OKRs can be simple – Storm Fagan on The Product Experience "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs November 11 2021 False OKRs, The Product Experience, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 6363 Product Management 25.452

OKRs can be simple – Storm Fagan on The Product Experience

BY ON

OKRs are a simple concept — but deceptively hard to get right.  There’s an awful lot of horror stories about implementations gone wrong, along with any number of gurus and guides on how to get it right. Storm Fagan — now the Chief Product Officer at the BBC, formerly at JustEat — joined us on the podcast to break down how she made OKRs scale at a big company by keeping them simple. (Hint: that wasn’t her first approach.)

Featured Links: Follow Storm on LinkedIn and Twitter | Just Eat | Work with Storm at the BBC | ‘How to Write OKRs That Don’t Suck’  MTP piece by Adrian Howard

Episode transcript

Lily Smith: 

I’m so excited about this week’s chat, Randy.

Randy Silver: 

One really? What’s up?

Lily Smith: 

Today we’re going to learn all about how to implement OKRs successfully in a large organisation. And we’re chatting to one of my mates and she has the best name ever. Hang on. Even better than mine. Yes, Randy. Even better than yours.

Randy Silver: 

Okay, that’s got to be storm Fagan. She’s the new Chief Product Officer at the BBC. And yeah, her her name is better than mine.

Lily Smith: 

You got it in one, you know superhero names they win every time. Therefore, the BBC storm worked as CPU at just eat and shares some great advice on how to make OKRs work.

Randy Silver: 

Wait, you’re telling me that someone actually figured out how to make OKRs work. This I’ve got to hear.

Lily Smith: 

product experience is brought to you by mind the product.

Randy Silver: 

Every week, we talk to the best product people from around the globe about how we can improve our practice, and build products that people love.

Lily Smith: 

Because it mind the product.com to catch up on past episodes, and to discover an extensive library of great content and videos,

Randy Silver: 

browse for free, or become a mind the product member to unlock premium articles, unseen videos, AMA’s roundtables, discounts to our conferences around the world training opportunities.

Lily Smith: 

My new product also offers free product tank meetups in more than 200 cities, and less probably. Hi, stone, welcome to the product experience podcast. It’s so lovely to be talking to you.

Storm Fagan: 

Hi, nice to be here.

Lily Smith: 

So I know you very well, because we go way back. But for those of our listeners who haven’t heard of you before, haven’t come across you. Could you give us a real quick intro into who you are and kind of what you do in product and how you got into product in the first place. Because it’s always great to hear people’s origin stories.

Unknown: 

Sure. So I’m Chief Product Officer at BBC at the moment. I’ve been there, coming up to six weeks, so still really fresh into that job. And before that I was Chief Product Officer at just eat. And I think I’ve been in product for my whole career and just thinking. So sometimes with different job titles, I think I was pretty lucky I came out of university didn’t know what I wanted to do. I applied for a job because it sounded really cool. It was a producer at an agency and it sounded awesome. And that was pretty much a product job. And I just loved it was working on digital products was really interesting, varied clients. And that kind of got me hooked. And then I’ve worked in publishing food delivery. I’ve done a bit freelance and consulting. And now I’m in media with BBC. Awesome,

Lily Smith: 

thank you. And one of the things we love nerding out about when we have occasionally have workI chats is okay ours. So

Unknown: 

that’s making us sound really uncool. We are we didn’t quiet about

Lily Smith: 

Yes, we do that is true. But you know, this is a product audience. So they get it like we’re with our people now they understand. So I thought it’d be really great because we wanted to get the take on what it’s like trying to or you know, implementing OKRs in a very large organisation. And I know that this is something that you did at just eat, and yeah, just really wanted to get your experience of this. So just for the context of those who may not have heard of justeat like, what kind of size of organisation is it and how, how’s it structured? Like what are the different sort of departments.

Storm Fagan: 

So now it is quite big, I think there were, well, when I left, it was 90 million customers, I think that’s up to 90 million customers, over half a million restaurants, and 25 markets and it’s a kind of classic food delivery business. So there’s the customer products that ecommerce products that connects people to the menus. There are the restaurant business products that help restaurants kind of set up their business and then provide the live order processing. And then there are the products that the couriers use to kind of shedule orders and then find out where to go to drop them off to the customers. So it’s a really nice products that actually because you’re doing b2c b2b and then the kind of logistics piece as well. And so that’s quite cool. But when I started six years ago, it was just post IPO. I think there were 100 people in products in tech. So it was kind of a bit smaller scale and I left. I think there were I’ve just over 2000 people in products and texts that that change kind of happened over about six years.

Lily Smith: 

So yeah, quite a significant amount of growth in that period. And at what points did OKRs become a strategy for managing or like working within the business?

Storm Fagan: 

Well, I think, like many people, we tried OKRs, spectacularly failed, backed away from OKRs, and then tried them again, and it worked. So when I first started there, OKRs were in place, and everyone was using them. And it was something that every team signed up to. So every team signed up to OKRs, there was a tool for kind of tracking OKRs that they’d built in house. And, you know, it was the thing that everybody was using. But it kind of backfired a little bit, because something that was meant to allow for flexibility and outcome based decision making actually turned into this like really rigid and inflexible system, because everyone would commit to OKRs at the beginning of the quarter, put them into the system, and then couldn’t really budge off of their roadmap for that quarter, because they had committed to these OKRs. And everyone was slightly more focused on whether or not they’d be able to say that they did their OKRs at the end of the quarter, then whether or not we’d actually achieved the outcome. So everyone in product ended up hating it, because there’s a lot of process around it. And a lot of kind of updating of systems and people outside of product hated it, because it kind of made the product team really inflexible and quite rigid. So we weren’t actually able then to react to it was a quite a fast moving market, because we were almost wanting sort of quarter to quarter. So yeah, we sorry, Wendy,

Randy Silver: 

is that a failure of focusing on the KERS, rather than the O’s, it sounded like, people have committed to doing certain things, regardless of whether that was the best way to achieve the objective.

