Blog

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Percentages or absolute numbers for OKRs?

Posted on September 26, 2022.

If your key result is a metric (and it should be), should you use absolute numbers or percentages? Here are a few reasons to use percentages.

The Truth Curve

Posted on September 12, 2022.

As we experiment we learn and through that learning we earn the right to invest more in our ideas. The Truth Curve makes that obvious.

OKRs Evolve

Posted on September 5, 2022.

Fixed goals equal static products and ultimately failed businesses. OKRs encourage agility both in your product and business. Here's how.

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FAQ: What is shared understanding?

Posted on August 1, 2022.

In this short video I answer one of the most commonly asked questions I hear: what is shared understanding and why is it valuable?

How to Reconcile SMART Goals and OKRs

Posted on July 18, 2022.

Many companies use SMART goals with their teams. Are OKRs a different system or are they compatible? Turns out they fit quite well together.

Validating key results is messy

Posted on June 6, 2022.

Key results are also assumptions. Here’s how to ensure you’re testing your goals as well as your feature hypotheses.

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How to recession-proof your company

Posted on May 30, 2022.

An agile organization learns and acts fast on what it's learning. The more agile an organization is the better chance it stands in a recession.

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5 Things Product Management Isn’t

Posted on May 16, 2022.

Product managers are in high demand while their job descriptions vary greatly. Here are 5 things that product managers should never be asked to do.

OKR Leadership: A safe culture of learning

Posted on April 25, 2022.

OKRs require the psychological safety for teams to be wrong and a culture that celebrates the learning they bring from their product discovery work.

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How Many OKRs is Enough?

Posted on April 4, 2022.

It's easy to add an OKR for every activity. Instead work towards setting the fewest number of goals. Here's how to do it.

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The Scariest Design Review of My Life

Posted on March 28, 2022.

No designer should ever have to fear reviewing their work with a stakeholder. Here's one story of how it happened to me and what I learned.

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Horizontal IT is Why You Can’t Be Agile

Posted on March 21, 2022.

It is no longer viable to design your organization around a centralised IT department. It's not agile. It's not customer focused. Here's why.

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How Do OKRs Work with Big Bang Releases

Posted on March 7, 2022.

There are some products that have to be shipped as one big release. This article explains how to make big bang releases work with OKRs.

Why are you working on that?

Posted on February 21, 2022.

Shared purpose and alignment come from a broad understanding of strategy. Here’s how to help your teams know why they are doing their work.

What is Agile?

Posted on January 3, 2022.

You can laud the idea and still be critical of the implementation. That is the true spirit of Agile. Here’s how I came around to this idea.

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3 Questions About OKRs

Posted on December 27, 2021.

Can you practice OKRs in regulated environments, in multinational corporations and with leaders who don't give specfific goals. In short, yes.

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OKRs AND UX

Posted on December 20, 2021.

Objectives and Key Results offer a new opportunity for user experience and design work to make a powerful impact on our products and services

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What if your OKRs are wrong?

Posted on December 13, 2021.

Your objectives and key results are assumptions. At times they will be wrong. Here's how to handle a situation where your goals aren't right.

Incentives vs The Right Behavior

Posted on December 6, 2021.

Managing to outcomes works well if we're also monitoring negative behavior. If we're not, we risk real world negative consequences.

example of OKRs at scale graphic

OKRs at Scale

Posted on November 29, 2021.

Scaling OKRs can get messy quickly. Here's one quick trick to simplify OKRs at scale that also works for your scaled agile efforts.

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Should we use OKRs for everything?

Posted on November 22, 2021.

We use OKRs to set goals. Should all of our goals then use OKRs? This article discusses which goals make sense and which don't.

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Why does planning require a “season?”

Posted on November 15, 2021.

We spend a tremendous amount of time planning next year's work. We don't need an entire season to do this. Here's a better way to plan work.

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OKR Tracking Tool (free template)

Posted on November 8, 2021.

Here is a simple, free tool to track your objectives and key results. It's designed to help get your teams started with setting and tracking goals.

