How to grow Product Leaders with OKRs: Aldi Süd case study

Victoria Sheer is an experienced Product Leader with the passion for maximizing value delivery and 360° view on product development. She worked as a Product Manager in diverse industries. She cofounded OKR Consortium, is an Agile Trainer, Product Coach, Transformation Manager, IT Consultant, Product Community Builder.

TOPIC: How to grow product leaders with OKRs

ABSTRACT:
Transforming into product organization and changing the role of Product Leaders in a large multinational corporation with rigid processes and hierarchy is an entirely different challenge compared to a mid-sized product company. But OKRs integrated into product operations can bring value to both, if applied right.

As a Product Strategy Operations Lead at Aldi Süd, I found the following three topics to be the key to enable Product Leaders to grow and generate value for the organization.

Product Strategy – What is the step-by-step process to craft a meaningful product goals and align them with the company strategy

Key Performance Indicators / Key Results – How to use KPIs and OKRs correctly and why both are important

Product Execution – How to align product roadmap  and product strategy to enable the product team to deliver value

In this session, I will share a case study of Product Transformation at Aldi Süd e-commerce where I changed the processes, implemented OKRs and coached Product Leaders to live their new role

Learning Outcomes:

Understand how OKRs bring strategy and execution together

Learn the steps to create a product strategy and use it for prioritization

Understand the difference between outputs and outcomes and why using the latter helps create an impact

Get guidance on product roadmap creation

Prerequisite Knowledge:

Experience working as a Product Manager

Information for Program Team:

Case Study

This is a  case study presentation. Planned for 25 mins plus Q&A

  • Product manager role and its current challenges: 3 min

I discuss the main Product Manager tasks and the challenges they encounter. This part creates context for OKR implementation motivation

  • Strategizing: Tools and context for creating product strategy: 10 min

I introduce product strategy processes and tools like KPI tree and customer funnel that could be used to identify bottlenecks.

I also share templates for those tools incl. opportunity template.

All tools I will present based on Aldi Süd e-commerce example

Measure: 7 min

In this part I explain how to apply OKR check-ins and how to connect them with KPI tracking.

Execute: 5 min presentation

Here I explain how OKR cycle could function and the connection to the product development cycle and roadmap

Questions & Closing: 10 min

Workshop

Workshop based on the case study could consist of participants in groups creating OKRs for their case studies using the approach and templates I provide. The workshop can scale to a large number of people but up to 5 people in one group.

  • Workshop intro: 10 min

I collect from the group for 3 buckets: Strategize, Measure, Execute the main Product Manager tasks and challenges they encounter. This part creates context for OKR implementation motivation. Here I also explain the challenges we encountered at Aldi Süd and why we decided to try out OKRs.

  • Strategizing: Tools and context for creating product strategy: 30 min

I introduce product strategy processes and tools like KPI tree and customer funnel that could be used to identify bottlenecks.

I share predefined case studies incl. Company description, vision and mission with teams

Here teams would write  high level focus topics for the next year for the company from the case study

Feedback: 5 min for conclusion, section wrap up

Plan: 20 min

In this part I explain how to write OKRs, the difference between outputs and outcomes, and provide  examples of good OKRs

Here teams write  OKRs for their context based on the topics they identified in the previous exercise

Feedback: 5 min for conclusion, section wrap up

Execute: 20 min

Here I explain how roadmaps can be created for OKRs and how they can be scored.

Teams  create roadmaps connecting OKRs with opportunities using the template provided ● Feedback: 5 min for conclusion, section wrap up

Questions & Closing: 10 min

I do recap of what we did in the workshop and how it is connected to learning outcomes.

I answer open questions

I collect lightweight feedback on post-it notes

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