Here are some tips on how to adopt OKRs for the pre-Product/Market Fit startups based on my experience working with startups at Uptech
. Use shorter cycles
Even as small as 2 weeks if needed. Startup priorities might indeed change fast. But you need at least some level of certainty before turning your ship around. Be ok to terminate the cycle and the current Objectives
If you figure out the new info and you want to pivot immediately — that's ok for startups. But likely you won't do it too often. It would still be best for your team to finish the goals in most cases and measure the outcome. So that you make data-informed decisions. Unless you finish your iteration and measure the results, you might be repeating the same activities and mistakes. Focus on learning and validating hypothesis
For early-stage startups, you'd best set OKRs that would allow you to validate your hypothesis as fast as possible. Such Key Results as "talk to customers" or "conduct user interview" would help you do the right thing in your startup.
Having these Objectives written down would help you maintain focus and NOT do the other less-important things. And maintaining focus is essential for startups. So that you don't end up endlessly polishing your MVP with "just this last small improvement." The proper time-bound goals would help you stay on track and focus on what matters.
Some might argue that if you make these changes, it's no longer OKRs. Well, where is the holy unbreakable definition of OKRs? Even organizations that preach OKRs don't use them in the same manner. In Google, every team adopts the methodology for their needs. As long as the main principles are maintained, it is still the same methodology.
Again, OKR is just a framework that should only be used if it helps. In case you're a 3-people startup, sit in the same space and feel like you're all on the same page — you probably don't need OKRs. But as soon as you think that your team might be more focused and aligned — OKRs will help you
, regardless of the size of your organization.