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.
“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
Tracks progress and help prioritize tasks
Improves Team Collaboration
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.
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.