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4Effective Ways To Use OKRs in Product Management

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4Effective Ways To Use OKRs in Product Management

Introduction

Product managers are accountable for a number of tasks, such as understanding and articulating user needs, monitoring the market and creating competitive analyses, defining long-term product visions, and bringing stakeholders together to support those visions. Therefore, they must approach their work with diligence and carefully thought-out strategy. Establishing objectives and critical outcomes can significantly help the creation of structure and progress monitoring.

In today’s read, we’ll explain four tried-and-tested ways to use OKRs in product management, discuss their benefits, and provide examples of OKRs you may use as a starting point. 

Why Do You Need OKRs For Your Product Management

Product managers are responsible for identifying consumer needs and ensuring that the product is developed in a way that resonates with the target consumer while also meeting the company’s business goals. To succeed, product managers should go back and use an OKR product management framework as a collaborative goal-setting tool to define measurable goals and track their outcomes. Using OKRs can serve as a guideline while encouraging engagement among your team. In addition, you can use OKRs to create an environment where your product team will be able to work with a purpose. When used right, OKRs can help you create high output management, increase communication, and enhance team alignment.

OKR Product Management Examples

Objectives and key results will keep the product team focused on the right goals and encourage them to work diligently to achieve those goals. When setting up OKRs, it’s key that you have a plan on how you will accomplish them. Here are some OKR project management examples for setting better objectives and key results for their full effect.

Objective: Research customers’ demands and expectations to improve the product 

Key Results

  • Watch 50 product usage records and compile learnings in the early stage
  • Get 20 interviews from customers in the early stage
  • Analyze all the information and find three key points to improve

Objective: Launch the new product successfully

Key Results:

  • Complete 30 interviews for customer development by Q1
  • Run two new product training sessions for the sales and marketing teams 
  • Review 20 customer product marketing requirements

Objective: Create a product vision statement

Key Results:

  • Interview 20 potential customers for feedback
  • Point out three aspects in user experience mockups to enhance product usage engagement
  • Reach usability score of at least 8 on user experience mockups from 30 potential customers

Objective: Boost the speed of delivery for the new product features

Key Results

  • Boost the sprint team speed from 25 to 33 points
  • Reduce the defects-per-feature rate from 2.3 to 1.5
  • Lower the average lead time from through delivery of the product feature by five weeks

Objective: Boost onboarding of users 

Key Results:

  • Decrease trial abandonment rate from 40% to 28%
  • Increase the percentage of users with feature completion from 60% to 74%
  • Enhance trial conversion rate from 37% to 45%

Objective: Launch the second version of the organization’s main product successfully

Key Results:

  • Get over 5,000 signups 
  • Get product reviews published in at least 10 publications
  • Improve the OTD rate from 50% to 65%

Objective: Add more personalization features to the product  

Key Results:

  • Boost the number of users who use the personalization features from 15% to 40%
  • Allow the most frequently asked customization features and get more than 500 users
  • Lower the drop-off after the first 30 days from 50% to 35% 

Objective: Test the new app’s MVP before it goes live

Key Results

  • Complete the 10 core wireframes
  • Conduct user flows test with at least 15 people 
  • Finalize user tests with at least 10 strangers remotely

Objective: Build the best product team

Key Results

  • Reach Internal Employee Satisfaction score of 9
  • Roll out 5 blog articles about the organization’s product management process
  • Carry out the new agile process for delivery and discovery for 3 teams

Objective: Improve the product management team

Key Results:

  • Create team performance metrics  
  • Boost unit test coverage percentage from 30% to 40%
  • Use automated CI/CD to reduce the time for deployment from 15 to 5 minutes

OKR Product Management Best Practices

Objectives should be challenging, actionable, and time-bound, whereas key results should be clear and measurable. The best OKRs for product management should enhance the team’s creativity, focus, and productivity. Be careful not to take too many OKRs at once as too many challenges might spread your team’s focus thin. Instead, set up three objectives per quarter. For each objective, have three to five key results. 

Setting OKRs is more than a simple framework where you write down the objectives and key results. Instead, it’s a process that involves multiple stages:

Involve everyone — For a successful OKRs rollout, everyone from executives to junior employees should be involved. This approach improves productivity and team alignment. Coordinate your product management OKRs to your organizational goals, and then communicate which metrics you’ll use to measure the success.

Develop action plans — As soon as you set the OKRs, the teams should provide action plans for achieving the key results. The success of this step depends on collaboration. Once the action plans are complete, the teams can get to work. 

Consistent check-ins — It’s a common practice to set OKRs every quarter. You can choose another timeline that works for you, but it’s crucial to have regular check-ins to gain progress updates and ensure the OKRs are in motion. During these check-ins, you can identify and assess unexpected hurdles, come up with a creative solution, and review key results as needed.

OKRs review — Analysis is crucial at the end of each OKRs period. This is an excellent opportunity to track the OKRs performance and how it might reflect the need for changes in your organization. 

Support collaboration — Ensure that individuals are free to communicate, engage, and debate the list of objectives with one another. Create an online community or area where the entire team can post updates, discuss problems, and generate ideas for solutions.

Benefits of OKR Product Management 

As we said, OKRs for product managers help them choose the right priorities, measure progress, and align efforts with the organization’s goals. Here are some of the main benefits of product management OKRs:

Prioritization

Setting up multiple goals is often tempting for product managers. However, it’s usually better to focus on just a few initiatives; OKRs can provide a consistent path that product managers can follow, prioritize the most important goals, and stay focused. 

Enhances Operational Agility

Many businesses prefer agile product management because it enables them to operate in the present. When setting OKRs, you don’t need to rewrite the entire approach. Furthermore, the framework allows for setting flexible key results that can be changed at any point.

More Vertical and Horizontal Alignment 

All organizational levels ought to participate in the process of defining OKRs. Successfully implemented OKRs strengthen internal cohesion and improve the alignment of corporate objectives.

Better Project Progress Tracking

Since product managers are in charge of developing and maintaining the product roadmap, keeping track of progress is crucial. By accurately documenting, defining, and monitoring the advancement of your projects, OKRs can help you keep track of your team’s goals.

OKR Product Management: The Bottom Line

Setting good OKRs helps you establish attainable goals, monitor progress, and foster team engagement and cooperation that empowers your team to produce measurable results. To ensure a cohesive implementation, use OKRs across all areas of product management, from product strategy and delivery through product vision, roadmaps, and discovery.

Creating good OKRs requires frequent iterations but with a well-defined strategy and strong teamwork, you can easily streamline the process.

Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider

https://usefocus.co/

Dave Schneider is the founder of Focus, an OKR app for remote teams, and has run multiple remote businesses in the software and agency space. He has a love for travel, having visited over 70 countries. He is a Boston native currently living in Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters.

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