Top Software Engineering OKRs to Level up Your Development Team

OKRs help software engineering teams measure progress and tie that progress directly to the organizational objectives.

OKRs that help set stretch goals are most effective and nudge teams to do their best work. Defining OKRs for easy-to-accomplish and achieve tasks wastes effort and time.

High-level objectives (department-level goals) enable software engineers to work collectively towards organizational growth, whereas individual OKRs for software engineers help them improve and stand out personally. Good OKRs also help identify any gaps and weak points in the existing strategy. Furthermore, the key results can highlight new directions and better solutions that the software engineering teams or developers can adopt.

Effective Software Engineering OKRs

Software engineering OKRs are typically in the areas of product quality, engineering quality, and release velocity. Let’s look at some examples.

Focus Area: Product Quality

Objective: Improve Test Coverage

Key Results:

  • Increase user acceptance test coverage from 50% to 75%
  • Increase unit test coverage from 60% to 80%
  • Introduce contract tests and have 25% of the APIs implement contract tests
  • Triage 95% of user reported issues in 2 business days

Objective: Improve product reliability

Key Results

  • Reduce the number of customer complaints by 60%
  • Increase product uptime to 99.99%
  • Decrease the number of bugs found in production by 35%

Objective: Improve scalability

Key Results

  • Decrease response time for key user flows by 45%
  • Increase capacity to handle 60% more traffic

Objective: Improve data quality

  • Increase data accuracy by 45%
  • Decrease data duplication across processes by 40%
  • Achieve data completeness of at least 96%

Objective: Staff for Quality

Key Results

  • Increase software quality assurance engineers headcount from 7 to 11
  • Setup upskill program for developers in modern testing practices

Objective: Improve Code Quality

Key Results

  • Ensure 100% of pull requests to the release branch are peer-reviewed before merging
  • Introduce sonarlint in developer toolchain
  • Standardize sonarqube quality gates and have 100% of git repos adopt standard quality gates

Focus Area: Customer Experience

Objective: Enhance customer experience

  • Increase customer NPS score by 25%
  • Achieve a customer satisfaction rating of at least 95%
  • Decrease customer churn by 20% in the next three months

Objective: Improve customer onboarding experience

  • Decrease onboarding time for new customers by 40%
  • Achieve a customer satisfaction rating of at least 85% for onboarding
  • Increase the number of customers who complete onboarding by 20% in the next 2 months

Objective: Improve customer self-service experience

  • Increase number of users utilizing self-service features by 50% in the next two quarters
  • Decrease number of customer support tickets by 25% in next three months
  • Achieve customer satisfaction rating of at least 80% for self-service

Focus Area: Productivity & Effectiveness

Objective: Boost the Productivity of Junior Developers

Key Results

  • Ensure 100% of junior developers acquire one of the recommended certifications in six months
  • Arrange weekly or monthly workshops or training sessions for junior developers
  • Organize monthly meetings where mentors can assess and discuss the performance of junior developers

Objective: Reduce Developer Impediments

Key Results

  • Resolve all blocked JIRA tickets in less than two days
  • Enable self-serve capabilities for compute cluster provisioning for developers
  • Setup API platform developer portal to allow developers to register their own APIs

Objective: Increase efficiency

Key Results

  • Reduce the number of manual processes by 50%
  • Decrease lead time for new feature requests by 30%
  • Increase team utilization by 20%

Focus Area: Improve Velocity

Objective: Improve Agile Process Maturity

Key Results

  • Increase scrum adoption for enterprise programs from from 60% to 85% 
  • Increase time spent on story grooming by 50% to better size stories and detect dependencies
  • Provide upskill path for scrum masters to get certified

Objective: Adopt and Improve DevOps Practices

Key Results

  • Setup DevOps CoE (Center of excellence)
  • Create and staff a shared services team with the responsibility to create DevOps pipeline templates
  • Rollout template pipeline by Q3 for teams to adopt

Objective: Adopt microservices best practices

Key Results

  • Increase the number of microservices that own their own data from 27% to 50% by Q4
  • Create a PR review guide by Q3 covering review aspects
  • Increase unit test coverage to 80%


Specific, achievable, and measurable objectives can help software engineering teams progress faster and better.
While defining the objectives, individual roles and team strengths should be considered to improve outcomes. With the right mindset and strategic thinking, engineering managers can leverage OKRs to unleash the true potential of their teams.