Decoding OKRs for Product Managers

Andrew Grove is considered as the “Father of OKRs” & introduced in 1983 in his book ““ . John Doerr further substantiated & made it more effective by introducing: “The Key Result has to be measurable, time bound, & limited in number ” in his book “ “ launched in 2017.

These days , OKRs are most commonly used by organizations like LinkedIn , Netflix , Twitter & tons of startups. Infact, my organization has also adopted to OKRs in the recent past. OKRs has proved to be a secret sauce to the organizations’ fast pace & ambitious goals.

Breaking down OKRs in 3 elements

John Doerr uses the below phase to describe the elements of the method:

Objectives

As the name suggests, it’s an ambitious & qualitative description of a goal which the organization wants to achieve. It gives a concrete direction, encourage & challenge the whole team to aim towards that goal in a holistic manner.

  • Elevate customer experience of the iOS app
  • Achieve 70% market share by end of 2022
  • Increase Average order value by 25% by end of 2021
  • Increase Android App sales 60% by Q4-FY22 exit

Key Results

They are a combination of set of metrics coupled with the Goal metric , ensuring that we are heading in the right direction towards achieving the Objective. They acts as a catalyst to showcase the gaps which needed to be bridged in order to attain the Objective. In practice , there are a set of 4–6 Key Results mapped against each Objective.
They should possess the following 3 characteristics.

Elevate customer experience of the iOS app

  • Increase the Repeat Users transactions from 10% to 20% by end of Q1-FY22
  • Grow the iOS Touch Point Score from 20 to 40 by Q4 exit

Time Bound

As mentioned by John Doerr , the key results should be achieved in a specific time limit so as to ensure goal fencing around the Objectives. In practice the organization hold Quarterly & Annual review around the same.

An example of OKR

Thanks for reading! In the next post , I will share the key areas where OKRs wins over other methodologies.

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Product Manager @AngelOne, ex-@Flipkart, @Cleartrip. Interests: Product, Technology, Strategy, Startups, Fintech & E-commerce!