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OKR based Product Roadmaps!

Different companies follow different methods and tools for product roadmaps. In most cases the product roadmaps are tied to just features and dates. but to me it is a tool to communicate your product strategy.


Keeping that in mind. what exactly is OKR?

(objective and key results)


Objective is an inspiring description of the next step towards the company's vision

Key results are 2 to 5 holistic measuring criteria to quantify it.


In business outcomes are what the business wants or needs to achieve and the outputs are the actions or items that contribute to achieving an outcome.


Outputs are simply a means to an end. if your organization has achieved all stated outputs, but you haven't achieved the desired outcome, then something is essentially wrong.

measuring your product success based on outputs alone, without considering outcomes can cause the watermelon effect. All reports and dashboards are showing green, but when you dig deeper, reports on the achievements of your customers are all red.


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In other words, outputs are features and outcomes are objectives and the impact are the key results.


Example


  • Output - Bot integration in support chat (feature)

  • Outcome - Customers make less inquirers via call, emails (objective)

  • Impact - 10 % decrease in support costs


To make a successful product, we should follow an outcome driven strategy rather than output oriented.

The OKR based roadmap also helps to share alignment on why we are building something and cultivates passion towards the product for every team member since they understand the value of their contribution to achieve the objectives which will bring the company a step closer to the company vision.


This is a an example of OKR roadmap where we have created different objectives for a release and under every objectives there are multiple key results. All the features/initiatives which will help to complete a specific key results are mapped to it.

It is important to update your team about your objectives and also take their feedback. You need set deadlines to review the progress of OKRs, this can be done during the sprint review.


Think about it, the executives care only about outcomes and they care less about what you are building. It is a tool that puts the goals and metrics in the center of the discussion, leaving the decision on “what to do” more fluid and flexible, giving teams more autonomy in deciding what to do.


Again, There is nothing wrong in using the standard roadmaps, It is more solution driven and the OKR roadmaps are more problem driven.



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