Why goal setting is key to product development

By Jodie Hopperton


Los Angeles, California, United States


Hi there. Since our Webinar What is Product Success? A Look at Key Metrics That Everyone Can Buy Into earlier this month, I have found the importance of good goal setting cropping up in a lot of conversations. So in today’s newsletter, we’ll take a look at why goal setting is important and some of the ways in which it can be done. I’ve included a TL;DR version for those of you who are short of time.  

As always, reach out to me at jodie.hopperton@inma.org with any questions, ideas, or anything at all you’d like to share. 

Why goal setting can be seen as the most important piece of product

Previously, we’ve touched upon communication and the importance of speaking the same language of other departments. One of the best ways to do this is to have mutually defined and agreed upon goals. Language is important; numbers are more tangible.

The main importance of goal setting at the most senior levels is that you want everyone pulling in the same direction. It’s fairly obvious. However it can be overlooked or, more frequently, multiple goals are set, which can be interpreted in different ways. 

Dow Jones articulated this well in the following slide on why data is the key to transforming the company’s products:

Dow Jones shares the importance of goals to the company's transformation.
Dow Jones shares the importance of goals to the company's transformation.

I can’t count the anecdotal stories I have heard about incredible products and services that have been built but haven fallen flat because they don’t meet company goals. For example, this week I heard about ... CONTINUE READING 

Jodie’s TL;DR:

  • Our colleagues are our customers. Find out what their goals are.

  • Department goals should wrap up into company goals to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction.  

  • Define the metrics that will be used to measure goals and ensure there is trust/respect for the underlying proof points and data.

  • Consider using an established framework such as OKRs.

Knowledge share: Do you have a product achievement to share? 

Or maybe a lesson? We’d love to hear from you! The Product Initiative blog is now taking contributions from our community. For more, contact me on Slack or at jodie.hopperton@inma.org

Designing for goals 

In a previous newsletter I shared this tweet to mull over: 

Design is in the eye of the beholder (and the creator).
Design is in the eye of the beholder (and the creator).

It spoke to me because I love how seamless Apple’s products and service are. And Amazon drives me mad with it’s clutter, even though I use it almost every day. 

Guarav Sachdeva, chief product officer at Singapore Press Holdings, recently told me he had also been thinking about this tweet and why it didn’t sit well with him. It’s because ... CONTINUE READING 

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About this newsletter 

Today’s newsletter is written by Jodie Hopperton, based in Los Angeles and lead for the INMA Product Initiative. Jodie will share research, case studies, and thought leadership on the topic of global news media product.

This newsletter is a public face of the Product Initiative by INMA, outlined here. E-mail Jodie at jodie.hopperton@inma.org with thoughts, suggestions, and questions. Sign up to our Slack channel.

About Jodie Hopperton

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