What is Observation OKRs & why product managers should start tracking them as well?

In my previous article → Decoding OKRs for Product Managers, I have explained what are OKRs and different examples of the OKRs. Here is a snapshot from that article.

That’s an example of a regular OKRs, which ensures driving product or features & measuring the progress through regular stand-ups with stakeholders such as the tech team, design team, etc.

However, PMs' roles and activities encompass various other activities which are beyond engineering interactions & those need to be captured & tracked religiously. Those are known as Observation OKRs.

Observation OKRs

They are created in partnership with cross-functional stakeholders to address the key problem areas & identify possible solutions.

Observation OKRs can be divided into 5 buckets :

  1. Discover → This involves collaborating extensively with UX research, deep-diving into customer empathy in order to understand the user pain points. I usually partner with UX researchers, customer support teams, sales teams to gain those insights.
  2. Define → This step helps you to narrow down your problem area to specific & feasible chunks. It involves identifying the target users, prioritizing the problems identified in the discovery phase with the relevant stakeholders.
  3. Vision You need to brainstorm with your leaders and stakeholders to brainstorm an audacious vision. You need to ensure that your overall vision is concrete & inspiring for all the stakeholders. The outcome would be a Product strategy document.
  4. Analytics Product analytics team is your key stakeholder in this phase. You need to bring structure to ambiguous problems, identify trends, capture key metrics & create dashboards for monitoring your north star metrics.
  5. Design → PMs collaborate with the design team to brainstorm & churn out hi-fi proto. Your design teams need to be onboarded for owning these OKRs.

The observation OKRs are considered to be an input for your regular OKRs and it helps to create a backlog for the engineering team. It also gives you sufficient time as a PM in order to streamline the observation OKRs with all the stakeholders. It’s a good practice to observe similar rituals ( followed for monitoring regular OKRs ) such as standups so that there is sufficient cadence to drive the observation OKRs.

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

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Rohit Verma

Rohit Verma

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

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