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Planning work with OKRs

Posted on October 18, 2021.

Planning work with OKRs exposes the uncertainty in software-driven business planning. Here's how to deal with it.

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The Highest Paid Person’s Opinion

Posted on September 27, 2021.

Every company makes decisions based on the highest paid person's opinion. It turns out it's just a hypothesis. Here's how to tame it.

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Performance management criteria for OKRs

Posted on September 20, 2021.

If we're going to set new goals with OKRs, we need to change how we measure the performance of our teams. Here are 6 ways to do that.

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the relationship between okrs and strategy

Posted on September 13, 2021.

Objectives and Key Results can do a lot of things. One thing they can't do is determine your strategy. Here's how to reconcile OKRs and strategy.

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When is Amazon done?

Posted on August 30, 2021.

Being done with digital work no longer makes sense. Here's why.

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Planting Season vs Harvest Season

Posted on August 23, 2021.

Businesses are cyclical. Thinking about when you're going to plant vs harvest ensures we've always got new ideas to try and grow.

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Output, Outcomes, Impact and KPIs

Posted on August 16, 2021.

There is a lot of confusion around the terms output, outcome, impact and KPI. Here is what each one means and how they relate to each other.

How to become a magnet for career opportunities

Posted on August 9, 2021.

Why do you continue to climb the career ladder? Because you’ve been told to do so. To future proof your career you have to rethink how to attract career opportunities.

Inspect and adapt, with respect

Posted on August 2, 2021.

We all know go to the gemba tell us to go and see and we inspect and adapt. But there’s another part to it — showing respect to the people we seek to improve. Here’s why.

The Work

Posted on June 14, 2021.

There’s so much more to product development than writing code. Here is what The Work consists of and why you should make time to do it.

One of the many diagrams that explain SAFe - the Scaled Agile Framework

SAFe is Not Agile

Posted on May 10, 2021.

SAFe - the scaled agile framework - attempts to bring agility and scrum to large enterprises. In my experience, it fails and is not agile.

Becoming Forever Employable: Demo Day 1

Posted on March 24, 2021.

How do you plant your flag and start telling compelling stories that cement your position of expertise in the market? Here’s how four folks did it.

Constraints are the hidden source of innovation

Posted on January 18, 2021.

There are always excuses for why our teams can’t innovate or be agile. Constraints shouldn’t be one of them. In fact, they can be the source of these desired qualities. Here’s why.

Box 1 from the Forever Employable assumptions canvas, What problem do you help people solve?

What problem do you help people solve?

Posted on October 12, 2020.

Your core value is the thing that won't change in 10 or even 20 years. How you deliver on that core value will evolve with the times, your career and your personal choices.

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12+ Icebreakers to kick off your next zoom meeting

Posted on September 28, 2020.

One of the critical pieces of getting a team in the right frame of mind and comfortable with the tools available to them is kicking off the meeting with a proper icebreaker technique. I’ve put together a list below of icebreakers I’ve crowdsourced, participated in and used myself to help you get your distributed collaboration sessions off on the right foot.

There are infinite ways to solve your business problems. Which one is right?

Posted on September 14, 2020.

The team works for multiple weeks, sometimes months. And we launch, fingers crossed, looking daily (sometimes hourly) to see if our predictions were correct. But the customers don’t come at the level we predicted, and the numbers don’t move quite in the directions we’d hoped.

If we're managing to outcomes, how do we know we're doing a good job?

Posted on January 12, 2020.

Part of the reason organisations struggle to switch to managing to outcomes is that its difficult to measure employee performance. Once that becomes difficult, how do we know someone did a good job? How do we know if that person should receive a raise? A promotion?

Lean UX Canvas V2

Lean UX Canvas V2

Posted on September 9, 2019.

It's been 3 years since the Lean UX Canvas was published. It was time for an update.

3 examples of non-product work reframed with outcomes

Do HR, Finance and Legal make products?

Posted on July 18, 2019.

Teams that don't make customer facing work still work on "products" and have "customers." This article explains how to think about this kind of work - from HR, Legal, Finance et al - in a new light.