Storm Fagan: 

Yeah, I mean, so that was six years ago. And I have learned as many of my colleagues the hard way about how to make OKRs effective at scale. And that is the wrong way. And I think the, the mistake that’s easy to make is to think of OKRs as a sort of methodology that you can use for planning. And it’s really, it’s a, it’s not methodology. So if you try and use it for planning, it’s sort of a spectacular failure, really, and you end up obsessing about the process of it, because there isn’t a process. So you kind of have to make one up, instead of focusing on the outcomes. So I think that’s what the problem was. And I’ve talked to other people in other companies who’ve had a similar experience. And it’s the same thing where you kind of end up focusing more on the process than the outcomes, and where, when we backed away from it, and it sort of got this really bad rap in the company, you know, everyone sort of had a bit of a shiver every time you mentioned OKRs, it was, it was pretty bad. And, and then we tried them again, because the thing that we needed was simple storytelling and simple alignment. We were growing so fast, and we kind of went from product and tech team where you knew everybody in the product and tech team, and they were your friend to, you know, some years, we were growing sort of 100% year on year in terms of the number of people joining the department. So it quite quickly got to the point where not only did you not know the name of that person, but there were people starting that you didn’t even know that they had started and bits of the product or that you didn’t even know about right so that that alignment piece sort of scaled past what was possible from a sort of human relationship point of view. And we needed something that would really easily get everybody to see what was important and what we were focusing on. Lastly, we took a really simple approach to OKRs. And this worked really well where we didn’t do any process changes alongside the OKRs. We didn’t try and cascade them through the business. We really kept it really super simple. And we just went for three objectives that we wanted to do that were that kind of identified what out of the strategy we needed to focus on right now. And spend more time focusing on the key results side of things. So how we would measure whether or not we’d achieved those objectives, can we actually measure those key results? And also, that measurement? Can you see it move frequently enough, it needs to be something for people to really get it needs to be something that you can see move on and sort of weekly or fortnightly basis. So the kind of that we put myself into that bit less like no effort, really, if I’m honest into the sort of process side of things. And that then worked really well because it was really simple for everybody to kind of understand these are the three things that matter really easy and fast for us to all be able to see whether or not those things were progressing and no kind of large scale change management. It’s horrendous process changes. And that’s that’s been that was much better.

Randy Silver: 

I’m curious, you just said it. One of the key things there was that it was things that you’d measure every couple of weeks, and you’d need to see movement on them. So are OKRs effective? Or were they effective for you on larger scale infrastructure type things, or was it only on projects where you could see incremental improvement.

Storm Fagan: 

So we split it out into ways. I really like OKRs for strategy. So things where you’re not necessarily sure exactly how you’re going to solve a problem. But you know, what the outcome looks like, if it’s good if it’s working. And it works really well for strategy changes. For stuff that is more known and more around kind of existing position in the market, like how your live products are at the moment and kind of optimising live products, I don’t really use OKRs for that, because I just think it’s, it’s sort of unnecessary, it’s much easier there to have a set of KPIs that you know, have to be healthy, and kind of looking at them and going, you know, sort of heat mapping them and go, Well, this one’s not healthy, we need to do something about this, when you don’t really need to make an OKR. Around that it’s like, you know, it’s as basic as get availability backup, so your availability score, or whatever it needs to be. So that sort of then leads you down to this way of splitting your time between strategy and maintaining your position in the market, depending on the size of business, and also your tech debt, how competitive the market is, how many products you’ve got out there, all of that kind of stuff, you kind of need to make sort of judgement call on how much time you want on that market position versus how much time you want and strategy. And you can always change that over time, but you sort of differentiate them as sort of percentages of time quite clearly, and just use the OKRs on the strategic stuff. And then you’re not trying to fill up sort of 100% of everybody’s time with OKRs. So you do end up in a position where and this was a little bit uncomfortable, but actually worked really well. Where can we first started, everyone would say I need to see what I’m doing reflected in the OKRs. Like I can’t buy into Okay, as if I can’t see my work. And then you end up with OKRs that don’t really make much sense. And they’re really complicated. Or then you know, they don’t hang together as a story. But everyone can see their work. And everyone kind of feels important. And that part of the way which didn’t really work. Whereas when we did it again, the second time, we just had the three simple OKRs. And if some teams couldn’t contribute to the OKRs, then that was a really good thing to know, actually, that it’s fine, that you’re not trying to move the strategy forward. Are you trying to maintain our position in the market? Yes, okay, great. If it’s no to both of those things, then you kind of got to ask the question of like, what are you doing? Right? And why are you doing that? So it sort of leads to the right sort of behaviours and conversations.

Lily Smith: 

You make it sound very, very simple. But

Storm Fagan: 

we did it the second time. so simple and so effective. The first time Oh, my goodness, so complicated. And full. Okay. Oh, hell.

Lily Smith: 

So you’ve mentioned obviously, that you had just the three simple OKRs objectives, sorry, and then presumably a number of key results for each one. But did you not then think, okay, maybe we can cascade this? Or did you have any kind of cascading happening? Or was it literally like each team that were the kind of dedicated to the strategy side of the business, then taking each of those objectives and deciding which key results they were gonna focus on in order to move the objective,

Storm Fagan: 

or I didn’t try and cascade them, IT teams could decide. So some teams had carried on using OKRs at a local level, and they were really comfortable with it. And that was fine. So they could easily cascade the OKRs. Other teams were using different methods or processes, and it was fine. They just carried on using whatever they used. So there’s no kind of process change associated with the OKRs. But we did have, the thing that then becomes interesting is if you think of objective as like the primary level and key results as the secondary level, there’s then like a cursory level of like, how do you know that key result is moving, because if it’s strategic it and you’re in a big company, it might, you might not get there for six months, nine months, 12 months, and so you can’t have a key result that is static and not moving for a really long period of time, because then everyone sort of loses interest. So actually, that’s sort of third level of what are all indicators that are telling you that you’re moving that key results, and are they moving that then becomes really important. And that’s a mix of burn UPS towards kind of product changes that you think are going to have to the proposition might be sales targets, it might be headcount, or hiring or onboarding, it could be kind of user signup and marketing. Targets can be a mix of anything. And that’s what I mean about you’ve got to really know what those things are track them and be able to see at least one or two things in that dashboard move on a quite granular basis. Because then, you know, if two weeks go by, and nothing’s moved here, like, okay, something weird is going here for another two weeks go by and nothing’s moved. Nothing’s happening, like nobody’s actually doing the work. So you want to be able to set sort of weekly or fortnightly and kind of be really clear about who’s accountable for user signup, who’s accountable for onboarding all of those employees? who’s accountable for the delivery of the burn up to, you know, these product changes that you’ve agreed upon?

Lily Smith: 

And what about when it comes to actually setting the objectives or and then the various different it sounds like your teams were very autonomous, which is awesome. But how do you kind of check in on what they’re setting? And how frequently? And if there’s no kind of structured process across the business? Like, how do you ensure that that’s being done to a certain sort of standard, I guess?

