Product operations is an all-hands-on-deck discipline, requiring collaboration across product managers, designers, and more. And when each team is entrenched in its own list of projects and goals, it’s easy to lose sight of the overall goal—to build a product that people love.
Fortunately, many companies have found a way to both inspire and accelerate their teams and align them toward a common end goal: by setting objectives. One of the most commonly used frameworks for setting objectives is OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).
In this guide, we’ll walk through OKRs and how to centralize relevant information about them in one place. This process is critical as it ensures that team members know they’re working on things that are truly connected to business priorities and impact, giving them a sense of purpose and helping them feel aligned to the overall mission.
OKRs, also known as Objectives and Key Results, is the framework that countless companies (like Airtable!) use for strategic planning. By splitting each goal into two distinct parts—the objective and the key result—teams can track both their projects and the end value they’re working toward.
Research on organizational alignment shows that nearly 95% of workers don’t understand company-level strategy. When you prioritize OKR alignment, you ensure that everyone is oriented not just around work, but your company’s overall objectives. A shared vision across teams means improved communication and transparency, faster decision-making, and clarity that teams are working on efforts that are connected to strategic business priorities.
While every organization’s product operations process will be different, we’ve learned from some of the best product teams in the world, identifying best practices to help you design an objective-setting process that is built to last in Airtable.
Setting and managing OKRs within the product operations function is a critical practice that is ongoing, and generally involves the following key steps.
Before work can begin, your teams need to align and prioritize work across objectives and projects. In this step, you’ll learn how to craft an OKRs table that keeps track of progress and a Projects table to track each feature in the roadmap—then connect them together.
Explore Step 1 here.
When managing OKRs across multiple teams in your organization, shared visibility is crucial. In this step, learn best practices to centralize your objectives planning for maximum visibility, while still allowing for teams to work in the ways that make the most sense for them.
Explore Step 2 here.
In addition to taking action on your objectives, it's essential to share regular progress updates against them. In the final step of stage 2, set up a system in Airtable to report on your objectives to leadership and other stakeholders.
Explore Step 3 here.