and has room for variance. The team’s understanding of the status quo is broadened. Most companies, such as Google, use Moonshots. As a result of this formidable objective, success with a Moonshot OKR means achieving 60 to 70% of the key results.

The drawback to this type of OKR is that your team would be highly unlikely to fulfill 100% of the goal. The consequence of this drawback could deter investors or funding, so planning ahead for the unknown is a necessity.

Teams that know how to set Moonshot OKRs and afford the damages should stay cautious whilst realizing that even though they fail to “reach the moon”, where they land is still a remarkable accomplishment.

These types of goals help the team to curate revisions, assess their action plan, and find areas for improvement. The results are used as data to create the next Moonshot OKR.

In short, Moonshots are high risk and high reward.

Example:

Objective: Create a marking campaign and increase brand presence

Key Results:

-Increase daily blog readers from 10 to 100

-Increase social media following by 200%

-Sponsor 10 Influencer product reviews on Youtube

-Curate 2 Business Partnerships with Local Community targeting product demographic

Roofshot OKRs

Roofshot OKRs (also known as committed OKRs) include achievable goals. This second type of objectives are still described as difficult but still exist within the team’s known trajectory. Success for a Roofshot OKR means reaching 100% of the key results.

These OKRs are akin to contracts; Roofshots are a guaranteed commitment and results need to be met. You can expect this OKR to be successfully completed by the end of its timeline.

Once finalized, the common understanding is that the OKR will be completely fulfilled. Hence the reason it’s also referred to as “committed” OKR. An unfinished Roofshot goal should be met with serious discussion. While OKRs in their nature are inherently hard, Roofshots are a defined commitment that includes the tasks easily lined up. Missing the target with this OKR highlights that there is a critical blind spot in the team’s operation.

These OKRs provide the much needed results for teams that are looking for steady goals and stability. It can connect different interdependent teams by having them each know what to expect from the other.

Example:

Objective: Improve brand presence

Key Results:

-Create 5 articles

-Get 15 reader surveys and reviews

-Open Accounts on 6 Popular Social Media Networks

-Start a company hashtag that

Some more general OKR examples can be found here on the Focus blog: HR examples, Product Management examples, and Marketing examples.

Table Comparison

Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs have different purposes, meaning they should be used for different contexts. There are various advantages of each that should be considered. This table reiterates the lengthy description of Moonshots and Roofshot OKRs from above and compares them.

Side by side comparison of Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs, the two types of OKRs.

*Just a reminder that all OKRs are supposed to be inherently hard. They are not a list of tasks, but rather goals. No OKR, whether Moonshot or Roofshot, should be taken lightly.

How to use Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs

Start with Roofshots

Due to the overtly ambitious nature of Moonshot OKRs, experts like Felipe Castro recommend that beginners start off with Roofshot OKRs. You want to start off big, but still within reason. New teams need motivation and small successes are necessary. Roofshots provide the stable foundation that set your team off on the right foot. Using Moonshoot OKRs in the beginning can demotivate the team. It might let the team harbor an uncommitted mindset and culture of not reaching the full potential. Additionally, you take a gamble with the Moonshots compared to the guaranteed success of a Roofshot. Moonshots provide an opportunity for growth in the right context, so it’s best to wait till the team is ready to manage and take on bigger risks.

Transition to Moonshots

However, all OKRs should be designed with the intention of pushing the team out of their comfort zone. Some might even prove to be somewhat uncomfortable. Once the team matures, transitioning to Moonshot OKRs keeps everyone on their toes. It would force the team to develop creative solutions and ask more questions. Without changing to Moonshots, the team’s progress could stagnant. In short, the team should start with Roofshot OKRs to build and develop a results-based mindset then transition to adding Moonshots. The team could go further to expand their limits after orienting themselves to this way of thinking.

The Perfect Mixed Approach

The transition to using Moonshots means to combine them; creating a mixed approach. Your objective would include one Moonshot key result and the rest would be Roofshots. A combination of these OKRs when used wisely could prove a powerful strategy. It means having an attainable goal while setting aside 10 to 30% of the key results as a Moonshot. A combined Moonshot and Roofshot OKR allows for the advantages of both types.

The Moonshot and Roofshot OKR combined should be the endgoal because Moonshots on its own require quite a bit of caution and risk-taking. It’s my recommendation that non-OKR experts reach and stay using this combined method. A Moonshot OKR’s profit is not always promised and the pathway is unstable. Your team would enjoy the multitude of benefits listed above and avoid undesired business outcomes with the implementation of a Moonshot AND Roofshot OKR. This way the team finds space for development whilst maintaining most of their current success rate.

Extra Tips

Whether making a Moonshot or Roofshot OKR, labeling is one of the most important steps. The OKR should be transparent and understandable. It’s a signal of the team’s expectations; this is what everyone deems as achievable. Being clear is important because everyone on the team knows where to direct their focus and motivation. Who wouldn’t want to stay on track with the rest of the team?

A team that works with the same objective in mind is a team that conquers Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs.

While Roofshots have easily defined resources, Moonshots instead require the over usage of resources. An example of the usage of resources is involving everyone in the team and all the teams in the company.

A defined objective that everyone can focus on means everyone realizing their role in the big picture.

Another tip I have is to start off with a good team. Read our CEO’s article on building a great team as well as Forbes’ article on workplace team bonding.

Lastly, after learning about Moonshot and Roofshot OKRs, it’s time to make some! Be prepared for the unexpected and proceed with caution, but don’t let that get in the way of your excitement for the future.

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Amy Ngo

Amy Ngo

Amy is a Digital Marketer here at Focus. She is a contributor to the blog and does outreach via social media to spread the word about OKRs.

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