What are some Product Management OKR examples and why do you need to set them? Product is probably the most important function in your company. Together with Sales and Marketing they are the ones that make sure the hard earned money you invest in them is delivering the maximum value to your business. This means that a focused Product Team can be the pilot who adjusts the engines (your engineering team) on the rocket-ship you call a company. But this also means that every effort that is not spent on delivering on the main objectives for the company will be a loss multiple times over, loss of the effort put in, and a loss of the opportunity cost of something better that it could have been spent on. OKRs are a great way to get your Product Team focused, but how is it done?
Throughout our content at Focus we are referring to functions with capital letters, such as Product, Sales, Customer Service, etc. When we don’t use the capitalized version, we mean the thing being built. Psst, are you in Marketing? We have 21 OKR examples for you too 😉
What is Product Management?
Why are we talking about this in a post that’s about how to set OKRs for Product Teams? We are talking about it because Product is a nebulous, nascent and often misunderstood field. This can lead to the whole OKR thing going sideways for unfortunate Product folk even before the first O is set. So, what is Product Management? Let’s take a step back and see Product within the Scrum framework:
Scrum (n): “A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”Scrum Guide November 2017 version
I highlighted the part about value because at its simplest form, that is what Product Management is about. Are you a Portfolio Manager, Product Manager, Product Owner, Business Analyst or god forbid a Project Manager doing Product stuff at an organization that doesn’t understand the role? First of all, make them listen to Marty Cagen and explain to them that your daily activities should be tied to maximizing value to users and, consequently, to the business.
Product Team OKR examples
Cool, why don’t we just set this as our main objective? Not so fast. Product Management is also about finding the balance in delivering this value. Could you deliver outstanding value today by ignoring technical debt? Sure, you could. But what about tomorrow? Could you only focus on your users and shut your internal stakeholders up? Sure, but your relationships would suffer and you couldn’t effectively lead without authority, one of the hallmarks of any good Product Manager.
With this is mind, let’s group some of the activities a Product person does at a company. Since Product can take many different forms and different companies, this list by no means will be exhaustive, but let’s give it a shot. If you have ideas or feedback, do get in touch via the chat bubble on the bottom right.
Let’s group Product Management and Product Owner activities into 4 large areas. Sometimes it’s one person dealing with all of them vertically, sometimes the responsibilities are split between strategic and tactical, so pick accordingly.
- Vision and strategy
- Ideation, alignment, validation, prioritization
- Build, measure, learn
- Release and grow
Let’s break these 4 big areas down into smaller ones and let’s look at some examples. You should only select 3-4 OKRs per quarter per team, so don’t think that you need to have as many OKRs as we have in our examples here. Identify what area needs improvement the most and formulate your powerful OKRs to support you and your team.
Vision and strategy
Without a bold and clear vision and a killer strategy, it will be difficult to prioritize and ultimately deliver maximum value to your customers and the company. What OKRs can help focus your efforts when it comes to vision and strategy? Let’s look at some themes and OKR examples.
Objective: We have so much awareness on our competitors that we can sell their product better than they can Key results: – Talk to 10 customers who have switched to a competitor – 8 out of 12 of the Sales Team members can name our top 5 competitive advantages – Increase the number of new users who switched from a competitor from 5% to 15% Objective: Become the champion ti the customer Key Results: – Conduct interviews with at least 40 of the top 100 customers – 80% of people in the company can name at least 3 out of our 5 user personas – Reduce churn rate from 20% to 12% – Increase NPS (Net Promoter Score) from 47 to 65
Share the mindset
Objective: Everyone at the company should share our awesome vision Key Results: – 50 out of 65 of our employees should accurately recite our vision and mission statement – Reduce vertical feature requests from 5 per month to 1 – Increase eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) from 35 to 70 – Time spent in meetings remains an average 8 hours per week for each employee Objective: Make the Jobs-To-Be-Done approach a core skill for everyone Key Results: – 9 out of 10 user stories submitted by sales have a well formulated user story – 2 out of 10 feature requests can be solved without building new features – Increase day 30 retention from 65% to 85%
Turn vision into strategy into roadmap
Objective: Create a culture where metrics and data drive our business and product decisions Key Results: – 8 out of 10 user stories have success metrics defined and evaluated after release – 4 out of 10 user stories have a projected business value attached to them – New feature adoption is at a minimum of 60% – Marketing investment on feature launches remains stable at 4 hours per feature launched Objective: Be radically ahead with your backlog Key Results: – There are 4 times as many written user stories in the backlog as stories on a sprint – There are estimated tickets for the next two sprints - average storypoint: 85
Ideation, alignment, validation, prioritization
You can be the best PM in the world with the most contacts, stellar industry knowledge, and a time machine. You still will fail if you don’t rally the company around coming up with new ideas, aligning on what to do, why, and in what order of priority.