Storm Fagan: 

Yeah. So there was, I mean, it’s not like there was no structure there was, but teams could kind of choose that they want to use Scrum, or Kanban, or anything else? And, you know, how do they want to talk about their roadmap, and all of that kind of stuff. And I think, you know, we sort of learned because we were scaling the team size so fast, we learned some really hard lessons about how to grow people that quickly. And earlier on, we kind of made a few mistakes around over standardising on formats and templates and documents. And being quite rigid about that. Because at a management level, you can, it’s really good for you, because you can see what’s happening. But at a team level, you’re really sort of disempowering the teams. So we that’s we sort of stopped doing that. So we had data that reported up, and there was some key data points that every team had to be able to show, you know, so you know, their throughput and the velocity and all of that kind of stuff. So we can, there was structure there that told us that the teams were kind of moving and progressing. But really, you know, we kept it sort of super lightweight on the OKRs side of things. So, when we were then so then the really interesting thing became when you’re setting that OKRs, you know, how are you kind of setting them because what we learned was, and I say this with the greatest respect to all product managers is that whatever you set as a key result, they will try and gain that metric. Zero. So you’ve got to really think about, you kind of got to think it through as a product manager and go, if someone was to give me that key result, what would I do? And I’ve worked, what I really love now, my secret product, is looking at other people’s products and trying to go oh, I can see what they might have said, Okay, I like Google Maps at the moment, I think has got an OKR around clicks on the page, because there’s a lot of extra things that you can suddenly click on that kind of duplicate UX and duplicate interactions, right. And so that’s what I mean is if you when you set a key result, you you’ve got to expect your winning, you hire clever, creative people. So they’re going to be clever and creative about the key results that you’ve set them. So what is then a sort of a bit of a conversation? Actually, that’s the art I think of the Okay, obvious in the setting of it where you go, you know, if I was to set you this, okay, what would you do? And then, you know, people come back. And so what I would do this, and you have to go? Hmm, is that? Is that what we want to know? I mean, is that the behaviour? Is that taking us in the right direction? Or do we need to word it differently? Or measure it differently? If you can get that bit? Right, then, you know, everything will kind of flow through, but it’s the second of them is actually quite the hardest bit, I think.

Randy Silver: 

Yeah. So how would you actually set them in? How long would it take you? Would it be a conversation among the senior management team would be in conversation with the other product leaders? What what does it actually look like, in terms of drawing up the care for the organisation?

Storm Fagan: 

So so it starts a strategy of Do we know where we want to go over the long term? And what are our kind of strategic levers that we’re trying to pull? And then you get down into Okay, so what’s the next set of outcomes that we need to achieve? You know, we need to have grown, I don’t know this metric by this much, or we need to obtain user behaviour in this way for this reason. And then that kind of tells you the area that you need to set the OKR. And so it starts kind of at that top level, linking up to company strategy as closely as possible. And then you kind of draw up a set of OKRs as a draft, and at that point, would then start talking to product leadership about okay, what would happen, you know, what does this look like? How does everyone feel about this? And that’s where you then get into a little bit of back and forth. And you have to just then be just we need that that bit takes, frankly, that takes a little bit of time. So we will We’re working on a sort of quarterly basis. And that would probably take about a month would be the drafting to the agreement of the OKRs. Because, you know, you’d have to kind of go around it a couple of times before you felt comfortable that actually, there was going to do what you needed to do for the top level strategy. And actually, the teams understood what good looks like and how the type of things that they were going to do to move the key results.

Lily Smith: 

So you’ve got your, your current strategy for the year or three years or five years or whatever. And then translating that into quarterly OKRs, which then you work with the rest of the product teams for them to come up with their chaos or whatever their their kind of individual team processes. Yes. Support the business. Okay, as Yeah. Cool. So, what do you do at the end of the quarter? How, like, how do you kind of finish the quarter? When do you begin to review? Or, you know, what, like, when do you reflect on them? And how does that process work?

Storm Fagan: 

So the two, once you’ve got that kind of third layer of tracking dashboards in place, then you’re not actually having to do a massive reflection piece at the end of the quarter, because you can you can see week to week, like which ones moving in which ones not. So when one finishes, you can just pull one in. And actually, sometimes if one is going to take longer, it just rolls forward. And you don’t need to do any b planning because you kind of know what’s happening there. So that was so that’s kind of key, I think, is that upfront, kind of sort of progress tracking and dashboard piece. And then the bit that’s important, then is having that backlog at a sort of macro level of possible future OKRs. So that kind of big discovery of next strategic pieces, you know what you can pull in next. And then you’re not massively doing a kind of big, sort of retrospective on the Okay, as you might be, from a throughput and delivery point of view, for example, or from an availability and a kind of platform point of view. But the OKRs themselves are just a kind of rolling process. So if you don’t

Randy Silver: 

hit one, does it automatically roll through? Or is it a considered thing of is this still a priority for us? Should we rebalance?

Storm Fagan: 

Yeah, that’s fair question. So that is that comes down to the sort of regular conversations that you’re having with the product people that are working on that. Okay. So, you know, there’s plenty of times where we set something, and we’ve either realised that the metric that we’re using is too noisy, and big, and it’s going to take, and it’s actually we thought it was a leading metric. And actually, it’s a lagging metric, and we can’t see it move fast enough. And then we’ve had to break that OKR down into something else that is more kind of indicative and faster moving, or we’ve looked at something and gone, actually, that isn’t great, you know, that doesn’t have this kind of product market fit that we thought it did, or, you know, we’ve kind of reached diminishing returns. And that’s, you know, that’s the skill of the product managers, right of them, knowing their space and being able to kind of use the data that they’ve got, and their kind of personal subject matter expertise to be able to say to you, this is worth pursuing, or x. And now this one, this one isn’t, as long as you’ve got really clear plan, then when you’re off plan, you can have really sort of positive conversations, or challenging ones, but you can have really sort of positive conversations about where we’re actually that thing isn’t actually the faster you can decide to change direction and measure in a different way. Or stop something, the better, frankly, rather than trying to keep following something through.

Randy Silver: 

So sometimes, within Okay, are you set the objective? Because you’ve got this this prize in mind, and you have a hypothesis of how much effort it will take to get there? Have you ever come across time when when the the effort was actually much bigger? When might the risk reward ratio might not be the same?

Storm Fagan: 

So early on, when we first started with API’s? We definitely found that and, you know, I think there was a will interrelationship between OKRs themselves and the delivery methodology that you’re using, and whether you’re efficient and your throughput and your cycle time and everything is good, and therefore you kind of understand how efficient you’re being. But actually, as we got more mature with it, that all of that was worked out in the discovery of the future. OKRs. So we didn’t end up pulling stuff in where we weren’t really sure whether or not we could achieve it in a kind of meaningful timeframe, or meaningful budget spend as it were. Cool.

