The forgotten cousin of OKR that could make it 10x better is the concept of a product roadmap. While OKRs are often used to set goals and track progress, they often fail to capture how individual work relates to the overall company goals. This lack of alignment and focus can lead to a sense of disconnectedness and a lack of motivation for employees.

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

Aug 07, 20233 min read

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The forgotten cousin of OKR that could make it 10x better is the concept of a product roadmap. While OKRs are often used to set goals and track progress, they often fail to capture how individual work relates to the overall company goals. This lack of alignment and focus can lead to a sense of disconnectedness and a lack of motivation for employees.

On the other hand, a well-designed product roadmap can provide a visual and accessible representation of the company's goals and how individual projects tie back to those goals. It serves as a guide for decision-making and helps to maintain alignment throughout the organization.

One of the main issues with OKRs is that they often become just another administrative task that brings no real benefit to the team. Employees may feel that they are simply ticking boxes and that their work is not truly contributing to the company's success. This can lead to a lack of motivation and ultimately a decrease in productivity.

A product roadmap, on the other hand, provides a clear and tangible representation of the work that needs to be done. It communicates not only what needs to be done but also why it needs to be done. This helps to create a sense of purpose and understanding among team members, leading to increased motivation and productivity.

In order to build a product roadmap that everyone understands, it is important to focus on simplicity and clarity. The roadmap should be visual, accessible, and easy to understand. It should answer key questions such as what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how it ties back to the company's OKRs.

Rather than simply sharing feature lists with the rest of the company, the product roadmap should communicate how decisions are made and why certain projects are prioritized over others. It should provide a clear roadmap for decision-making and help to align the team around a common goal.

In addition to providing a clear roadmap for decision-making, the product roadmap can also serve as a tool for prioritization. By clearly outlining the key projects and initiatives, it becomes easier to determine which tasks are most important and which can be deprioritized or postponed.

In conclusion, while OKRs are a valuable tool for setting goals and tracking progress, they often fail to provide the necessary alignment and focus for individual team members. By incorporating the concept of a product roadmap, companies can bridge this gap and create a more cohesive and productive work environment.

Three actionable pieces of advice for implementing a product roadmap:

  • 1. Keep it simple and visual: Make sure the product roadmap is easy to understand and visually appealing. Use clear and concise language and incorporate visual elements such as charts or graphs to make it more accessible.
  • 2. Tie it back to OKRs: Ensure that each project or initiative on the product roadmap is clearly linked to the company's OKRs. This will help to maintain alignment and focus throughout the organization.
  • 3. Communicate decision-making: Use the product roadmap as a tool to communicate how decisions are made and why certain projects are prioritized. This will help to create a sense of understanding and purpose among team members.

By following these actionable pieces of advice, companies can build a product roadmap that everyone understands and that enhances the effectiveness of their OKR framework.

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