Book of the day - Measure What Matters, by John Doerr

When John Doerr puts pen to paper, you read, plain and simple. This book will go down as THE book to read in Silicon Valley for years. Objectives and Key Results = OKRS are the key takeaway of this book.

I’ve worked with OKRs midway at a previous company and while I’m a fan, the implementation is important. In a software setting, there were too many instances of 100% set as achievement standards.

Example 1 OKR: ZERO customer facing bugs. In the software world, this is a near guarantee miss. Why set it as an OKR? It’s demoralizing and ultimately wasting an entire measurement period. We’ve never achieved zero customer facing bugs, so why suddenly set it as a goal versus taking our previous quarters number and try to shave something off it?

Example 2 OKR: Zero proof of concept losses. This is another measurement of 100% achievement standard makes OKRs frustrating to pursue. If you are only achieving 50% PoC wins previously, it might be a better standard to set 80% as the OKR or set OKRs focused on the failures. Why were the previous PoCs failing? Set OKRs around the specific portions of the PoC that are causing the failures versus the full PoC process.

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