Lily Smith: 

So what about the rest of the business? And when I say the rest of the business, I mean, the sort of non product functions, and you kind of mentioned health KPIs, and when I think of health KPIs, I think of like performance and time and that kind of stuff. But what about the sort of back office functions like finance and HR? Do they partake in any of the OKRs format? Or do they kind of remain separate from it?

Storm Fagan: 

Yeah, I mean, not in a formalised way, where everybody kind of like, it wasn’t a big change management plan. But we did use OKRs for our strategy. And when finance or HR were part of that strategy, then B had shared OKRs with us. So, you know, to give a sort of example might be if we had a really big client, big new restaurant brand that we were trying to onboard, then often what that would mean is, like, onboarding new people to work on that brand. So there’s a whole hiring and kind of HR piece. There’s a budget spend around marketing, versus, you know, the sort of commission that we’re getting. So there’s a finance piece and finance kind of tracking, like the cost per order, for example, the revenue per order. And so they would take part in that, but it wasn’t the HR suddenly decided they were going to roll out OKRs.

Randy Silver: 

Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. And speaking of HR in a totally different context, we’ve all seen examples or heard examples, anyway, of OKRs being used in performance management, was that ever used as a trustee? Or is that something that you shied away from?

Storm Fagan: 

We did in the end, we did use them for performance, but not necessarily, again, I make it sound really flaky, but it wasn’t, it was just something you could choose to use, it was just a tool, right? So you can choose to use it or not. So I used it with my team, because we were so familiar with OKRs. And the type of conversation that OKRs generated, that it was a really sort of comfortable framework for us to use. So we did use OKRs in our leadership team, because it meant that they all landed up to kind of the main thing that we’re working on, we can be really transparent with each other about what our OKRs were. But it again, it wasn’t something that we tried to enforce at scale.

Lily Smith: 

And how about kind of practically managing the communication of OKRs? across the whole business? How did you do that, because when you’re in a very large organisation, I imagine, you know, that process of setting them and then communicating them to everyone so that everyone understands, this is what we’re doing. And this is why we’re doing it, it potentially could can be tricky.

Storm Fagan: 

Yeah. And I think OKRs as well can sometimes turn into product speak, you know, and some stakeholders are just not comfortable. They’re not comfortable with words like discovery. And, you know, they don’t, don’t speak product. And we think we’re speaking really plainly. And then you go and speak to a stakeholder and they literally don’t understand what you’re talking about. So, and sometimes we would not frame what we were doing as OKRs, we would talk about it in more plain language rather than in the OKR format. And then we thought about what we needed to broadcast. And being really clear, there’s only three things that we’re doing now. And, you know, these are what the three things are used as many sort of pictures and data points as possible to keep it really simple. And try and do that on a fairly regular basis. So it was kind of monthly, and everybody kind of knew what to expect in terms of communications. And then within the teams and within our organ with this stakeholders that we were working with, that we’re accountable for some of those shared key results. It was that kind of dashboard of you know, every week or every fortnight, what’s moving, what’s not moving, and it became much more into the detail, then.

Lily Smith: 

It’s really nice to hear such practical examples of like how you did it. And I’m sure there’ll be loads of people taking away a lot of tips from this conversation. But before we wrap up, one of the other things I really wanted to talk really quickly about was diversity in your product teams, because I know you’re a huge advocate for diversity. And I just wanted to, like ask you quickly before we close, and what were the sort of strategies used in, in the business and justeat to try and improve the diversity of the people within this sort of product function.

Storm Fagan: 

Cana down to two things in the end, it came down to the community and building a community that was inclusive, and that is, you know, behaviours and Ally ship and being able to have the hard conversations and that kind of as a leader, you’re the person that has to do that stuff first. And you have to kind of be prepared to talk about difficult topics and be really sort of vulnerable about them. And then everyone feels a bit more comfortable that they can kind of engage and engage in Talking about them. And then the second thing is structural change. So we, you can’t really build a diverse or increase diversity if you’re not structurally changing the sort of system that’s in place, because no matter how hard we try, you know, every kind of society has structural bias in there. So really, really proactively looking for that structural bias and weeding it out on a sort of continuous improvement basis was the key thing. When you kind of combine both of those things together, what you get is a community that feels supported. And also can anybody feels that they can speak up about structural bias when they see it, because we’re all different, we all have different perspectives on the community in which we live. So you know, one person might not see, you know, a sort of system as being biassed, whereas another colleague might, what you want as everyone that sees that stuff, to be able to speak up about it. So that community becomes really important. And then the structural side of things is, like literally stripping it out, over and over again, until until the system becomes kind of fairer. And in and that’s everything from hiring practices to how you you know, everything from having diverse panels, diverse candidate lists, looking for candidates from different pools, and you might have not traditionally looked for taking time to build those diverse candidate lists. Because sometimes, if you’re not used to doing that, it can take a little bit longer to build the shortlist. And if you’re hiring really fast, particularly if you’re in a startup or a scaling organisation, the the sort of sense of urgency to get people in can be a bit overwhelming. And that can then reinforce you hiring from the same pools over and over again, all the way through to policies around sort of parental leave, and you know, literally everything and keep looking at it. And we did use OKRs for that because that is the strategy, right? And you have to again, you want people to gain those key results. So if you set the key results, right, and people find the things that will get there the fastest.

Randy Silver: 

I love that I’m stealing a lot from this conversation. Thank you This was a really fantastic conversation and OKRs sometimes feel really overwhelming about how to do it. Right we have a recurring question about what’s the secret for making them work and I feel like you actually told us the secret

Storm Fagan: 

I think honestly, I used to hate them I genuinely hated them and maybe not quite as far as afraid of them but they I just felt that they were a buzzword that meant nothing and then when we did them properly and we kept it really simple it was properly game changing so I highly recommend it.

Randy Silver: 

Fantastic. Thank you very much so if you’re still listening you’re definitely fully equipped to get okay you’re still working your business and that advice is really sound whether you’re in a large org or even a small one.

Lily Smith: 

Yes doing less and keeping it simple is definitely something even I can do.

Randy Silver: 

You can you really even you and you know if you don’t want to be the one to implement them, but you just want to get the benefit of it. Storm is hiring. There’s tonnes of jobs at the BBC go work with her.

Lily Smith: 

Haste, me, Lily Smith and me Randy silver. Emily Tate is our producer and Luke Smith is our editor.

