Productivity December 2, 2020

How to Set OKR (Day 238)

Calvin Pak @titans

This is a "repost" from a conversation on IH, and I think it really dawns on me what a meaningful OKR should be. Thanks @spittet of Tability for the insights.

Quote from comments here:


If you say "My goal this month is to add Stripe payments" then you (or your team) is absolutely going to obsess on that. That's the goal and that's what should be shipped.

The problems start when unknown complexities are discovered. The API is missing some params, you need to deal with annual plans a certain way etc, or they don't support the type of subscription you want... The team will spend time looking for ways to solve the Stripe integration because that's the goal.

Now, if you put "get XX paid customers" then things are different. When faced with hurdles you can start pondering if you should keep going with Stripe or if you should pick an option B. Perhaps you can just charge customers manually, or perhaps there's another service that can be a better fit.

Deliverables (Stripe integration) and impact (getting revenues) are 2 different things. Yes you should absolutely track your deliverables, but it's much better to focus on impact when listing your milestones and goals.

It's incredibly easy to get sucked into an interesting technical problem. Keeping the bigger picture in mind makes it easy to make tradeoffs — at the end of the day we do the technical work to move the needle in specific ways.

  1. 2

    Thanks! Really appreciate the mention.

    I'm thinking about doing a couple live sessions on goal-setting this month. I'd be keen to do a small group where we can all help each other to focus on the right things.

    Would you be interested?

    1. 1

      Definitely, Sten. Watched your YouTube video and liked it!

      I have not seen many teams using the OKR effectively, so the evaluation has become mostly subjective opinions. Also, another challenge is the frequency and process to update the OKR progress. Would like to find out what are the mistakes that I made.

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