Embracing Product OKRs - How to define Objectives & Key Results for your product team

Vincent Pavero,

The Challenges encountered by product teams not using product OKRs

Product teams that don't use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) often struggle with clarity and focus. Without clearly defined and measurable goals, it's difficult to ensure that everyone on the team is moving in the same direction. This can lead to inadequate alignment, wasted effort, and missed opportunities. Product teams may also struggle with prioritizing work, as it's harder to decide what to focus on without clear objectives and key results to guide decision-making.

Decoding the OKR Framework: A Game Changer for Your Product Team

The OKR framework is a powerful tool for setting and achieving goals. The "O" stands for Objectives - these are clear, actionable goals that align with the company's vision. The "KR" stands for Key Results - these are measurable outcomes that indicate progress towards the Objective. A well-defined OKR is aligned with the company's vision, specific, time-bound, measurable, and ambitious.

Power Up Your Productivity: Unleashing the Potential of OKRs

OKRs provide a framework for setting ambitious goals and tracking progress towards them. They ensure alignment across teams and individuals, promote focus and coordination, and facilitate communication about what's important. They help to create a results-oriented culture where success is defined by the achievement of measurable outcomes.

OKRs in Action: 5 Inspiring Real-World Examples for Your Product Team

I found a few great examples of product OKRs:

  1. Objective: Implement a weekly newsletter successfully. Key Results include achieving a 45% open rate and growing the email subscriber base by 10% each week.

  2. Objective: Optimize our marketing funnel. Key Results include running 35 user interviews with the target audience and increasing the visitor-to-trial conversion rate from 6% to 12%.

  3. Objective: Improve customer satisfaction by 45% by the third quarter. Key Results include increasing the Net Promoter score from 7.0 to 8.5 and reducing the number of requests to support from 3.5 to 1.0 per user per month.

  4. Objective: Improve customer engagement by 50% by the third quarter. Key Results include increasing monthly customer retention rates from 40% to 60% and increasing the average time spent on our app from 10 mins to 20 mins.

  5. Objective: Improve product team learning by 45% by the end of the year. Key Results include holding bi-annual meetings for old and new staff members to educate them on company culture and history, and conducting weekly knowledge sharing sessions held by product team members​.

Each of these OKRs is a great example because they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They can help to drive engagement and commitment from the team by providing clear goals and measurable outcomes.

Mastering Product OKRs: Top 3 Pro Tips for Success

Embarking on your product OKRs journey? These best practices will help ensure your success.

1. Alignment is Essential

Your product OKRs must be closely aligned with your organization's broader objectives. When your product team's efforts are synced with the company's mission, it creates a powerful synergy that accelerates progress. Make sure your product OKRs aren't isolated goals but contribute meaningfully to the overarching business strategy.

2. Set Measurable and Ambitious Goals

OKRs thrive on ambition. Don’t shy away from setting lofty objectives. However, make sure these goals are measurable. Quantifiable key results allow you to gauge your progress and success accurately. This balance between ambition and measurability ensures you aim high, but also have tangible markers to track your journey.

3. Regularly Review and Adjust

OKRs aren't set-and-forget goals. Regular check-ins to review progress are crucial. These touchpoints allow for necessary course corrections and adaptations. Remember, it's about progress, not perfection. If circumstances change or if a key result isn't driving the expected impact, don't hesitate to adjust. This continuous learning and adaptation keep your OKRs relevant and effective.