(2020-02-24) Cagan Team Objectives Overview

Martin Cagan: Team Objectives - Overview. After many years of being a very vocal advocate for the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) technique, in the majority of companies I meet, I have stopped recommending the practice.

most companies are not set up to effectively apply this technique.

As I see it, there are three fundamental reasons for this:

Feature Teams vs. Product Teams

The OKR technique came from companies that had empowered product teams in their DNA. OKR’s are first and foremost an empowerment technique

Manager’s Objectives vs. Product Team Objectives

Yet, in so many companies, each manager – the manager of engineers, the manager of designers and the manager of product managers – creates their own organizational objectives, which are then cascaded down to their employees.

The Role of Leadership

successful companies aren’t successful because they use OKR’s. They use OKR’s because it is designed to leverage the empowered product team model.

So in terms of actually getting the benefits of OKR’s, there are three critical prerequisites:

The majority of my writing has been about the first topic.

For the second item, this is mainly education.

It is the third item that needs much more discussion, so in the upcoming series of articles on team objectives, we’ll discuss the role of product leadership in effective team objectives.

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