Empower to ideate
Objective: Make stakeholders the center of the ideation process Key Results: – 4 out of 10 completed user stories came directly from stakeholders – Increase eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) for the sales team from 32 to 55 – Increase the demo to sign-up conversion rate from 30% to 60%
Align team and stakeholders
Objective: Delightfully transparent and radically aligned prioritization Key Results: – 0 sprints are affected by mid-sprint critical priority items – Stakeholders rate the transparency of the prioritization process with at least 4 out of 5 – Complaints about prioritization come up only at most on 3 retrospectives out of 10 – New feature adoption is at least 40%
Build, measure, learn
This is the mantra of a well tuned Scrum Team. After the team, together, with the stakeholders has identified problems to solve, created user stories, refined and estimated them, they are ready to be taken into a sprint.
Seamless maker time
Objective: Create a blissful work environment for the scrum team Key Results: – Sprint goal is delivered 8 times out of 10 – Zero new stories are taken into the sprint after it has been started – Story points delivered each sprint can increase from 45 to 55
Build with quality
Objective: Deliver a delightfully smooth customer experience while shipping more Key Results: – Maximum 2 critical bugs are reported by customers per sprint – NPS score stays 65 or increases – Story points delivered per sprint stay flat at 45 or increases
Measure what matters
Objective: Switch from gut feeling product decisions to being radically data driven to reduce complexity Key Results: – Every user story has success metrics attached to it – Increase eNPS score for the Sales and Customer Service teams from 40 to 65 – No new feature with less than 40% adaption rate remains live by the end of the quarter
Iterate with confidence
Objective: Bring maximum value to customers with the least amount of investment Key Results: – Every feature must have an MVP version and at least 1 iteration – No feature shall be delivered over multiple sprints – Increase NPS score from 65 to 75
Release and grow
You have identified your customers’ pain points, devised and validated a solution, broken it down to manageable iterations and built it, feels good, right? Don’t want to discourage you, but if you botch the release even the best feature or improvement can fall flat and fail to gain adoption, ultimately not contributing to the most important measure most companies have, growth.
Objective: Achieve magical CI/CD (Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery) Key Results: – Increase number of releases from 4 per quarter to 16 – Reduce complaints on retrospectives about deployments from an of average 2 to 0.5 – Keep number of critical bugs reported by customers below 2 per release Objective: When we release, our customers can’t help but be impressed Key Results: – Increase NPS from 45 to 75 – Increase average first month feature adoption by customers from 30% to 65% – Maintain newsletter unsubscribe rate in line with the current 6% – Maintain average product related customer service conversations at 34 a day
Product Management OKR examples to grow
This is where all the AARRR metrics (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue) come into place and where having well implemented analytics is crucial. Don’t worry, a bit further below we’ll give you examples on what to track if you only have limited analytics capabilities. AARRR metrics make for some of the most impactful Product Management OKR examples.
