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How to get started with Product Goals & KPIs

If you’re running a business or working for one, you must have heard about these things called Key Performance Indicators. Sometimes we go through extensive exercises to figure out the right KPIs, and have elaborate processes to follow up on them. But sometimes it just remains a weird little acronym that gets thrown around.

The reasons KPIs are important is that they are simply a way to translate your business goals into measurable outcomes.

A KPI -key performance indicator, is one measure with a desirable value. If you want to grow your SaaS business, growing your user base would be a great goal to have, and the metric to track is quite simply the number of users. But how many users do you really want i.e. what number of users will mean significant growth has been achieved? That’s what a KPI is i.e. X number of users.

As you’re already wondering, a KPI doesn’t work without a timeframe. If you want to grow your user base and, say you want to reach 10000 users, you surely don’t want to get there in 10 years or whenever, it is probably within a certain time from now.

In other words, KPIs are time-bound goals that allow your team to aim at a target and evaluate their performance, and update the goals as needed. A team that gets into this mode is really hard to beat.

Assuming your product team has not yet set any KPIs, here are some examples to get started with and the corresponding best practice timelines.

🎯 Increase user retention by 5% in the next quarter

🎯 Decrease user complaint rate by 5% in the next three months

🎯 Reduce the number of open bugs to zero in the next three to six months

🎯 Automate at least two manual repeating tasks (as applicable)

🎯 Reduce the time needed to onboard new customers by improving infrastructure provisioning, or adding self-service tooling (for customers or internal teams) in the next quarter

🎯 Rank product feature usage and make at least one tangible improvement in the top used feature in the next quarter. Note: tangible for simplicity purposes => customers acknowledge the improvement

If you are wondering if any of these are good KPIs for your team or product, worry not. These are just examples fitting SaaS businesses. You can adapt them to your needs as you see fit.

The important point is that when starting on a journey to becoming a goal-driven (and goal achieving) team, one of the most important things to realize about KPIs is that they act as goal posts that your team can aim at. Like any game, you can double-check and adjust the targets as you learn more about the business and user needs.

If you see that your targets can be improved, you can always call a timeout and adjust on the fly.

The important thing is that you become a group of people who get increasingly better at aiming at something and achieving it or learning from failure. Over time this becomes a self-correcting process that’ll put you miles ahead of most startups.

Enjoyed the article? Go ahead and get started on your goal-driven journey, and don’t forget to share this on your favorite social media, and tag me with your feedback!



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Founder of https://epekworks.com — passionate about products and people, and helping them live meaningfully and well.