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Why Outcome Objectives can be misleading
Hey there,

Here’s why you should stop worrying about your Outcome Objectives.

Yes, I hear you. It's important to have an inspiring part in your OKR sets that can serve as Mini-Missions, BUT:

Which part of your OKR set do you use to (hopefully) 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀?
Which part of your OKR set represents 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 for customers, users, the team, or the business?
And which part of your OKR set do you look to when 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗿 𝗗𝗲𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 activities?

The answer to these questions is: 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗞𝗲𝘆 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘀.

Now, I regularly encounter teams that put A LOT of work into carefully crafting their Objectives to be as Outcome-oriented as possible. To make it represent a "perfect" change in behavior...

...only to complement this Objective with task-like Key Results or lagging Outcomes. Rendering so many of the potential benefits of using OKRs essentially ineffective.


Yes, it's called Objectives 𝗔𝗡𝗗 Key Results for a reason, and it's the combination of both of these things that help product teams
measure real progress toward meaningful goals.

But stopping at the Objective when articulating useful Outcome OKRs will leave you longing for more the next time you do an OKR check-in and staring at pretty but useless Key Results.
Ensure your OKR sets are useful not just when you draft them but also when you check in on them to decide what to do next.


Speak soon,
Tim
Help me understand how Product Teams track and measure OKRs

One of the most common questions I get from individuals and companies is, "how should we track our OKRs?" Besides my own experiences and opinions on that matter, I am looking to find and share patterns in my community regarding OKR tracking and tool usage. I'm excited to share my 2023 OKR Tool Usage Survey.

I'll be giving away four 50% discount codes to access any of my self-paced courses. And among all submissions willing to participate in a follow-up interview, I'll give away two free course entries to one of my self-paced courses.

If you've ever gotten any value out of my content, would you please take four minutes to tell me how you and your team track and measure your OKRs? Thank you!

And when you're done, I'd appreciate you taking the time to share the survey with your peers and colleagues.
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Content worth your Time
However, Gavini discovered that measuring progress can be tricky when you only have one figure. Proponents of OKRs typically argue that because objectives should, by nature, be ‘stretch goals,’ a company is successful if it achieves 70% of its key results. But what if the other 30% are the most important things? That’s why “we have to identify what are the ‘must’ OKRs,” says Gavini. That’s where the ‘management’ goal comes in—it’s the ‘base level,’ non-negotiable objectives that the company has to hit.
“Reduce home-page load time by 80%” – This is a measure of how fast your home-page loads. Improving this behavior of your system can be an infinite process. You can always make the home-page load faster. At what point is it fast enough? At what point does it not make sense to spend any more effort improving this aspect of your user experience? The resulting human behavior to your site loading faster is a reduction in bounce rate. Reducing the bounce rate is a measure of human behavior. Bounce rate tells you whether you’re delivering value. When it reaches an acceptable level (you decide what that is) you can stop optimizing home-page load time. This is a good key result.
At Allbirds, however, cofounder and chief operating officer Joey Zwillinger says in an interview that “financial success is directly correlated with the impact towards our mission.” He explains that setting objectives and key results (OKRs) for all 250 employees enables a tight link between mission and financial gain. “Keeping a super clear mission allows our strategies to be consistent and allows our OKRs to connect to them,” he says.
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