Randy Silver: 

Our theme music is from humbard baseband power that’s P A you thanks to Ana Kibler, who runs product tank and MTP engage in Hamburg and plays bass in the band for willingness to use their music. Connect with your local product community via product tag or regular free meetups in over 200 cities worldwide.

Lily Smith: 

If there’s not one Nagy you can consider starting one yourself. To find out more go to mind the product.com forward slash product tank.

Randy Silver: 

Product Tech is a global community of meetups during buying for product people. We offer expert talks group discussion and a safe environment for product people to come together and share learnings and tips

OKRs are a simple concept — but deceptively hard to get right.  There's an awful lot of horror stories about implementations gone wrong, along with any number of gurus and guides on how to get it right. Storm Fagan — now the Chief Product Officer at the BBC, formerly at JustEat — joined us on the podcast to break down how she made OKRs scale at a big company by keeping them simple. (Hint: that wasn't her first approach.) Featured Links: Follow Storm on LinkedIn and Twitter | Just Eat | Work with Storm at the BBC | 'How to Write OKRs That Don't Suck'  MTP piece by Adrian Howard

Episode transcript

Lily Smith:  I'm so excited about this week's chat, Randy. Randy Silver:  One really? What's up? Lily Smith:  Today we're going to learn all about how to implement OKRs successfully in a large organisation. And we're chatting to one of my mates and she has the best name ever. Hang on. Even better than mine. Yes, Randy. Even better than yours. Randy Silver:  Okay, that's got to be storm Fagan. She's the new Chief Product Officer at the BBC. And yeah, her her name is better than mine. Lily Smith:  You got it in one, you know superhero names they win every time. Therefore, the BBC storm worked as CPU at just eat and shares some great advice on how to make OKRs work. Randy Silver:  Wait, you're telling me that someone actually figured out how to make OKRs work. This I've got to hear. Lily Smith:  product experience is brought to you by mind the product. Randy Silver:  Every week, we talk to the best product people from around the globe about how we can improve our practice, and build products that people love. Lily Smith:  Because it mind the product.com to catch up on past episodes, and to discover an extensive library of great content and videos, Randy Silver:  browse for free, or become a mind the product member to unlock premium articles, unseen videos, AMA's roundtables, discounts to our conferences around the world training opportunities. Lily Smith:  My new product also offers free product tank meetups in more than 200 cities, and less probably. Hi, stone, welcome to the product experience podcast. It's so lovely to be talking to you. Storm Fagan:  Hi, nice to be here. Lily Smith:  So I know you very well, because we go way back. But for those of our listeners who haven't heard of you before, haven't come across you. Could you give us a real quick intro into who you are and kind of what you do in product and how you got into product in the first place. Because it's always great to hear people's origin stories. Unknown:  Sure. So I'm Chief Product Officer at BBC at the moment. I've been there, coming up to six weeks, so still really fresh into that job. And before that I was Chief Product Officer at just eat. And I think I've been in product for my whole career and just thinking. So sometimes with different job titles, I think I was pretty lucky I came out of university didn't know what I wanted to do. I applied for a job because it sounded really cool. It was a producer at an agency and it sounded awesome. And that was pretty much a product job. And I just loved it was working on digital products was really interesting, varied clients. And that kind of got me hooked. And then I've worked in publishing food delivery. I've done a bit freelance and consulting. And now I'm in media with BBC. Awesome, Lily Smith:  thank you. And one of the things we love nerding out about when we have occasionally have workI chats is okay ours. So Unknown:  that's making us sound really uncool. We are we didn't quiet about Lily Smith:  Yes, we do that is true. But you know, this is a product audience. So they get it like we're with our people now they understand. So I thought it'd be really great because we wanted to get the take on what it's like trying to or you know, implementing OKRs in a very large organisation. And I know that this is something that you did at just eat, and yeah, just really wanted to get your experience of this. So just for the context of those who may not have heard of justeat like, what kind of size of organisation is it and how, how's it structured? Like what are the different sort of departments. Storm Fagan:  So now it is quite big, I think there were, well, when I left, it was 90 million customers, I think that's up to 90 million customers, over half a million restaurants, and 25 markets and it's a kind of classic food delivery business. So there's the customer products that ecommerce products that connects people to the menus. There are the restaurant business products that help restaurants kind of set up their business and then provide the live order processing. And then there are the products that the couriers use to kind of shedule orders and then find out where to go to drop them off to the customers. So it's a really nice products that actually because you're doing b2c b2b and then the kind of logistics piece as well. And so that's quite cool. But when I started six years ago, it was just post IPO. I think there were 100 people in products in tech. So it was kind of a bit smaller scale and I left. I think there were I've just over 2000 people in products and texts that that change kind of happened over about six years. Lily Smith:  So yeah, quite a significant amount of growth in that period. And at what points did OKRs become a strategy for managing or like working within the business? Storm Fagan:  Well, I think, like many people, we tried OKRs, spectacularly failed, backed away from OKRs, and then tried them again, and it worked. So when I first started there, OKRs were in place, and everyone was using them. And it was something that every team signed up to. So every team signed up to OKRs, there was a tool for kind of tracking OKRs that they'd built in house. And, you know, it was the thing that everybody was using. But it kind of backfired a little bit, because something that was meant to allow for flexibility and outcome based decision making actually turned into this like really rigid and inflexible system, because everyone would commit to OKRs at the beginning of the quarter, put them into the system, and then couldn't really budge off of their roadmap for that quarter, because they had committed to these OKRs. And everyone was slightly more focused on whether or not they'd be able to say that they did their OKRs at the end of the quarter, then whether or not we'd actually achieved the outcome. So everyone in product ended up hating it, because there's a lot of process around it. And a lot of kind of updating of systems and people outside of product hated it, because it kind of made the product team really inflexible and quite rigid. So we weren't actually able then to react to it was a quite a fast moving market, because we were almost wanting sort of quarter to quarter. So yeah, we sorry, Wendy, Randy Silver:  is that a failure of focusing on the KERS, rather than the O's, it sounded like, people have committed to doing certain things, regardless of whether that was the best way to achieve the objective. Storm Fagan:  Yeah, I mean, so that was six years ago. And I have learned as many of my colleagues the hard way about how to make OKRs effective at scale. And that is the wrong way. And I think the, the mistake that's easy to make is to think of OKRs as a sort of methodology that you can use for planning. And it's really, it's a, it's not methodology. So if you try and use it for planning, it's sort of a spectacular failure, really, and you end up obsessing about the process of it, because there isn't a process. So you kind of have to make one up, instead of focusing on the outcomes. So I think that's what the problem was. And I've talked to other people in other companies who've had a similar experience. And it's the same thing where you kind of end up focusing more on the process than the outcomes, and where, when we backed away from it, and it sort of got this really bad rap in the company, you know, everyone sort of had a bit of a shiver every time you mentioned OKRs, it was, it was pretty bad. And, and then we tried them again, because the thing that we needed was simple storytelling and