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Objectives And Key Results (OKRs) are credited for the rise and dominance of companies like Intel and Google, where it has helped them move mountains while maintaining alignment and agility at scale. And it’s been employed by thousands of smaller organisations that are plenty agile, yet looking to focus their scattershot efforts on one clear strategy.
The logic behind OKRs is intuitive, time-tested, and universal to defining good objectives in general.
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A company’s highest objective is stated in its mission statement, but when discussing top-level objectives, we typically mean the goals the company aims to reach in the next quarter, half-year, or year.
When setting key results, consider what negative outcomes they might incidentally incentivize. Aim to counterbalance these.
By choosing your own objectives and key results, you use the context you have from the frontlines to decide the best way you can generate value for your customers and your organisation. And in the mid-term, inputs that employees on the frontlines feedback to leadership can influence the top-level...
The primary purpose of OKRs is not just to document, but galvanize. If OKRs are to be made sufficiently ambitious, they need to be kept separate from performance evaluations. Otherwise goals tend to be set too conservatively to do much good. This is especially true of moonshot OKRs.
A lot has been said about avoiding the feature factory approach to product management. No one wants to work on a product as though they’re “sitting in a factory, cranking out features, and sending them down the line,” without knowing if they’re actually having any impact. It’s the definition of a...
OKRs provide a flexible hierarchy of objectives that cascade down through every team and individual. Everyone knows what to focus on. Everyone’s objectives are aligned.
If you’re a product manager, your objectives will likely address a handful of user needs or business goals. Key results may include the successful launch of major features and the indicators you use to measure desired outcomes.
The key results at the organisational level can become objectives for the next level down — whether that’s division, department, or team (depending on the size of your organisation). The further down you go, the more specific and tactical the objectives become.
The product team’s objectives are often especially closely aligned with the organisation’s at large.
To get full value from OKRs, post them where you’ll see them every day, or adopt a dedicated OKR management solution and refer to it on a regular basis. Capture product OKRs in a product management solution like Productboard where you can use objectives to prioritise and plan supporting feature i...
OKRs bring the promise of greater focus, alignment, and measurable progress toward exciting outcomes. They require an upfront investment and ongoing attention, but hopefully with the tips we’ve reviewed here you’ll be well on your way.
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