How ZenBusiness uses Dragonboat to connect OKRs with roadmap planning for outcome-focused teams

Zen Business

ZenBusiness is a business services platform that provides everything needed to start, run, and grow business all in one place.

As it is growing rapidly, clarity and focus becomes more critical to its success. ZenBusiness needed a framework to guide strategy, planning, and decision-making across the organization. This is exactly what the new Chief Product Officer did.

As we are expanding our product lines and growing rapidly, we need to focus on business outcomes while keeping our strategic themes understood across the company. We started to create sophisticated spreadsheets to support our operating cadences. But managing this “in spreadsheets” is time-consuming and the data quickly get outdated.

– CPO, ZenBusiness

Previously the team tried roadmapping tools, but they are just enough for simple visualization. ZenBusiness needed a platform that is robust enough to support both strategic vision, goals, and roadmaps with KPIs, while at the same time easy to use and can plug into existing tools such as Jira and Confluence. 

“We went out to search for a tool help us to plan and manage our goals and how we were tracking against our KPIs. When we found Dragonboat, it was an easy decision. They provide an integrated solution that helps us plan, track, and deliver OKRs and continuously review and adjust our focus.”

– Johnny Guzman, Director of Program Management, ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness chose Dragonboat to create focus across the portfolio.

The set up took less than a day, and within a month, Dragonboat is rolled it out across all teams to create visibility and cross-functional alignment.  

Build outcome focused roadmaps, not feature lists

The company sets up strategic goals with associated initiatives under each one. All initiatives and features connect to goals and strategic pillars.

Each team has its goals and metrics board, linked to company goals. The team plans with key results, which are later connected to epics with a set of features in Jira. 

Additionally, teams use the RICE prioritization model to ensure that all teams use the same framework when making tradeoffs decisions. 

With this set up, at the portfolio level, the ZenBusiness team has an overview of key initiatives and product features aligned to them. This connects company-level strategy to specific activities to ensure OKRs are on track to being achieved. 

As teams check off key results, the financial models are updated by the FP&A teams in real-time for the weekly portfolio meetings. 

“With Dragonboat, we track work completed and update the financial forecast to guide the next round of planning. Seeing progress and adjusting in real-time was impossible without an integrated tool like Dragonboat.”

– Johnny, Director of Program Management, ZenBusiness

Adjust roadmaps based on KPIs

With everything in one place, from goals to plan to initiatives, ZenBusiness created visibility and insight into KPI planning and tracking. Utilizing Dragonboat’s custom fields, the team adopted a “Path to Revenue” metric to attribute initiatives to revenue targets. The team can understand how they’re doing by tracking KPIs and adjusting the roadmap accordingly.

“Every week, we sit with our senior exec team in our portfolio review meeting. We have the data right in front of everyone – what’s the health of features, key results? How are KPIs moving? Should we adjust focus if a KPI is doing better or worse than planned? Are these initiatives still the right focus?”

– Johnny, Director of Program Management, ZenBusiness

Dragonboat creates a portfolio source of truth for the entire company. Everyone in the company gets free read-only access to Dragonboat and can view reports and dashboards through their Wiki pages.

Collaborate across levels and functions

Dragonboat enables cross-functional alignment and visibility to remove silos and help teams achieve the best product outcomes. Prior to Dragonboat, each team managed its own initiative board, so tracking dependencies and resources were challenging.

With Dragonboat, ZenBusiness includes go-to-market tasks in the product roadmap to plan, communicate and track in one central platform.

Run product like a business to stay ahead in a competitive market 

Creating alignment for strategic planning, prioritization and delivery are critical, especially as a company is rapidly growing.

“I’ve worked at many fast scaling companies, including Indeed and Expedia, and have experienced the same problem at all of them. Dragonboat is the first tool I’ve seen that allows us to connect all levels of planning and execution. From strategic goals and operational goals to specific features and initiatives, we can ensure we’re hitting our company objectives.”

– Johnny Guzman, Director of Program Management, ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness uses Dragonboat to connect OKRs with product strategy, create visibility and alignment across the organization, and ensure teams are working on initiatives that will drive the biggest business impact. Dragonboat supports current needs and creates a strategic framework for future growth and development.

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Want to connect OKRs with product roadmaps, deliver customer delight, and improve business outcomes? Sign up for Dragonboat, the #1 Responsive Product Portfolio Platform for winning product organizations.

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