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OKRs and continuous discovery habits

OKRs are a way to express outcomes OKRs are a format for communicating outcomes. Business Outcomes and Product Outcomes can be communicated as an OKR.

An OKR consists of a qualitative objective and a set of key results, and collectively they can represent one outcome.

The idea of multiple KRs is to capture the uncertainty of knowing what to measure, not to pull you in different directions. The objective and the set of key results, map to a CDH outcome.

Product Outcome translated to OKR

A product outcome like “increase average viewing minutes” for a streaming entertainment service might translate to an OKR as follows:

==Objective: Create happy and engaged customers.
Key result: Increase average viewing minutes per week from x to y
Key result: Maintain CSAT score of at least x==

Business Outcome translated to OKR

If we are focused on increasing viewing engagement because we think it can improve subscriber retention, we can represent that with an OKR:

Objective: Create a service that keeps customers over the long term.
KR: Increase average subscription length
KR: increase lifetime value of the customer

Flow from Outcomes to OKRs

Start with getting clarity on your business outcomes and product outcomes. Once you’ve identified the appropriate product outcome to focus on, express it as an OKR.

Evolving Key Results as we learn through discovery

OKRs allow us to define multiple KRs as we learn.

Our objective stays stable, the key results might evolve. Stay focused on driving a product outcome that drives a business outcome.

With discovery we often start with an objective as our outcome, while we learn what we might measure. As we learn more, we get more clarity on what our potential key results might be.

When you are just getting started, you might have no idea what to measure. Start with your objective as a directional goal. As you learn more, start setting key results as your first guesses as you to what you might measure.

Sometimes KRs are our best guess at how to measure our Objective and it’s not about hitting all KRs, but rather finding one that is the sweet spot for measuring the success of your Objective. If that’s the case, use your Objective as the outcome and evolve it as you settle on your KR.

Focus on one Outcome

I strongly prefer to see teams work with one outcome at a time and thus one tree at a time.

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