Once an OKR is set, it'll become someone's work and it makes up their priorities for the cycle ahead. A well-set OKR shapes their day-to-day or weekly activities. So the natural question becomes, who owns an OKR? And what does that mean? When you own an OKR, you are responsible for its success. Each OKR can and should have an owner. You can also decide to split up ownership of an OKR by assigning a specific Key Result to someone else. By making a single individual accountable for a specific OKR, a Key Result, or a set of OKRs, it helps to make sure it doesn't get lost in no man's land. So what does it look like to own an OKR? And does that mean extra work for its owner? An owner is responsible for three basic tasks: First, they assign ownership of each of the KRs across the team. And as an owner, you want to get good at this part, because anything that doesn't have a name by it, well, it becomes the responsibility of the OKR owner. Next, an owner reports on the progress of the OKR at each check in. That doesn't mean they do all the work themselves, but it does mean they're responsible for knowing if everyone is doing what they committed to. Finally, an owner sounds an alarm if an OKR is at risk. If Key Results are behind or they're falling short, it's the owner's job to convene all the people who can help address it to come up with a plan and to get it back on track. Either that or they lead getting collective buy in that the Key Result is no longer a priority for this cycle. Remember, owning an OKR doesn't mean that you're solely responsible for achieving it, but you are the person who owns keeping it on track, and keeping teams informed. Here's an example: Let's say I'm the director of business development at an online bank. This quarter, we inherited an Objective in the cascade to enter the Latin American market. The Key Results we developed our to get to our first 10,000 Latin American checking accounts opened. The second, to reach 500,000 people in Latin America with our ads. And the last KR, to establish our first $5 million in lines of credit. My boss, the head of sales, thinks I should own this OKR. And there's collective buy-in from our team that these Key Results are the right ones. And I agree with the head of sales that I make the most sense to own this Objective. So now I begin to look at how to ensure the success of this OKR. I check in with our data teams and the reporting teams to make sure that we have everything in place to track the three Key Results. I asked them to help me set up a dashboard so I can check in the key metrics weekly. For the KR about our first 10,000 checking accounts, I think I can own this Key Result. I helped lead the strategy to scale in North America. So I have a good grasp on the process and I think there's a lot of overlap with this new market. For the KR about reaching 500,000 people with ads, this seems like the realm of the marketing director. So I asked her if she'd be willing to be the owner of that KR. And she agrees that her team should be responsible for it. So she adopts it as an Objective for her team and creates a set of Key Results for it. For the KR about establishing our first $5 million in lines of credit, I think of an enthusiastic sales manager who's expressed a strong interest in expanding our credit business. So I set up a meeting with him to ask him if he'd be willing to own this KR, but he's a bit cautious because he's relatively new to the company. So we decide he can co-own it with another sales manager who's been with the company longer. During the cycle, I check in regularly with the marketing director, the sales managers, those who are helping with this OKR. They update me on progress and we trade ideas when it seems like we might be stalling. I keep an eye on the project overall in mid-cycle when it seems like I was a little overconfident about my strategy, the one for scaling checking accounts. I let everyone know so we can start adjusting our efforts accordingly. Noticed that during this process, assigning ownership wasn't an edict from a higher level. It begins as a conversation and includes the permission of the eventual owner. A proposed owner should also have the ability to say that they don't think an OKR or a Key Result is their domain. Remember, handing down Key Results, dips into the realm of micromanagement. The "how" should come from the people they will be making the Objective a reality. Finally, even though an individual owns an OKR, or a Key Result. The whole team is responsible for achieving it. That means if an OKR is behind or failing, the team shares the responsibility for developing the solution. The owner owns the process of tracking, and adapting, and communicating the OKR. The team owns the work itself. If you're a good OKR owner, you probably have the traits needed to be a good leader in your organization. It may feel like extra work, but if you're effective at translating goals into realities, there's a good bet the leaders in your organization will notice you and your team.