simple alignment. We were growing so fast, and we kind of went from product and tech team where you knew everybody in the product and tech team, and they were your friend to, you know, some years, we were growing sort of 100% year on year in terms of the number of people joining the department. So it quite quickly got to the point where not only did you not know the name of that person, but there were people starting that you didn't even know that they had started and bits of the product or that you didn't even know about right so that that alignment piece sort of scaled past what was possible from a sort of human relationship point of view. And we needed something that would really easily get everybody to see what was important and what we were focusing on. Lastly, we took a really simple approach to OKRs. And this worked really well where we didn't do any process changes alongside the OKRs. We didn't try and cascade them through the business. We really kept it really super simple. And we just went for three objectives that we wanted to do that were that kind of identified what out of the strategy we needed to focus on right now. And spend more time focusing on the key results side of things. So how we would measure whether or not we'd achieved those objectives, can we actually measure those key results? And also, that measurement? Can you see it move frequently enough, it needs to be something for people to really get it needs to be something that you can see move on and sort of weekly or fortnightly basis. So the kind of that we put myself into that bit less like no effort, really, if I'm honest into the sort of process side of things. And that then worked really well because it was really simple for everybody to kind of understand these are the three things that matter really easy and fast for us to all be able to see whether or not those things were progressing and no kind of large scale change management. It's horrendous process changes. And that's that's been that was much better. Randy Silver:  I'm curious, you just said it. One of the key things there was that it was things that you'd measure every couple of weeks, and you'd need to see movement on them. So are OKRs effective? Or were they effective for you on larger scale infrastructure type things, or was it only on projects where you could see incremental improvement. Storm Fagan:  So we split it out into ways. I really like OKRs for strategy. So things where you're not necessarily sure exactly how you're going to solve a problem. But you know, what the outcome looks like, if it's good if it's working. And it works really well for strategy changes. For stuff that is more known and more around kind of existing position in the market, like how your live products are at the moment and kind of optimising live products, I don't really use OKRs for that, because I just think it's, it's sort of unnecessary, it's much easier there to have a set of KPIs that you know, have to be healthy, and kind of looking at them and going, you know, sort of heat mapping them and go, Well, this one's not healthy, we need to do something about this, when you don't really need to make an OKR. Around that it's like, you know, it's as basic as get availability backup, so your availability score, or whatever it needs to be. So that sort of then leads you down to this way of splitting your time between strategy and maintaining your position in the market, depending on the size of business, and also your tech debt, how competitive the market is, how many products you've got out there, all of that kind of stuff, you kind of need to make sort of judgement call on how much time you want on that market position versus how much time you want and strategy. And you can always change that over time, but you sort of differentiate them as sort of percentages of time quite clearly, and just use the OKRs on the strategic stuff. And then you're not trying to fill up sort of 100% of everybody's time with OKRs. So you do end up in a position where and this was a little bit uncomfortable, but actually worked really well. Where can we first started, everyone would say I need to see what I'm doing reflected in the OKRs. Like I can't buy into Okay, as if I can't see my work. And then you end up with OKRs that don't really make much sense. And they're really complicated. Or then you know, they don't hang together as a story. But everyone can see their work. And everyone kind of feels important. And that part of the way which didn't really work. Whereas when we did it again, the second time, we just had the three simple OKRs. And if some teams couldn't contribute to the OKRs, then that was a really good thing to know, actually, that it's fine, that you're not trying to move the strategy forward. Are you trying to maintain our position in the market? Yes, okay, great. If it's no to both of those things, then you kind of got to ask the question of like, what are you doing? Right? And why are you doing that? So it sort of leads to the right sort of behaviours and conversations. Lily Smith:  You make it sound very, very simple. But Storm Fagan:  we did it the second time. so simple and so effective. The first time Oh, my goodness, so complicated. And full. Okay. Oh, hell. Lily Smith:  So you've mentioned obviously, that you had just the three simple OKRs objectives, sorry, and then presumably a number of key results for each one. But did you not then think, okay, maybe we can cascade this? Or did you have any kind of cascading happening? Or was it literally like each team that were the kind of dedicated to the strategy side of the business, then taking each of those objectives and deciding which key results they were gonna focus on in order to move the objective, Storm Fagan:  or I didn't try and cascade them, IT teams could decide. So some teams had carried on using OKRs at a local level, and they were really comfortable with it. And that was fine. So they could easily cascade the OKRs. Other teams were using different methods or processes, and it was fine. They just carried on using whatever they used. So there's no kind of process change associated with the OKRs. But we did have, the thing that then becomes interesting is if you think of objective as like the primary level and key results as the secondary level, there's then like a cursory level of like, how do you know that key result is moving, because if it's strategic it and you're in a big company, it might, you might not get there for six months, nine months, 12 months, and so you can't have a key result that is static and not moving for a really long period of time, because then everyone sort of loses interest. So actually, that's sort of third level of what are all indicators that are telling you that you're moving that key results, and are they moving that then becomes really important. And that's a mix of burn UPS towards kind of product changes that you think are going to have to the proposition might be sales targets, it might be headcount, or hiring or onboarding, it could be kind of user signup and marketing. Targets can be a mix of anything. And that's what I mean about you've got to really know what those things are track them and be able to see at least one or two things in that dashboard move on a quite granular basis. Because then, you know, if two weeks go by, and nothing's moved here, like, okay, something weird is going here for another two weeks go by and nothing's moved. Nothing's happening, like nobody's actually doing the work. So you want to be able to set sort of weekly or fortnightly and kind of be really clear about who's accountable for user signup, who's accountable for onboarding all of those employees? who's accountable for the delivery of the burn up to, you know, these product changes that you've agreed upon? Lily Smith:  And what about when it comes to actually setting the objectives or and then the various different it sounds like your teams were very autonomous, which is awesome. But how do you kind of check in on what they're setting? And how frequently? And if there's no kind of structured process across the business? Like, how do you ensure that that's being done to a certain sort of standard, I guess? Storm Fagan:  Yeah. So there was, I mean, it's not like there was no structure there was, but teams could kind of choose that they want to use Scrum, or Kanban, or anything else? And, you know, how do they want to talk about their roadmap, and all of that kind of stuff. And I think, you know, we sort of learned because we were scaling the team size so fast, we learned some really hard lessons about how to grow people that quickly. And earlier on, we kind of made a few mistakes around over standardising on formats and templates and documents. And being quite rigid about that. Because at a management