Measure what matters – Book recommendation

Measure what matters had been recommended to me for quite some time now and I always thought it was about product metrics, what are the right metrics to measure and what are the vanity metrics but boy was I wrong! Finally, a month back I came across this book right in time for our annual planning and it helped me a lot with understanding OKRs.

What is this book about?

OKRs – Objectives and key results

Why this book?

John Doerr, the author of this book, is the one who introduced Google to OKRs and Google is the poster boy for OKRs in this book. John Doerr also worked in Intel during the time of Andy Grove who is sort of the father of OKRs.

I loved the narrative of the book as it takes the reader through how various organizations used this construct to unlock 4 superpowers that OKR helps with:

  • Focus and commit to priorities
  • Align and connect
  • Track for accountability
  • Stretch for amazing

What did I learn from this book?

In simple terms, objectives are goals that one might have and Key-results are how can one track their progress towards that goal. Simple, right? it is!

Objectives have to aspirational, in your personal life, it could be a marathon or buy a house, or in your professional life, it could be getting better at written communication or becoming a domain expert.

Key results are measurable and time bound, so you need to list things that you will do monthly or quarterly

ObjectivesKey results
I want to be able to buy a house in the next 10 years1. Need to save a crore in 1 Crore in 10 years
2. Need to add 10 Lakhs every year to this goal

You can break that down key results further more by using key results as yearly objectives

Yearly objectivesKey results – quarterly
Need to add 10 Lakhs every year to this goal1. Save 250,000 this quarter – 0.7
2. Save 300,000 this quarter – 1.0

As you can see on the above table the key results are measurable (250,000) and time bound (quarter). You would have noticed 0.7 and 1.0, they are scores. Set the scores in a way that 0.7 is possible and 1.0 is aspirational. The reason for setting these key results are so that you can track towards your goal in a quarterly manner to avoid any surprises at the end of the year. Imagine you are in December and open your yearly goal and it says you need to save 10 Lakhs but you have saved only 4 Lakhs. To avoid that, you can do a quarterly checkin to ensure that you are progressing towards your yearly goal.

That, basically, is OKRs. But, of course, the book gives you real world business examples and lists other benefits of OKR as well.

I absolutely recommend this book if you want to live a goal-driven life and plan to achieve it too!

Here is the amazon link for the book :

Hope you enjoy the book.