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Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results by [Wodtke, Christina]
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Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results Kindle Edition

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Length: 154 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christina Wodtke has led redesigns and initial product offerings for such companies as LinkedIn, Myspace, Zynga, Yahoo!, Hot Studio, and eGreetings. She has founded two consulting startups, a product startup, and Boxes and Arrows, an online magazine of design; and she co-founded the Information Architecture Institute. She’s the author of 101 Theses on Design, Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web and her new book about OKRs, Radical Focus. Currently she teaches at California College of the Arts and Stanford Continuing Education. She speaks everywhere from conferences to universities to boardrooms, and opines across the internet, but most often on eleganthack.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2100 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Publication Date: February 7, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BFKJA0Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,841 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book seems to do a decent job at explaining the basics of OKRs. However, I've worked at several companies that used OKRs, and there was always tension around the OKR process and a lot of disagreement over what it should or should not do. Specifically:

- KR's are supposed to be quantitative (e.g. "reach 20% conversion" or "8,000 users"), not qualitative ("have a working prototype"). Yet so much of what we do in software is build new things whose impact can't be measured independently. You want to get a prototype of speech recognition software working in order for other teams to build and test out potential customer-facing features later on, or you need to refactor your server architecture because it's increasingly slowing down feature releases (but you can't measure it, because different features aren't comparable). Is it OK to have KR's that are qualitative -- "deliver a new backend logging system"? It's certainly not the spirit of KR's, but so often is just seems unavoidable.

- In the same vein, how do you deal with work that simply won't show any real results within a quarter? Plenty of projects take five or nine or thirteen months to complete before showing any results at all -- for example, each part of the system takes 7 months to build, and none of them mean anything until they're all put together. (E.g., your customer base is growing incredibly rapidly, and you need to re-architect the entire backend to be able to scale to the number of users you expect to have a year from now.) What do you write as your quartely KR -- "have about a third of the new backend built"? That doesn't seem like it's the spirit of OKR's.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It's a fairly short read. I was able to read the entire book while flying a couple of times, and took my time by re-reading a few areas. While many of the topics are ones I've covered in other books, I found the way in which the author approached the topic resonated with me more easily.

The case study in the beginning is well written and far more interesting than a typical case study. Yet it really helps to drive home the importance of identifying specific objectives and remaining diligent in focusing on meeting those goals we've set out to achieve. It also covers how having specific roles and adhering to those roles helps so that everyone is contributing to a universal goal by using their individual strengths.

So often we get distracted at work with so many urgent and important things swirling around simultaneously. It's important to be reminded that every time we sway from the responsibilities of our role (even when wearing multiple hats), we're unintentionally taking steps to lead us further away from the goals we've already identified.

I always state this at work, but without remaining focused on our objectives and how our role contributes to that, it's so easy to start making decisions that, while seemingly good and helpful in some way, are not in line with those objectives. Six months later, everyone looks up and wonders how the hell we got where we are. It's a symptom of not having radical focus. I also liked the emphasis on taking time to review with everyone the status of things with everyone, discussing the progress that has been made, and the check-ins which can help celebrate small and big wins, and also spot when things are spiraling off the tracks. Highly recommend the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had been researching OKRs for 7-8 months and trying to implement them about as long. Blog posts, slideshares and YouTube videos still left questions about implementation and the finer details. This book was the reference guide and manual for startups and small businesses that I was missing.
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Format: Paperback
Christina did a great job explaining how OKRs work using a story of a startup company's first year. The technique is powerful and this book is just the right length to explain it without a lot of extra noise. If you want to learn about OKRs, the price of the book and the time invested is a no brainer; do it. Now that I've read it I'm excited to put it to work.

I'm subtracting one star for lack of thorough copy editing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been putting together OKRs for years when I read this book, and finally I realize what we were doing wrong. Our OKRs were complicated, long, had too many metrics... just like the OKRs the young CEO creates the first time around. Then the hotshot CTO comes aboard and tells them to make them simple, memorable, and focused. I realized that I was having the most success focusing my team on a simple yet aspirational goal and single metric to measure success. The old OKR was trying to do so much it was hard to remember, my new OKRs are more focused, powerful, and better at galvanizing the team. I now also include metrics for team health and also code health, so I can stay on top of morale and code quality and it feels much more complete. I was skeptical about the 'fable' format, but it was so much easier to read and made the message easier to grasp and stickier, so much I can turn to my designer and tell her to balance her 'Jack' mission with Hanna's 'keep the lights on' practicality. In short, this is a great, short, and necessary read for all product managers and anyone who leads teams.
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