level, you can, it's really good for you, because you can see what's happening. But at a team level, you're really sort of disempowering the teams. So we that's we sort of stopped doing that. So we had data that reported up, and there was some key data points that every team had to be able to show, you know, so you know, their throughput and the velocity and all of that kind of stuff. So we can, there was structure there that told us that the teams were kind of moving and progressing. But really, you know, we kept it sort of super lightweight on the OKRs side of things. So, when we were then so then the really interesting thing became when you're setting that OKRs, you know, how are you kind of setting them because what we learned was, and I say this with the greatest respect to all product managers is that whatever you set as a key result, they will try and gain that metric. Zero. So you've got to really think about, you kind of got to think it through as a product manager and go, if someone was to give me that key result, what would I do? And I've worked, what I really love now, my secret product, is looking at other people's products and trying to go oh, I can see what they might have said, Okay, I like Google Maps at the moment, I think has got an OKR around clicks on the page, because there's a lot of extra things that you can suddenly click on that kind of duplicate UX and duplicate interactions, right. And so that's what I mean is if you when you set a key result, you you've got to expect your winning, you hire clever, creative people. So they're going to be clever and creative about the key results that you've set them. So what is then a sort of a bit of a conversation? Actually, that's the art I think of the Okay, obvious in the setting of it where you go, you know, if I was to set you this, okay, what would you do? And then, you know, people come back. And so what I would do this, and you have to go? Hmm, is that? Is that what we want to know? I mean, is that the behaviour? Is that taking us in the right direction? Or do we need to word it differently? Or measure it differently? If you can get that bit? Right, then, you know, everything will kind of flow through, but it's the second of them is actually quite the hardest bit, I think. Randy Silver:  Yeah. So how would you actually set them in? How long would it take you? Would it be a conversation among the senior management team would be in conversation with the other product leaders? What what does it actually look like, in terms of drawing up the care for the organisation? Storm Fagan:  So so it starts a strategy of Do we know where we want to go over the long term? And what are our kind of strategic levers that we're trying to pull? And then you get down into Okay, so what's the next set of outcomes that we need to achieve? You know, we need to have grown, I don't know this metric by this much, or we need to obtain user behaviour in this way for this reason. And then that kind of tells you the area that you need to set the OKR. And so it starts kind of at that top level, linking up to company strategy as closely as possible. And then you kind of draw up a set of OKRs as a draft, and at that point, would then start talking to product leadership about okay, what would happen, you know, what does this look like? How does everyone feel about this? And that's where you then get into a little bit of back and forth. And you have to just then be just we need that that bit takes, frankly, that takes a little bit of time. So we will We're working on a sort of quarterly basis. And that would probably take about a month would be the drafting to the agreement of the OKRs. Because, you know, you'd have to kind of go around it a couple of times before you felt comfortable that actually, there was going to do what you needed to do for the top level strategy. And actually, the teams understood what good looks like and how the type of things that they were going to do to move the key results. Lily Smith:  So you've got your, your current strategy for the year or three years or five years or whatever. And then translating that into quarterly OKRs, which then you work with the rest of the product teams for them to come up with their chaos or whatever their their kind of individual team processes. Yes. Support the business. Okay, as Yeah. Cool. So, what do you do at the end of the quarter? How, like, how do you kind of finish the quarter? When do you begin to review? Or, you know, what, like, when do you reflect on them? And how does that process work? Storm Fagan:  So the two, once you've got that kind of third layer of tracking dashboards in place, then you're not actually having to do a massive reflection piece at the end of the quarter, because you can you can see week to week, like which ones moving in which ones not. So when one finishes, you can just pull one in. And actually, sometimes if one is going to take longer, it just rolls forward. And you don't need to do any b planning because you kind of know what's happening there. So that was so that's kind of key, I think, is that upfront, kind of sort of progress tracking and dashboard piece. And then the bit that's important, then is having that backlog at a sort of macro level of possible future OKRs. So that kind of big discovery of next strategic pieces, you know what you can pull in next. And then you're not massively doing a kind of big, sort of retrospective on the Okay, as you might be, from a throughput and delivery point of view, for example, or from an availability and a kind of platform point of view. But the OKRs themselves are just a kind of rolling process. So if you don't Randy Silver:  hit one, does it automatically roll through? Or is it a considered thing of is this still a priority for us? Should we rebalance? Storm Fagan:  Yeah, that's fair question. So that is that comes down to the sort of regular conversations that you're having with the product people that are working on that. Okay. So, you know, there's plenty of times where we set something, and we've either realised that the metric that we're using is too noisy, and big, and it's going to take, and it's actually we thought it was a leading metric. And actually, it's a lagging metric, and we can't see it move fast enough. And then we've had to break that OKR down into something else that is more kind of indicative and faster moving, or we've looked at something and gone, actually, that isn't great, you know, that doesn't have this kind of product market fit that we thought it did, or, you know, we've kind of reached diminishing returns. And that's, you know, that's the skill of the product managers, right of them, knowing their space and being able to kind of use the data that they've got, and their kind of personal subject matter expertise to be able to say to you, this is worth pursuing, or x. And now this one, this one isn't, as long as you've got really clear plan, then when you're off plan, you can have really sort of positive conversations, or challenging ones, but you can have really sort of positive conversations about where we're actually that thing isn't actually the faster you can decide to change direction and measure in a different way. Or stop something, the better, frankly, rather than trying to keep following something through. Randy Silver:  So sometimes, within Okay, are you set the objective? Because you've got this this prize in mind, and you have a hypothesis of how much effort it will take to get there? Have you ever come across time when when the the effort was actually much bigger? When might the risk reward ratio might not be the same? Storm Fagan:  So early on, when we first started with API's? We definitely found that and, you know, I think there was a will interrelationship between OKRs themselves and the delivery methodology that you're using, and whether you're efficient and your throughput and your cycle time and everything is good, and therefore you kind of understand how efficient you're being. But actually, as we got more mature with it, that all of that was worked out in the discovery of the future. OKRs. So we didn't end up pulling stuff in where we weren't really sure whether or not we could achieve it in a kind of meaningful timeframe, or meaningful budget spend as it were. Cool. Lily Smith:  So what about the rest of the business? And when I say the rest of the business, I mean, the sort of non product functions, and you kind of mentioned health KPIs, and when I think of health KPIs, I think of like performance and time and that kind of stuff. But what about the sort of back office functions like finance and HR? Do they partake in any of the OKRs format? Or do they kind of remain separate from it? Storm Fagan:  Yeah, I mean, not in a formalised way, where everybody kind of like, it