How Do OKRs & Lean Roadmap Work Together?

Nov 03, 2022
How Do OKRs & Lean Roadmap Work Together?

While OKRs might be all about planning and execution, Lean Roadmap focuses on the product and the customer. Together, they can yield huge turnovers, better products, focused employees, and satisfied customers.

About OKRs

Objectives and Key Results is a recent project management tool that has grown to become a non-negotiable tool for companies focused on growth. The tool narrows down options to help achieve goals and decide on possible outcomes to enable efficient workflow.

OKRs allow as many as seven objectives and not more than five results per objective. It also gives guidance on handling projects, cutting down on planning time, and managing unrealistic objectives to gain a clear action plan.

What is a Lean Roadmap?

Lean Roadmap is a guide showing how to establish your business and improve your products using the Lean methodology. The focus is on the value added to your customer.

The lean business methodology is based on a structure that adds value to the customer by constantly improving the product while maintaining respect for people.

Jim Benson defines it as “both a philosophy and a discipline which, at its core, increases access to information to ensure responsible decision-making in the service of creating customer value.”

Lean business methodology constantly improves products by learning continuously and seeking to understand the customer and their preferences. Companies can use this method to find more innovations and ideas on the most efficient ways to improve their products and add value to customers.

The Lean Roadmap uses a time allocation strategy denoted as “now,” “next,” and “later.” The  “now” is a pointer to the current challenges the product faces. These challenges are precisely stated so that it contains all relevant information. However, finding a solution might be tricky because of the time frame. 

The “next” is a pointer to potential challenges that may arise as the work proceeds. The “next” concept has a wider range than the “now.” But there’s enough time to find solutions. 

The “later” is a pointer to the challenges that might occur toward the completion of the product. There is ample time to fix these issues.

With the strategies of now, next, and later, the Lean Roadmap can formulate objectives.

How do OKRs and Lean Roadmap Work Together?

Objectives and Key Results are an integral part of the Lean Roadmap. They provide the objectives upon which the Lean Roadmap is structured. The possible results from OKRs help to keep the team in check and focused. 

As stated earlier, OKRs focus on the team, while Lean Roadmap focuses on the product and customer. This feature demonstrates the coexistence of both concepts. If properly planned, OKRs keep the workforce in order as they work out the Lean Roadmap. OKRs design the objectives and results of the roadmap.

HR officers should harness the potentials of OKRs and Lean Roadmap and combine them for easy communication throughout the workforce. This will go a long way to foster better appreciation of the process of achieving set goals. 

OKRs and Lean Roadmap, when used simultaneously, promotes time-based planning. The workforce can achieve results within the right time by using the now, next and, later concepts of the roadmap and the objectives and results of OKRs. This fosters alignment and critical thinking. Individuals in the workforce will be able to develop problem-solving skills.

This takes the full responsibility of critical thinking and problem solving away from the management and makes it a collective responsibility. Every individual will be proactive enough to present ideas and solutions to help the team meet the target. The simultaneous use of these two concepts is greatly beneficial to the company as it encourages employees at the grassroots (the ones closest to the customers) to get across to the management about problems they face in the field, the opinions of customers and how best to tackle their concerns.


In conclusion, using OKRs and Lean Roadmap helps organizations build a high-performance workforce. Employees can think outside the box to get outstanding results. Also, the time allocation of the Lean Roadmap that is denoted by now, next, and later will enable the organization to meet objectives, achieve results, and reach its targets at the right time.

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