5 min read

3 Simple steps to build products faster with OKRs‍

3 Simple steps to build products faster with OKRs‍

Time to market is a strategic advantage to drive growth, however, teams often fail to execute juggling between multiple projects and focus areas. A key challenge is that there is no direct correlation between the speed of execution and either growth or optimization outcomes. Teams fail to collaborate, focus and prioritize what matters the most. While CEOs, CTOs, and product leaders value this – teams, however, often fail to execute juggling between multiple projects and focus areas.

Having spoken to hundreds of leaders in YC, Techstar, Antler startups to large fortune 500, what differentiates a successful product launch and revenue generation from failures is radical focus. Building a product-focused mindset is easier said than done, today’s organizations are more fluid than ever and the needs of employees have changed as well. In this article, we will explore how OKRs present a simple yet powerful solution to build back outcomes to enable your smart, creative, and passionate teams to come together and prioritize work while measuring themselves irrespective of the location they work in, or the number of side hustles they may be doing.

Let's dig into this deeper.

1. Focus on the culture of shared goals/OKRs

The reality is we all want to feel like we belong. Sometimes it’s hard to find a place where you can really relax and think through the future at pace with the team, and even more challenging, to see eye-to-eye on plans and projects that are headed in the right direction.

Individual ownership of a team's goals is essential for team success. The shared ownership model creates a sense of belonging and true connection between the members, which in turn leads to empowerment and creativity. Working collaboratively together across departments and divisions, employees are empowered to take on larger challenges and make contributions to the overall business strategy.

This also means the product is not just owned by engineering, but by marketing, sales, support, and finance. It also means the product owns sales as well.

Here is an example of Product OKRs shared across teams

Objective:  Increase D1-D21 product engagement to drive conversions and referral in order to drive revenues.

KR 1:  Reduce app response time from 4.5 seconds to 3 seconds; Owner: Engineering

KR 2:  Improve self-help documentation usage from 40% to 70%. ; Owner: Customer Success

KR 3:  Increase click-through rate of Day 1-21 product mailers from 25% to 55%; Owner: Engineering & Marketing

KR 4:  Launch 2 new dashboards to help users collate data faster; Owner, Engineering, Marketing, Sales

OKR example_OKR templates_Fitbots OKRs

2. Embrace individual constraints to maximize teams strengths 

Trust me, having worked with thousands of teams lack of resources is the most common problem. In fact, no one has all the resources and very few who have them, really know how to use it.

Abilities are no longer limited to ourselves when we think as a team. The internet and the world of possibilities have opened up a whole new way of thinking and doing business. Now we can find a better way to achieve our goals, whatever they may be. If you want to ship products faster to market it does require out-of-box thinking by embracing your constraints. Take a moment to write down all your constraints “Fogs which may come your way in achieving your goals.”

3. Ruthlessly Prioritize using frameworks

Most teams are overwhelmed with a long to-do list — and we're not even sure how it got that way. Teams get distracted easily, especially if they're feeling pressured in the daily grind. Some of the teams have had to go through this themselves and have learned from their mistakes. Ruthlessly Prioritizing by using OKRs as a guide to get more is a powerful way to take action on what matters most to your organization to launch products faster to drive growth.

I have seen 2 powerful frameworks teams along with Fitbots OKRs software to prioritize.

  1.  ICE - For features
  2.  Eisenhower Decision Matrix - For Tasks

Here is a quick reference to both:

ICE (Impact, Confidence, and Effort) is a simple framework for directing teams by score, by answering the following questions.

  • Impact: How does the feature we release or the task we do drive impact (Revenue, Customer retention, Growth, Experience, Efficiency)?
  • Confidence: How likely is this to succeed in the given time?
  • Effort: How much would it take (considering solvable constraints)?

Using a framework-based approach helps make executive decisions mathematical, so they are easy to measure and refine.

Eisenhower Decision Matrix — is used to help teams better prioritize tasks. The matrix places tasks into 4 categories: If the task is important and urgent, it can be done immediately. If it is important and not urgent, then schedule the time to complete the task. If it's urgent but not important, then tell someone to drop everything and handle this first (AKA delegating). Finally, if neither of the first three applies, then don't worry about it.

I believe that this is important to do because it helps you spend the majority of your time doing the things that matter most. A critical aspect of an organizational strategy is its ability to quickly reduce the cycle time between concept and delivery. Time to market is not just an advantage to drive growth but also a strategic advantage to drive significant value creation.

Bonus: Secret sauce for achieving OKRs and faster releases

Accelerating product launches is not about being fast or cheap, it's clearly about being competitive and having an edge. If you don't learn from the wisdom of the crowd and network with peers and competitors, then teams are often blinded by known execution paradigms and choices as the same as doing it alone. It is your job as a product owner, product leader, product designer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a team member to learn from those who have been there before you, competing with you to learn and use that knowledge to serve customers better.

A wise crowd is a powerful source of information. So, when you know what others are doing and how they are doing it, it's time to listen and get inspired from it to compete at the highest levels of team abilities.

How can we help ?

At Fitbots OKRs we help organizations unleash their superpower by helping teams track OKRs, predict outcomes, and course-correct some of these tips e.g. shared OKRs, Focus OKRs are built-in making it easy to implement and scale OKRs.

Want to know more about how OKRs can help? Click here to book a demo.

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About the Author

Kashi is the Co-founder and CTO of Fitbots. Kashi has coached over 700+ teams on OKRs with the  focus on helping founders and teams achieve more with OKRs. His niche focuses on the future of work by bringing technology to life.

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