Product managers are responsible for a variety of tasks, including understanding and representing users’ needs, monitoring the market and developing competitive analyses, defining long-term visions for products, aligning stakeholders around product visions, and prioritizing product features and capabilities. As a result, product managers need to be diligent and methodic in their approach. Objectives and key results (OKRs) can be used to help create structure and track progress. 

In this article, we’ll define what product management OKRs are, the benefits of leveraging OKRs in product management, and examples of OKRs that you can use as a reference point to get started. 

What are product management OKRs?

OKRs are a goal-setting framework used by product managers and organizations to define measurable goals and track outcomes. Product managers carry a great deal of responsibility on their shoulders. Not only are they responsible for identifying consumers’ needs, but they’re also responsible for connecting the dots and ensuring the product at hand is developed in a way that appeals to the consumer while simultaneously meeting the organization’s objectives. 

To meet these objectives, product managers work backwards to identify and develop measurable goals. Product managers can use OKRs as a collaborative goal-setting tool to set challenging goals with measurable results. Setting OKRs can be game-changing for product managers. Not only do OKRs act as guidelines and benchmarks, but they also provide teammates with a North Star. If you use OKRs properly, you’ll create synergy, increase output, and improve communication for your team.

Level up your OKR meetings

Level up your OKR meetings by preparing a collaborative meeting agenda ahead of time. Try a tool like Fellow!

The benefits of product management OKRs

1Align team members 

To meet the goals your team has set and track outcomes, you need to make sure your entire team is on the same page. As the product manager, you’re responsible for the product in its entirety. Not only are you responsible for ensuring the product speaks to consumers, but you’re also responsible for ensuring the quality of the product is stabilized, and you can’t do that without aligning the team. 

2Track project progress 

Like anything, it can be difficult to track OKRs’ success if you don’t take the time to properly track everyone’s progress. As a product manager, tracking progress is essential since you’re normally the teammate responsible for creating and maintaining the product roadmap. Fellow’s Objectives tool makes it possible for you to stay on top of your team’s goals by clearly recording, defining, and tracking the progress of your OKRs.

At-risk objectives can easily go unnoticed if you don’t take the time to review them with your team. With the Objectives tab in Fellow, you can link your objectives to your weekly OKR meeting; doing so will make it easy for you to review progress, resolve challenges, and make sure all OKRs are on track. These tools in tandem with a great deal of dedication will ensure your entire team is working in accordance with your product roadmap. 

3Overcome blockers 

It’s normal for product managers to become overwhelmed and to begin to work with blinders on. As such, it’s extremely important to prioritize checking in with your teammates. If someone on your team is feeling stuck, they won’t be able to be productive or work to the best of their abilities. Identifying any existing or potential roadblocks can be the difference between success and failure.

Examples of product management OKRs

1Customer satisfaction OKRs 

Product managers are responsible for ensuring consumers are satisfied with the end product, so it’s extremely important that they create OKRs that speak to these needs. Regardless of whether these OKRs are focused on conducting frequent user surveys, improving customer satisfaction through more in-tune customer support, or fixing bugs more promptly, for example, product managers need to have a game plan for prioritizing satisfaction and retention. 

2New product OKRs 

The product team is responsible for making iterations and shipping new features. New features are often built on the premise of providing a more positive user experience or solving a problem. There are a number of OKRs that could be used by a product manager to improve new products, like OKRs that improve shipment time, help decrease bugs, or decrease the time from ideation to launch. 

3Product launch OKRs

Launching a new product is no easy feat, and a large majority of the pressure often falls on the product manager. Not only is the product manager responsible for identifying a market fit, but they’re also responsible for ensuring the quality of the products meets the end users’ expectations. When launching a product, there are a variety of factors that need to be considered. To ensure the product launch runs smoothly, the product manager may want to create OKRs that revolve around user testing or education for the marketing and sales teams. 

4Product market fit OKRs 

One of a product manager’s main responsibilities is identifying product market fit. This process entails a great deal of leg work and research. To identify whether or not the product at hand has a product market fit, the product manager may want to create OKRs around validating the concept. These OKRs may entail user testing or consumer interviews. Ultimately, the product manager will want to identify if the product solves a pain point and if there is space in the market for the product. 

5Delivery speed OKRs

Delivery speed is always top of mind for product managers. Whether they involve releasing a new product to offer an additional service or fixing a series of bugs that were found in existing features, these fixes are always time sensitive and thus, need to be planned and tracked accordingly. OKRs allow product managers to stay on top of these releases while simultaneously making iterations and improvements that help improve delivery speed. 

6Release management OKRs 

Release management is one of the largest responsibilities that product managers hold. This element of the job usually involves creating a product roadmap that encompasses any and all details pertaining to the release of the product. This roadmap is then referenced by all key stakeholders to ensure teams across the organization are working cohesively to prepare for the product launch. 

7User engagement OKRs

There are a variety of factors that go into gauging user engagement, and creating OKRs is a great way to ensure users’ needs are being met throughout the entire lifecycle of their product journey. To ensure users are engaged, create OKRs that speak to the following: 

·       Understanding your intended user’s context 

·       Defining positive and negative app engagement 

·       Learning how to offer communication opportunities to users 

·       Providing users with a product they love 

·       Focusing on user interface (UI) and user experience UX 

·       Following up with queries and complaints 

8Team development OKRs 

The product team is arguably one of the most important teams within an organization. Ultimately, they are at the heart of the company, and everything stems from the product they create. Like any good team, they need to constantly make iterations and improvements. Creating OKRs around development and performance will ensure the product team is running smoothly and at full speed. 

Free OKR meeting agenda templates

Are you ready to start implementing product management OKRs?

As a product manager, your main prerogative is often to work cross functionally to ship the best possible product both quickly and efficiently. As a result, having clear, concise, measurable, and attainable goals are extremely important. OKRs are an excellent tool that can be leveraged by product managers to foster a more collaborative environment.