I’ve been really enjoying Rick Klau’s series on OKRs. Rick worked at Google on Product and then at GV as Partner, and is now California’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer.
In the absence of OKRs, an organization’s mistakes made and lessons learned are locked in people’s heads. New team members struggle to get up to speed with what the veterans already know; “this is the way we do things” can feel mercurial and opaque.
Is the idea related to one of the few things we’re focused on as a company? If we pursued the squirrel, would we make a meaningful impact on one or more of the metrics we agreed to influence? Does this squirrel matter, right now, to the work we’re doing?
What if you launched v1 of the product and it sucked? What if you develop a roadmap for some big idea and… nothing happened? The fatal flaw in committing to OKRs like these is that you can get a great score on the OKR when it’s time to grade yourselves, and fail to achieve much (or, worse: actively do damage to your organization).
The whole series is worth following and subscribing to. His blog is one of my favorite subscriptions, and if you’re a technology operator in any capacity, it’s a must-read.