wasn't a big change management plan. But we did use OKRs for our strategy. And when finance or HR were part of that strategy, then B had shared OKRs with us. So, you know, to give a sort of example might be if we had a really big client, big new restaurant brand that we were trying to onboard, then often what that would mean is, like, onboarding new people to work on that brand. So there's a whole hiring and kind of HR piece. There's a budget spend around marketing, versus, you know, the sort of commission that we're getting. So there's a finance piece and finance kind of tracking, like the cost per order, for example, the revenue per order. And so they would take part in that, but it wasn't the HR suddenly decided they were going to roll out OKRs. Randy Silver:  Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. And speaking of HR in a totally different context, we've all seen examples or heard examples, anyway, of OKRs being used in performance management, was that ever used as a trustee? Or is that something that you shied away from? Storm Fagan:  We did in the end, we did use them for performance, but not necessarily, again, I make it sound really flaky, but it wasn't, it was just something you could choose to use, it was just a tool, right? So you can choose to use it or not. So I used it with my team, because we were so familiar with OKRs. And the type of conversation that OKRs generated, that it was a really sort of comfortable framework for us to use. So we did use OKRs in our leadership team, because it meant that they all landed up to kind of the main thing that we're working on, we can be really transparent with each other about what our OKRs were. But it again, it wasn't something that we tried to enforce at scale. Lily Smith:  And how about kind of practically managing the communication of OKRs? across the whole business? How did you do that, because when you're in a very large organisation, I imagine, you know, that process of setting them and then communicating them to everyone so that everyone understands, this is what we're doing. And this is why we're doing it, it potentially could can be tricky. Storm Fagan:  Yeah. And I think OKRs as well can sometimes turn into product speak, you know, and some stakeholders are just not comfortable. They're not comfortable with words like discovery. And, you know, they don't, don't speak product. And we think we're speaking really plainly. And then you go and speak to a stakeholder and they literally don't understand what you're talking about. So, and sometimes we would not frame what we were doing as OKRs, we would talk about it in more plain language rather than in the OKR format. And then we thought about what we needed to broadcast. And being really clear, there's only three things that we're doing now. And, you know, these are what the three things are used as many sort of pictures and data points as possible to keep it really simple. And try and do that on a fairly regular basis. So it was kind of monthly, and everybody kind of knew what to expect in terms of communications. And then within the teams and within our organ with this stakeholders that we were working with, that we're accountable for some of those shared key results. It was that kind of dashboard of you know, every week or every fortnight, what's moving, what's not moving, and it became much more into the detail, then. Lily Smith:  It's really nice to hear such practical examples of like how you did it. And I'm sure there'll be loads of people taking away a lot of tips from this conversation. But before we wrap up, one of the other things I really wanted to talk really quickly about was diversity in your product teams, because I know you're a huge advocate for diversity. And I just wanted to, like ask you quickly before we close, and what were the sort of strategies used in, in the business and justeat to try and improve the diversity of the people within this sort of product function. Storm Fagan:  Cana down to two things in the end, it came down to the community and building a community that was inclusive, and that is, you know, behaviours and Ally ship and being able to have the hard conversations and that kind of as a leader, you're the person that has to do that stuff first. And you have to kind of be prepared to talk about difficult topics and be really sort of vulnerable about them. And then everyone feels a bit more comfortable that they can kind of engage and engage in Talking about them. And then the second thing is structural change. So we, you can't really build a diverse or increase diversity if you're not structurally changing the sort of system that's in place, because no matter how hard we try, you know, every kind of society has structural bias in there. So really, really proactively looking for that structural bias and weeding it out on a sort of continuous improvement basis was the key thing. When you kind of combine both of those things together, what you get is a community that feels supported. And also can anybody feels that they can speak up about structural bias when they see it, because we're all different, we all have different perspectives on the community in which we live. So you know, one person might not see, you know, a sort of system as being biassed, whereas another colleague might, what you want as everyone that sees that stuff, to be able to speak up about it. So that community becomes really important. And then the structural side of things is, like literally stripping it out, over and over again, until until the system becomes kind of fairer. And in and that's everything from hiring practices to how you you know, everything from having diverse panels, diverse candidate lists, looking for candidates from different pools, and you might have not traditionally looked for taking time to build those diverse candidate lists. Because sometimes, if you're not used to doing that, it can take a little bit longer to build the shortlist. And if you're hiring really fast, particularly if you're in a startup or a scaling organisation, the the sort of sense of urgency to get people in can be a bit overwhelming. And that can then reinforce you hiring from the same pools over and over again, all the way through to policies around sort of parental leave, and you know, literally everything and keep looking at it. And we did use OKRs for that because that is the strategy, right? And you have to again, you want people to gain those key results. So if you set the key results, right, and people find the things that will get there the fastest. Randy Silver:  I love that I'm stealing a lot from this conversation. Thank you This was a really fantastic conversation and OKRs sometimes feel really overwhelming about how to do it. Right we have a recurring question about what's the secret for making them work and I feel like you actually told us the secret Storm Fagan:  I think honestly, I used to hate them I genuinely hated them and maybe not quite as far as afraid of them but they I just felt that they were a buzzword that meant nothing and then when we did them properly and we kept it really simple it was properly game changing so I highly recommend it. Randy Silver:  Fantastic. Thank you very much so if you're still listening you're definitely fully equipped to get okay you're still working your business and that advice is really sound whether you're in a large org or even a small one. Lily Smith:  Yes doing less and keeping it simple is definitely something even I can do. Randy Silver:  You can you really even you and you know if you don't want to be the one to implement them, but you just want to get the benefit of it. Storm is hiring. There's tonnes of jobs at the BBC go work with her. Lily Smith:  Haste, me, Lily Smith and me Randy silver. Emily Tate is our producer and Luke Smith is our editor. Randy Silver:  Our theme music is from humbard baseband power that's P A you thanks to Ana Kibler, who runs product tank and MTP engage in Hamburg and plays bass in the band for willingness to use their music. Connect with your local product community via product tag or regular free meetups in over 200 cities worldwide. Lily Smith:  If there's not one Nagy you can consider starting one yourself. To find out more go to mind the product.com forward slash product tank. Randy Silver:  Product Tech is a global community of meetups during buying for product people. We offer expert talks group discussion and a safe environment for product people to come together and share learnings and tips

One thought on “OKRs can be simple – Storm Fagan on The Product Experience

  1. The diversity discussion – between a couple of ladies who sound rather like they may have some significant economic privilege in their backgrounds. Nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *