login


Google Sign inLinkedIn Sign in

Don't have an account? 

Building Strong OKR’s

OKR
Product
Impact
Coaching / Training / Mentorship

8 February, 2020

Still continually modifying the process, Pooja Brown, VP of engineering at Stichfix, highlights some of her best practices and advice for building OKR’s.

Problem

Teams say that they want to be empowered, but when everything is in front of you, it’s really hard to make decisions, defend them, and show how you measure against them. 

Actions taken

  • The simplest OKR’s are the best ones. I spend a lot of time with my teams distilling down their OKR’s. I steer them away from flashy words and big adjectives that take them away from what they are actually doing. 
  • We participate in OKR drafts in a Google Doc that everyone reads and comments on so that it is understood in simple terms by all. 
  • With metrics, I like to put myself in the mindset of a product manager and work with my product counterpart to decide how the feature is being used and what is most important. I then use that as part of my key results for the things I want to measure while trying to achieve those objectives. 

Lessons learned

  • The two questions of ‘what you are doing’ and ‘how you will measure it’ are extremely powerful. Those who are really good at explaining the impact know how to write their OKR’s in a way that is simple and easy to measure. If a non-technical person can’t understand what you are doing you have not written your OKR well. Technical background or not, we are all shareholders and fully empowered to make the decisions around what we want to build within a set of constraints and governance. 
  • I have been in organizations where you do the feature and then you make sure there are enough metrics on it. It doesn’t work that way. Unless you’ve defined the business impact of what you are looking for in your metrics and logs, then it’s just a bunch of garbage data that is being spewed out. 
  • I am really impressed with how many conversations that were originally happening after features had already been built are now part of a Google Docs document early on in the cycle.

Related stories

Managing an Engineer’s Career Development in a Fast-Paced Environment
2 August

Lloyd Holman, Head of Engineering at By Miles, shares some tips on how to manage an engineer’s career development as he highlights the importance of an individualized approach.

Career Path
High Performers
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Lloyd Holman

Lloyd Holman

Head Of Engineering at By Miles

Prioritizing Happiness vs. Pursuing Happiness
31 July

Shailvi Wakhlu, Head of Analytics at Komodo Health, explains why prioritizing happiness is all about rational choices and how her happiness framework helps her evaluate if some decision would bring her happiness or not.

Personal growth
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Shailvi Wakhlu

Shailvi Wakhlu

Head of Analytics at Komodo Health

Five Useful Tips for Emerging Leaders
30 July

Virendra Vase, who has had numerous Executive Engineering Leadership roles like CTO, COO, SVP at startups like Patreon, Life360 as well bigger companies like Salesforce, Yahoo and Experian,, shares five useful tips he wishes someone had given him as he was embarking on his career as an emerging leader in the business world.

Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Leadership
New Manager
Personal growth
Virendra Vase

Virendra Vase

CTO/COO/SVP at Patreon, Life360, Salesforce, Yahoo

Scaling a Product Across Multiple Markets
28 July

Fraser Carlisle, Vice President and Global Head of Digital Product of iShares at BlackRock, discusses his experience of scaling a product across multiple markets and highlighting the importance of balancing localization needs with a global scale.

Product
Cultural differences
Fraser Carlisle

Fraser Carlisle

VP, Head of Digital Product, iShares at BlackRock

Securing a Big Leap Buy-In
28 July

Fraser Carlisle, Vice President and Global Head of Digital Product of iShares at BlackRock, dissects how he got executives to buy-in into his ideas and how he managed to retain them through the whole process.

Product
Leadership
Fraser Carlisle

Fraser Carlisle

VP, Head of Digital Product, iShares at BlackRock

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.