OKRs for a new product launch are imperative because when robust OKRs strategies are implemented, they help maximise the success of your product or service launch.
A growing number of organisations are adopting OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to set their company goals, including implementing robust OKRs for a new product launch. Product managers also benefit significantly from OKRs because they help align any efforts with the rest of the team, creating more focus on core objectives.
Although an effective framework for goal-setting, OKRs for a new product launch are incredibly effective. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some product managers to struggle with OKRs as they tend to be more familiar with setting product roadmaps and other product management tools. OKRs for new a product launch are essential as they are far more impactful.
What’s the difference between a product roadmap and OKRs?
Roadmaps and OKRs guide us in what to do, but they are fundamentally different. OKRs are most often used for quarterly planning and are time-bound. They are used by the whole product team cross-functionally and are used to measure progress towards a strategic goal.
Due to their direct alignment with the company’s overall vision, OKRs encourage commitment from all stakeholders. It is easy to track accountability through them because every product team member is responsible for their OKRs.
On the other hand, roadmaps are solution-driven and often focus on features. They are owned by individual product managers rather than the whole team.
Roadmaps are usually determined quarterly and annual and provide visibility to all stakeholders involved in product development. It can enable a clear communication channel that helps everyone understand how they can contribute to making the product a success.
- Owned by the product manager
- Longer-term plans
- Owned by the team (cross-functional)
Setting OKRs is tough, and usually, teams tend to go back to some cross between OKRs and a roadmap. We don’t want product managers to disregard their roadmaps; what you can do is look at what’s next in your roadmap. Ask yourself what outcomes we want to create with this output (feature)? What impact do we want to create in the business with this outcome? These questions will allow you first to set the right frame of mind and check if your roadmap makes business sense.
What are the benefits of using OKRs in Product Management?
OKRs help you answer two of the most important questions for any organisation.
- Where do we want to go?
- How do we know we’re getting there?
OKRs for product managers help choose the right priorities when building a new product and align your efforts with the company’s goal. OKRs also help you measure product development progress by tracking the results of changes and improvements your team has made.
OKRs can make a difference in your new product launch strategy. A significant objective can inspire your team and gives your team something to focus on for a given time frame. The key results are based on something that can be measured and helps you to quantify your objective by asking: How will we know if we have met the objective set?
Having a limited number of objectives and key results, allows the product team to focus on what really matters. For your OKRs we would recommend having between 1-2 goals, with each objective having no more than 5 key results.
OKRs have a quarterly goal-setting cycle and a weekly check-in process that allows product teams to learn from retrospective reviews and make changes on the go, thus, keeping your product goals agile. By having regular cycles you can reduce the time for planning. This also gives product teams more agility.
One of the biggest challenges that most product teams face is that instead of defining key results as measurable outcomes, they create a list of action-based outputs. By focusing on outcomes, team members can decide what projects they need to choose this quarter to drive forward their key results. If employees select low-value Initiatives, this will only lead to failure with the key results that they set themselves. As OKRs are developed by the whole team and not by their team manager, everyone has personal accountability for their team objectives and is more motivated to achieve them.
Here are a few product management OKR examples:
Objective: Increase the delivery speed of the new features
- Increase the sprint team velocity from 20 to 30 points
- Reduce the bugs-per-feature metric from 1.5 to 5
- Reduce average lead time from product feature definition to delivery by 4 weeks
Objective: Improve user onboarding
- Increase % of users who complete feature completion from 60% to 68%
- Reduce trial abandonment from 50% to 40%
- Improve trial conversion from 20% to 28%
Objective 8: Increase user engagement
- Increase 1-month retention from 20% to 40%
- Increase returning users from 15% to 15%
- Increase average time in the app from 15 mins to 30 mins
Setting effective OKRs for your product management team can help solve issues with managing timelines or prioritising development strategies. In product management, every objective is key to the success of your organisation. You can’t afford to waste time trying to achieve vague aspirations. That’s where OKRs come in, allowing you to work smarter, not harder.
There are many benefits OKRs can bring for product managers and their teams.
It doesn’t mean that once you start using OKRs, they will replace all other product management tools. It will just help you bridge the gap between a bigger vision and execution. Please speak to our team to learn more about how you can use OKRs in your product teams.