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