I'm setting a personal OKR for improving my communication with team mates, but I'm stuck because I don't know what measurable key results would demonstrate improvement.

I'm doing this because it was pointed out as an area I need to work on in my recent performance evaluation. Specifically, a team mate said that I take longer on assignments than expected without letting the team know what's taking so long, what the status is, or how much longer I will need. I do have issues with productivity, and I understand that the cause is my ADHD, and I have been working on that directly for years. I now want to focus more on my communication so that I am more transparent to my coworkers. But I'd also like to broaden the scope to strengthening my communication in general instead of correcting just my work status updates.

I'm using the OKR system voluntarily; we do not use it at my organization for business objectives. In fact, there is no formal system for cascading business objectives to individual contributors. I'm finding it difficult to find good indicative key results for personal growth. At the very least, I think a great result from working on this would be my score for communication goes up in my next evaluation, but this is not something I can actively monitor.


3 Answers 3


Perhaps it would help to think about the consequences of poor communication, and having your result be avoiding them. Examples:

  • never go more than [x] time blocked without letting [someone] know you are blocked
  • never announce a slip that is longer than the time to the deadline (eg a two day slip one day before deadline)
  • never slip more than once on the same task

You might need to spend some time collecting these sorts of things to know which ones are issues for you and which you try to avoid.

Avoiding these becomes the result you are trying to track. The tactics to achieve those results, like updating information radiators, reporting accurately at morning standup, telling x person within y hours when z things happens - those aren't results. They are things you do to get your results.


Highlight a few statements you have made:

Specifically, a team mate said that I take longer on assignments than expected without letting the team know what's taking so long, what the status is, or how much longer I will need.

communication so that I am more transparent to my coworkers

You cannot let a team mate know you are slipping if you do not have that data. Recommend where possible breaking a task up into pieces when received, have some tracking system that you check daily as a routine (first thing in morning is probably best). This can be a spreadsheet, project management tool, even a physical pen/paper, whatever will work for you.

This is a key part: time management is part of your job, not just coding (for example if you are a coder). Each day do the time management part of your job, then do the implementation part of your job.

This allows you to be aware every day if you are slipping a task and then you just have to fess up and send that email/make that team contact.


Firstly - good on you for taking some ownership on ways to manage yourself. I really mean that.

Whilst I'm not familiar with the OKR framework - here are some things you could try:

At the beginning of the day, write out a quick list of the tasks that you want to accomplish on that day e.g:

"Do X and Y for project Z"

Then, in the last 30 mins or so of the day, refer back to your morning goals - anything that you didn't complete, write an email about it to the party concerned:

"Hey Boss, Today I was aiming to complete feature Q for project Z, but I ran into these issues

  • Issue 1
  • Issue 2 I'm going to aim to address Issue 2 tomorrow, but I'm not sure on how to proceed with Issue 1"

Essentially - writing an end-of-day report - if you completed all the tasks you wanted to complete, then don't send it - only send when you didn't achieve all that you set out to do.

Firstly - it will keep your Boss in the loop - You may want to run it by them - and frame it as you framed this question "Hey boss, I've been thinking of ways that I can improve my communication - I'm going to try this as a strategy"

You may have to fine-tune it a little (once a day might be too much, perhaps every other day or every week).

At the very least, your boss will be able to tell when you are slipping behind and can hopefully identify the breakpoints when you should reach out to co-workers.

This leads to the next step - after a few repetitions and identifying the 'right' time to ask for help, then you can mentally form a set of criteria as to when you need to - and voila! You are now getting better at communicating.

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