Here are my notes for week 2 of my product management education. This week is all about metrics, goals, and strategy, with a dive into Pirate and Heart metrics,

A metric measures progress towards a goal.

The PM should only focus on features that help achieve that goal, although there will be multiple goals to juggle.

Pirate (AARRR) Metrics

Pirate metrics are about measuring the user’s lifecycle.

  • Acquistion - How users find you.
  • Activation - When users have their first defining experience.
  • Retention - How often a user returns.
  • Revenue - How you make money.
  • Referral - How users are recommending the product.

You want to have measurements in each stage. You want to balance them. Some metrics are desctructive pairs. Like acquisition and retention (it’s easy to spike a new users metric in ways that won’t increase retention at all).

This could get complicated in a B2B company, where acquisition is customer-oriented, but the rest of the steps are user-oriented.

HEART Framework

HEART metrrics were created by Google to measure customer satisfaction.

  • Happiness - NPS score
  • Engagement - level of involvement, normally over a short time frame
  • Adoption - new users (a combination of AARRR’s acquisition and activation)
  • Retention - same as in AARRR
  • Task Success - time to complete tasks or number of tasks completed

Measure these with three steps

  • Goal - at a high level, what do you want to happen
  • Signals - what to measure to see if we’re approaching that goal
  • Metrics - the actual data for the measurements over time (weekly, monthly, whatever)

How to choose goals

  • Goals should be created first, before features are even thought of. They decide what features should even be dreamed up.
  • When looking at a goal involving a potentially destructive pair, write the goal to reflect that. An easy it to hold one number steady while increasing another number. (e.g. Increase adoption while maintaining retention.)
  • Goals should be, as in OKRs, outcome oriented and measurable. You also want to limit the “reach” goals, most of your goals should be achievable.
  • Metrics should identify problems. If you have a nice set of metrics for a single goal (is that a good idea?) you can work to improve each metric at a time.
  • With internet sites, avoid vanity metrics (page hits) and focus on user journeys through your site.

The goals will be different for different stages of the product lifecycle.

  • While in creation, decide what the business goal of the product even is.
  • While in improvement, looks at funnels and journeys, basically the user experience over time
  • While in maintenance, find a metric to decide if it’s time to return to improvement stage.

Product Strategy

A strategy doesn’t change, it’s about visions and outcomes.

A strategy isn’t a plan, plans can change, and are about features.

  • Vision - High level view of where the company (or product line) wants to go. Quallitative, 5-10 years out. Set by the division head.
  • Challenge - The first business goal to achieve on the way to the vision. Quantitive, has clear dates and measurements, quarterly or yearly. (KPIs). Set by your manager.
  • Target Condition - The team’s immediate goal. Set by you, the product owner. Multiple target conditions meet the challenge. We need to know our current state in order to know if we’ve met our goal.

Here’s a template:

  • Vision: In {{time frame}} {{company/product/business line}} will be {{vision statement}}.
  • Challenge: In order to reach our vision we need to {{measurable objective}} by {{smaller time frame}}.
  • Target Condition: In order to read our challenge, we first need to {{measureable objective}}.
  • Current State: After measuring, we know our current state is {{current measurement}}.

The goals should match your product stage. In creation, you’ll be finding market fit. In improvement, you’ll be improving metrics.