Product Management OKRs : Examples

by Chandler Barr Apr 27,2021

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

For holistically product-based companies, product managers and their product management team is the backbone of the organization. From Google to Microsoft to Amazon, every successful organization has talented product managers to provide the perfect solutions to their customer’s problems. They work with cross-functional teams and help everyone to be on the same page with what customers want. They are a part of a myriad of activities which include:

  • Understanding customer requirements and translating them for the development team 
  • Build and design product roadmaps 
  • Enhance existing feature of the product
  • Research on competitors

While it is not as easy as marketing or the sales team to set OKRs for those in product management, having OKRs help them stay focused and measure their success. In this article, we will share some sample OKRs for your product management team that will help you get started. But before we take a look at the OKRs let us take a look at its history and what are okrs.

Also Read: The Essential Guide To OKRs: Your Ultimate Tool To Setting Winning Goals

OKRs :  A Brief History

“OKRs have helped lead us to 10x growth, many times over.” – Larry Page, Co-founder of Google.

The concept of OKRs was first introduced by the former Intel CEO, Andy Grove, in the 1970s. But it was relatively unknown until it was introduced in Google in 1999 by John Doerr. Doerr was introduced to OKRs while working at Intel. To Google, it is a part of their culture, and they consider it a management methodology that helps them focus on the same issues throughout the organization. Organizations such as Amazon, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Netflix, Microsoft, Disney, Zynga, etc., credit OKRs for their success.

What Are OKRs?

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) comprise of: 

  • An Objective: It is a clearly defined goal to be achieved
  • 3-5 Key Results: Measurable steps to track the progress of the objectives

Each set of Objectives and their Key Results should answer two primary questions: ‘What is that we are planning to achieve?’ and ‘How to achieve it?’. 

Almost every organization globally uses the OKR methodology to set their goals because of its multitudinal benefits. Here are some of them: 

  • Short term and agile
  • Easy to align
  • Improves Transparency and Accountability
  • Time-Saving
  • Tracks progress and help prioritize tasks
  • Improves Team Collaboration

goal setting guide

How To Write Good Objectives?

  • Plain Language – Use a language that everyone understands, avoid using specific jargon and acronyms. The intention here is not to make things sound fancy. The right intention here is to convey the goals with clarity
  • Start With A Verb – Begin with a verb to describe the action and the desired direction. It helps in understanding a clear target to achieve and gives direction to the employee
  • Challenge the Status Quo – Objectives should be  set in such a way that it challenges your current way of working otherwise it would be ineffective to move your business forward
  • What’s Holding You Back? – Understand what problems are holding you back from moving forward and executing your strategy
  • Clarifying Questions – Use the Questioning method to move from abstracts to specifics of your OKRs. This will reduce confusion and help everyone understand the true objectives
  • Use Simple Rules – Use simple rules while drafting your OKRs. Have your own set of key criteria for objectives which are straightforward and simple to follow
  • Limited and Time Bound – Set no more than three objectives per quarter so that they remain impactful. Having too many objectives takes away focus from the priorities.
Also Read: Employee Engagement: Why Is It Important For Organizations?

How To Write Good Key Results?

  • Keep Them Simple And Clear – Make them simple and easy, so that they can be easily communicated understood by others
  • Assign Owner – Assign an owner who takes the responsibility of creating and achieving the key results and is responsible for updates on the progress
  • Use Positive Language – Use positive language while creating your key results as it will enhance motivation and increase commitment
  • Limit the Key Results – Set a minimum of three and maximum of five key results for every objective. Setting few will not be challenging, and setting too many will be difficult to achieve
Also Read: 360 Degree Feedback : 7 Tips To Get Started

With an insight into what is OKRs and how to write them, now let us take a look at some of the sample OKRs.

Objective 1: Research and Understand what users want

Key Results:

– Interview five Tier 1, ten Tier 2, and fifteen Tier 3 clients

– Sales Team or the Product Team interviews recent churned out customers

– Analyze Client Exit Surveys of past quarters

Objective 2: Deliver Version 2 of the project by the end of ______ (Time Frame)

Key Results: 

– Wireframe review and sign off on UI prototype

– Review and sign off on Mobile Responsive screens

– Ready for hand-off within the timeframe

Objective  3: Enhance features and improve usability

Key Results: 

– Identify and handover bugs to the development team

– Research on competitor’s products

– Connect with high level executive (clients and non-client)

Objective 4: Employee engagement and development of team members

Key Results:

– Each team members attends one training session each month

– Team members set their OKRs for each quarter

– Peer feedback is conducted half-yearly

– Two best performers from each quarter is rewarded

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Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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