When we talk about "Product Management," it encapsulates a wide variety of roles and responsibilities that the PM team takes up on a day-to-day basis. It is very different from one company to another, depending on the scale of goals being chased, and it gets only more complicated from hereon. Trust me, I know! 😅
Decisions are usually based on -
All of this is a lot to process and optimize.
From best tech practices and some from business practices, methods have originated that help in organizing the process flow. The truth is that PM is a bit of a mixed bag of both tech and business, and that is where the framework of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) helps optimize the best of both fields. OKRs are great as the metrics can be measured and tracked, which means data-driven decisions that go a long way. In this way, we offload a lot of stress from our brains while optimizing the decision-making and achieving goals much faster. It's not just these, but a lot more and let's discuss in more detail why exactly OKRs for PMs?
As discussed earlier, Product Managers are not pure tech or business, but more of a mixed bag of both domains.
A pure agile method or a pure Kanban-based approach for tracking tasks is usually the first thought when trying to fathom the best ways to track the progress, but there's a twist! Although these methods are very efficient in measuring the day-to-day progress, they do not address the bigger picture of what the PM is trying to achieve, some of which are:
This is where OKRs shine as all these can be broken down into strategic goal-driven objective statements and milestones. Before we take a look at some great OKRs examples that help you measure these metrics, let's understand how to plan these OKRs.
Product Management is not a one-person job. It involves talking to people of many domains and taking decisions with the team - the day can start with discussing the tech execution and end with envisioning what the roadmap is gonna be like in coming quarters with the business team. As coaches say, "Trust the process," trust the process. Talk to relevant people before setting the OKRs, discuss the feasibility of goals being set with your team, and make sure you follow the rule of 3x5 OKRs (3 Objectives and 5KRs at max per Objective) per Quarter as a guideline to make sure the goals crushed.
Let's do a checklist review -
⚠️ The following examples are to be understood as templates to follow, and not your final set of OKRs.
Let's talk about what this whole blog has been building up to - great OKRs for a SaaS Product Manager who is starting off with OKRs. What makes these OKRs so great is that they have been written while keeping in mind the following core blocks of a great set of OKRs -
- KR 1: Launch 2 competitive features which increase WAU by 10%
- KR 2: Improve usage frequency from X% to Y% for Z% of users
- KR 3: Improve time to release from X% to Y%
- KR 4: Speak to X users to build a WOW landing page
- KR 1: Reduce Bugs from Y to X
- KR 2: Improve stickiness and usage of X feature from X% to Y%
- KR 3: Increase Customer NPS from X to Y
- KR 4: Speak to X users a month on product experience
- KR 1: Drive new Product Revenue from X to Y
- KR 2: Increase tech partnerships from X to Y
- KR 3: Launch a new product or new version of the product by X date
- KR 4: Establish integrations across X core platforms
There isn't one single perfect way to go about Product Management, but OKRs are definitely one of the correct ways to go about it. When OKRs are written with actions to be taken (which help achieve a measurable goal while tracking metrics), it becomes possible to visualize the business value achieved, thus making Product Management a bit easier in the process. 😉
"OKRs for PM = Measurable way of building an awesome product."
Arunabh Arjun is all things product, an ex-entrepreneur and a skilled software engineer. Arunabh likes writing about product management, tech, product design and execution 🚀
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