Objective: Convert more visitors, simple as that Key Results: – Increase demo signups by 20% – Increase demo conversion rate to signup by 10% – Increase self serve signup from 5% to 20% – Keep cost of a demo booked below $45 Objective: Make a radically smooth user onboarding and activation experience Key Results: – Reduce churn through onboarding funnel steps 3 and 4 from 60% to 20% – Reduce time to wow moment (setting up first OKR) from 4 days to 1 day – Increase profile completion rate from 20% to 85% – Increase NPS score from 55 to 75
Objective: Achieve stickiness Key Results: – Increase day 30 retention from 30% to 75% – Increase weekly frequency of usage from once a week to three times a week – Increase free to paid plan upgrade rate from 5% to 15% – Keep Customer Success time invested per free user flat Objective: Spin up the referral flywheel Key Results: – Increase customer acquisition through referrals from 0 to 0.2 per existing customer – Maintain 30% churn for referral cohort, in line with sales acquired – Don’t let LTV (Lifetime Value) drop below $50 from $75 Objective: Achieve sustainable profitability Key Results: – Reduce customer acquisition cost from $150 to $75 – Increase LTV (Lifetime Value) from $50 to $100 – Reduce churn from 75% to 30% Objective: Shut_up_and_take_my_money.gif (Increase cash flow) Key Results: – Increase value of yearly payments from $130k to $300k – Increase number of large accounts (50+ seats) from 8 to 25 – Increase free to paid plan conversation rate from 15% to 30% – Maintain free plan churn at 45%
Product Management OKR examples when you have limited data
A key tenet of OKRs is that KRs need to be measurable. This assumes you have done the necessary groundwork and have readily available, reliable data. But what if that’s not the case in your organization? A lot of small companies don’t invest in data in the beginning. And I’ve seen even bigger, post Series A companies where data just wasn’t there. Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, there is a lot of data you can get even out of a simple Google Analytics implementation to your website and asking devs to help you with some database queries once in a while. And there is data you can gather just by sending out a simple Google Forms.
Objective: Convert more visitors, simple as that Key Results: – Increase time spent on page from 30 seconds to 2 minutes – Increase number of pages viewed per visit from 1.1 to 2.1 – Increase number of of visitors who sign up for free trial (visitors vs new free users) from 5% to 15% Objective: Make a radically smooth user onboarding and activation experience Key Results: – Reduce steps to wow moment (when customers said in research they definitely will keep using the product) from 12 to 6 – Increase activated users (one who created a check-in) from 10% to 40% – Increase proportion of users with a profile picture from 30% to 80% Objective: Make our product well known and well liked Key Results: – Increase NPS score from 55 to 75 – Add 200 reviews on Capterra – Increase average review score on Capterra from 4.1 to 4.6
Product Management OKRs are Scrum Team OKRs
I’m a big proponent of Scrum Teams having one set of OKRs on a team level. If it’s your first time doing OKRs, it’s probably best to only set them at a team level anyway. This way you can avoid one of the biggest mistakes -having conflicting OKRs.
You should still assign one person to be the lead on the OKR itself though. It is logical to choose your Scrum Master or Product Owner as the lead, but if you want to instill a bit more outcome driven thinking, ask a developer to volunteer.
All right, but how does a Scrum Team OKR look like? In a healthy company, each Scrum Team has a single Product they are responsible for or a group of features within a more complex Product. This makes it pretty simple to pick a set of OKRs as usually you have a clear idea of what makes the Product or feature set successful for the given period. And you can use the examples we shared above and tweak them to fit your team.
Having great OKRs set up is only a piece of the puzzle. What is more challenging is keeping the team focused on their objectives day after day, sprint after sprint. This is why we developed Focus, where you can set your OKRs up, but instead of forgetting about them until the next quarter, we devised a solution that can help your team stay on top of them. We incorporated OKRs into daily and weekly check-in rituals. They take no more than 2 minutes a day but the result is a team who knows what they are working on that day is moving the needle. Reduce useless work, drive motivation by clarifying purpose and reach the maximum potential of your team. Check out focus and use some these Product Management OKR examples to get started.